Surrogacy is a process where a surrogate woman rents her womb to the intended mother who is unable to conceive through normal means. Surrogate mother agrees to hand over the baby to the intended couple.
The process of surrogacy is of two types:
Traditional surrogacy and Gestational surrogacy:
In Gestational surrogacy the sperm and egg of the intended parents is used and impregnated into the gestational carrier (surrogate) who carries the embryo for the full term. In this type of surrogacy the surrogate is only used to rent her woman having no genetic relationship with the child. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) allows only Gestational Surrogacy.
In traditional surrogacy the surrogate mother is artificially inseminated with the sperm of either the intended father or any anonymous donor. The resulting embryo is then carried by the surrogate for the full term as per the contract. In this type of surrogacy the child is related to
the surrogate and the intended father, if in case his sperm is used or the donor who has contributed. In this type of surrogacy the child becomes genetically related to the surrogate, who is her gestational mother as well as the genetic mother. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) does not allow Traditional Surrogacy.
How to choose your surrogate:
Choosing a surrogate can be a tough process, some prefer to choose one from the family. This might end up reducing the cost of the process but can lead to disputes in the family at later stages of life, keeping in mind the bond that is formed in between the mother and the child. Hence the surrogate mothers can also be finalized by taking the help of the agencies that are experienced and caring towards the process. The agency should be chosen very wisely.
Qualifications of a surrogate:
- The surrogate should be physically and mentally sound.
- Past experiences of pregnancy- whether she has taken surrogacy before or no and has it been successful?
- As per ICMR guidelines, the surrogate should be between 21 – 35 years of age.
- Should be in a stable living situation.
- No smoke or alcohol abuse.
- Trustworthy, responsible and committed to carry the pregnancy through to completion.
- She should be a resident from a place which allows surrogacy.
Signing a contract with the surrogate mother:
This is the most important aspect of this procedure. There has to be a contract signed between the surrogate mother and the intended parents to avoid any dispute in the future. Each and every surrogacy agreement has different clauses based on your relationship with the intended parents. The contract is signed before the medical process begins clearly outlining the legal aspects of surrogacy including:
- Your responsibilities as a surrogate
- Possible risks
Once all the necessary work is done both parties agree to the terms of the contract, the papers are signed between the intended parents and the surrogate and the contract becomes legally binding. With the right medical and legal proceedings the process of surrogacy goes really smooth and successful.