A surrogacy is a third party reproduction arrangement where a pregnancy is carried by an unrelated woman for intended parent.
Couples opt for surrogacy when the intended mother cannot carry pregnancy due to medical reasons. It is also sought by same sex couples. In some cases, surrogates receive compensation beyond the medical expenses and other expenses related to pregnancy. This is called commercial surrogacy. In other cases, no such payment is involved. This is called altruistic surrogacy.
Types of surrogacy
An embryo created by IVF procedure using the sperm and egg of the intended parents is transferred to the uterus of the surrogate who carries it to term. The resulting child is biologically related to the intended parents, and not related to the surrogate.
Gestational surrogacy using donor egg, sperm or embryo: In this case, the embryo that is transferred to the womb of the surrogate has been created either using the intended father’s sperm and a donor egg, intended mother’s egg and a donor sperm, or an embryo created by donor sperm and donor egg for the use by the intended parent. In the first two scenarios, the child is biologically related to at least one intended parent, and unrelated to the surrogate. In the third scenario, the child is biologically unrelated to the intended parents and the surrogate.
The surrogate is naturally or artificially inseminated with the intended father’s sperm via IUI, IVF or home insemination. In this case, the child is related genetically to the intended father and the surrogate.
Traditional surrogacy and donor sperm
The donor sperm is artificially inseminated into a surrogate using IVF or IUI or home insemination. The resulting child is biologically related to the surrogate and unrelated to the intended parents. Risks in surrogacy The risks involved in surrogacy include risk of infection, HIV, etc. if the surrogate is not screened properly before the procedure. There are also a number of social, ethical, psychological concerns. A surrogate may sometimes get attached to the child and may not want to part with it.