An increasing number of women than ever before are choosing surrogacy to build a family. The trend seems to be on the rise especially in countries where commercial surrogacy is legal. Unlike altruistic surrogacy, where a surrogate carries the child without any monetary compensation, commercial surrogacy involves a pre-determined fee to be paid to the surrogate mother. Several states in the U.S. allow commercial surrogacy. States like California, Arkansas and Illinois are known to have surrogacy-friendly laws.
But why would a woman use another woman’s womb to build her family? Well, each case can be unique and every woman can have her own reason. Some may go for surrogacy due to infertility and medical complications, while others may find it difficult to carry and bear a child themselves due to professional constraints. Yet others may not be game enough for the disfigurement and physiological changes the child-bearing process would bring to their body. For instance, a woman in politics may not find it safe to carry a child for 9 months in her womb due to her busy schedule and stressful campaigns. Similarly, an actress may just not afford to get fat or disfigure her body since it may put her very profession at stake.
When a woman prefers surrogacy due to social reasons rather than medical, it is often referred to as social surrogacy. It has come as a boon for so many women, who are otherwise left in a dilemma of making a difficult choice between building a family and supporting it. Here is all you wanted to know about social surrogacy.
Benefits of Social Surrogacy
If you are not in a position to get pregnant or give birth to your child yourself due to health, profession or any other reason, social surrogacy helps you build a family without compromising your career and looks. It lets the parents, or at least one of them, have genetic relationship with the child without having to go through the complications of carrying the baby in the womb. Since the entire process of surrogacy (including selection of surrogate mother, embryo transfer, etc.) is done under close supervision of experts, surrogacy usually has higher chances of success than fertility treatments. Last but the least, social surrogacy is supported by a legally binding contract, establishing your legal rights over the child and outlining the expectations of all the parties involved.
Traditional vs Gestational Surrogacy
In any surrogacy, the intended mother has the option of either using her own eggs or those of the surrogate. If the surrogate gets pregnant using her own eggs, it is known as traditional surrogacy. It is usually a simpler process involving artificial insemination. On the other hand, in gestational surrogacy, the intended mother uses her own eggs. First, an embryo is developed using in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and then transferred to the surrogate’s womb. Traditional surrogacy is less prevalent since it makes the surrogate biological mother of your child.
Social Surrogacy Process in Brief
Social surrogacy usually involves the following common steps:
- Schedule a consultation with a surrogacy agency.
- Select a surrogate for your child.
- Find an egg donor if you are not using your own eggs.
- Find a sperm donor if you need one.
- Complete the medical screenings of your surrogate, egg donor and sperm donor.
- Complete the paperwork and legal formalities.
- Start the conception process using IVF.
- Start taking medications to sync your biological cycle with those of the surrogate mother and egg donor (if any).
- Transfer the embryo to the surrogate mother.
- Start preparing to welcome the tiny new guest.
Most of the surrogacy agencies help you through the entire process right from finding a surrogate to completing the legal work to carrying out the medical procedures. Should you need more information, read this detailed article on what is social surrogacy and how it can help you build a family without risking your livelihood.