A couple may seek a surrogacy arrangement when pregnancy is medically impossible due to external or internal issues of the body.
Developments in medicine, social, and legal proceedings around the world paved the way for modern surrogacy.
Many countries do not have laws that specifically deal with surrogacy. Some countries have banned surrogacy while some countries allow commercial surrogacy. However, since 2002 Commercial Surrogacy has been legal in India.
But the Surrogacy Bill, 2016 which was approved on 19th December 2018 focuses on the prevention of commercial surrogacy as it is delivering a wrong message and also protecting the surrogate mother and children from exploitation.
Now, we will highlight the exact meaning and procedure of surrogacy in India.
What is surrogacy and who are surrogates?
Over the past few years, surrogacy has become more popular, earlier Indians were not so familiar with the term surrogacy and its process.
Surrogacy is a modern and easy means of giving birth to a young one and the woman who carries a baby for a couple who is not able to embrace parenthood due to some medical risks is known as a surrogate mother.
A surrogate mother is not biologically(genetically) or legally related to the child. In general, there are two types of surrogacy prevalent in India- Gestational Surrogacy and Traditional Surrogacy.
Gestational surrogacy– It is the most prevalent type of surrogacy, in this, the child is not biologically related to the surrogate mother. In fact, the embryo is formed with the help of IVF ( in vitro fertilization), using the sperm and egg of the donor/couple, and it is then transferred to the surrogate.
Traditional/Natural surrogacy– In this, the eggs of the surrogate mother are used and sperm from a donor/father is inseminated in her body. Thus, the surrogate mother is the biological mother of the child and the intended mother has no genetic link with the baby. This type of surrogacy is less common
Why do couples opt for surrogacy?
There are plenty of reasons why couples choose a surrogate to start their family. But one of the most common reasons observed is couples facing difficulties to conceive a child naturally.
Read on further to know the reasons behind choosing a surrogate–
- Life-threatening health risk- Sometimes the woman is suffering from PCOD/PCOS, fibroid, or tumor in the uterus which inhibits pregnancy and also results in miscarriage.
- Infertility- It is one of the strongest reasons why couples choose a surrogate. Not alone females are responsible, most of the time low sperm count in males also results in infertility.
- Same-sex people- It is impossible for same-sex couples to conceive a child naturally and often they have to choose surrogate mothers.
- Single parent- Surrogacy is one of the best options if you are a single parent.
- Age- Age plays a vital role in a woman’s ability to conceive and carry a child. After 40years the chances of pregnancy decrease.
Personal decisions- Medical reasons are not always the reason to opt for surrogacy. Sometimes women choose not to carry children due to professional commitments and individual circumstances.
What is the process of surrogacy?
- The first main step is to search for the background of the surrogate and whether surrogacy is right for you. Because becoming a surrogacy can be a long journey and you should choose a trustworthy person for this big commitment.
- Then, the legal process must be done, the lawyers will review the legal aspects of the process and once a legal contract is drafted and signed by both sides, a confirmation letter is sent to the agency, and then the fertilization process can proceed.
- Ensure that the surrogate is physically and mentally fit for surrogacy and before the beginning of the medical process, the surrogate has to undergo a medical process.
- After that embryo transfer procedure will take place ( five days) and the embryo is transferred through the cervix into the uterus.
- This procedure doesn’t take much time and is not painful. After embryo transfer, the surrogate mother needs to take care of herself and should rest for a few days.
- Consult your doctor to make sure that you are pregnant.
- Once you are done with embryo transfer and your doctor confirms that you are pregnant, the doctor will perform an ultrasound around the sixth week of pregnancy. And after that another ultrasound in the 12 weeks before being released from the fertility clinic’s practice.
Surrogacy is a positive experience for surrogate mothers as they are giving birth to the young one and helping couples to embrace parenthood who are musically not able to do so.
However, surrogate motherhood is still a debatable and complex issue. Some people feel it is not ethically correct for the surrogate mother and for the baby as well.
There is no right or wrong in surrogacy, it is the right of every couple to have their own child. Moreover, surrogates are legally protected and both parties ensure a healthy pregnancy.
Surrogate mothers represent a strong group because being a surrogate is very challenging and one needs a lot of courage to do that. So we need to change our thinking and we should give respect to surrogate mothers.