For couples who want a child but are unable to give birth, surrogacy is a very viable alternative to adoption. Adoption allows you to become a parent but that child will have no blood relation to you and your partner. With gestational surrogacy your egg and sperm are combined, through in vitro fertilization to create an embryo, which will, in 9 months time, become a child that is genetically yours. You can still experience the entire pregnancy with the help of another woman who carries and gives birth to the child for you.
If gestational surrogacy is not an option for financial reasons, there is another form of surrogacy called “traditional surrogacy,” where the surrogate is inseminated with the intended father’s sperm. In the state of California through a pre-birth judgment, the surrogate will relinquish rights to the baby to the new parents, who become the legal parents upon birth. You and your partner can choose how involved you would like to be in your surrogate’s pregnancy. There are cases in which couples choose to allow the surrogate to remain a part of their life after birth. You will pay the surrogate a fee for carrying the child along with her monthly expenses, legal and maternity costs. Expenses can include travel, health insurance, housekeeping, clothing, and loss of earnings. Finding a surrogate can be as simple as having a relative or friend carry the baby for you, or going through a reputable, established agency which matches potential surrogates with intended parents wanting a child.
If you are contemplating surrogacy, either as future parents or as a potential surrogate, below are several aspects of surrogacy to consider:
• If for some reason you can’t conceive, surrogacy creates a chance for a couple to parent a child that is genetically theirs. This genetic link will be either through your egg, your partner’s sperm, or an embryo which was created from your egg and your partner’s sperm.
• For gay couples, surrogacy offers a route to parenthood where at least one of the partners and in many cases, both parents can have a true genetic link to the child or children.
• As a potential surrogate mother you have the chance to create a miracle for a couple who are unable to conceive. Your generosity will manifest itself throughout your life, knowing what a difference you have made in someone else’s. Research presented at the annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) in Madrid, proved through interviews with former surrogates that surrogates suffered no severe emotional problems during pregnancy or after giving up the child.
Choosing to use a surrogate mother or becoming a surrogate is a life changing decision, and should be considered once all parties have done the proper research and are 100% certain they are ready for this big step.