Surrogate Mother Solutions
Couples that have difficulty conceiving or maintaining pregnancies often turn to surrogates for assistance with childbearing goals. Even couples that are otherwise able to conceive naturally are taking advantage of the benefits of surrogacy. This assisted reproductive technique (ART) has a high success rate. Approximately 90% of surrogates conceive by the third try.
Options for Surrogacy
Surrogacy can be gestational or traditional. Gestational surrogacy involves impregnating the carrier with the fertilized egg of the donor couple. The infants produced are not related genetically to the carrier. Traditional surrogacy involves fertilizing the surrogates’ eggs with the partners’ sperm using in-vitro fertilization or artificial insemination. Gestational surrogacy is much more common than traditional for biological and legal reasons.
A Guide to Choosing Surrogates
The person who will be carrying the child will play an integral role in the surrogacy process. Therefore, it is critical to choose wisely. Selecting the wrong surrogate can lead to legal, as well as emotional, challenges. The great thing is anyone can be a surrogate provided the person meets a few qualifications:
- Must be 21 or over
- Good health
- If going the traditional route, low incidence of genetic disorders
Surrogates can be family members or friends. If no one is available to be a surrogate, there are agencies that specialize in matching couples with surrogates. No matter which route a couple takes, it is advisable to have the person evaluated for mental health issues as well as conduct a thorough background check, even if the couple has known the person for years.
Since couples will be interacting with their surrogates, it is a good idea to choose someone with the same values. This will make it easier to get along with the carrier and make the surrogacy experience less stressful. The process can take up to 18 months from start to finish. Therefore, it is a good idea to contact an agency as soon as possible after the decision is made to go with a surrogate.
Here are a few things to obtain from potential carriers:
- Medical history including info on prior pregnancies
- Lifestyle info such as alcohol and drug use
- Certification that the surrogate can sustain the pregnancy
- Clean bill of health
- Clean test results for diseases
Couples providing sperm and eggs for the process must also be screened for diseases. This is to protect the health of the surrogate and child.
Most surrogacy arrangements begin and end without any problems. Sometimes, though, things don’t go as smoothly as planned. Talking to a legal professional, therapist, and/or surrogacy agency can provide the guidance necessary to navigate through the process and deal with any complications that arise. Among other things, they can provide information on:
- The cost of health insurance and the filing of claims
- Communication with the carrier
- Tips for interacting with carrier such as when to accompany her to appointments
- Making plans for baby showers and the delivery date
- Other sensitive issues such as handling jealousy or other emotional challenges
Expense Surrogacy arrangements are not cheap. In addition to paying the carrier, couples must also pay for associated medical costs and agency fees. It can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 per arrangement.