What Is the Process of Surrogacy?
A surrogate is a woman who carries and delivers a baby on behalf of a couple or individual. In a surrogate pregnancy, eggs from the mother or an egg donor are fertilized with sperm from a sperm donor to create an embryo. To guarantee a successful surrogate pregnancy, the surrogacy medical process includes thorough screening, cautious timing, and highly customized medical care. If you’re interested in learning more about the process of becoming a surrogate, visit us at The New Hope Center for Reproductive Medicine. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We are conveniently located at Oceana Place 448 Viking Drive, Suite 100 Virginia Beach VA 23452.
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The use of surrogacy has enabled thousands of couples and individuals to fulfil their dream of having a child and building a family. And while becoming a surrogate mother is a noble and selfless decision, it’s one that requires a lot of consideration and preparation.
Surrogacy can be a daunting process for first-time parents or surrogates, but it can be a smooth and stress-free experience when you have a guide of the steps involved. Here is a breakdown of the steps of surrogacy:
– Decide to have a child through surrogacy. Firstly, determine if surrogacy is the right choice for you, whether you are a couple or an individual. You should weigh all the pros and cons and understand the possible emotional and practical challenges.
– Choose a surrogacy program. There are two types of surrogacy programs to consider: traditional and gestational. In a traditional program, the surrogate is artificially inseminated with sperm, while gestational surrogacy uses an egg from the intended mother or a donor and sperm from the intended father or donor, transferred into the surrogate’s uterus.
– Find a surrogate. If you do not have a friend or family member who can be your surrogate, you can find one by signing up with an agency or using a surrogacy agency. Surrogates may undergo extensive screening before being matched with a family.
– Legal consultation. Once a match is made, the parties involved sign a legal agreement, which outlines the rights and responsibilities of the surrogate and the intended parents.
– Medical screening. The surrogate undergoes medical exams and testing to ensure she is healthy and can carry a child. The process also includes testing for STDs, genetic screening, ultrasounds, and blood work.
– IVF and embryo transfer. This process often involves medication to stimulate ovary production with the intention to obtain multiple eggs for fertilization. Once fertilized, the eggs can develop into embryos that the physician will transfer to the surrogate’s uterus.
– Pregnancy and delivery. After the successful transfer, the surrogate carries the baby into pregnancy. During this period, the surrogate requires medical care, attention to her health, and monitoring by a medical professional.
– Post-birth arrangements. Once the pregnancy is completed successfully with the birth of the child, the surrogate will hand over the rights to the baby to the intended parents.
One question that arises in the minds of many is whether surrogates share DNA with the baby or not.
A surrogate mother does not share DNA with the baby genetically as she only carries the baby in her womb. The DNA of the baby comes from the intended parents, either through their sperm and egg or using donor sperm or eggs. The surrogate’s womb only provides the necessary environment for the baby to grow and develop.
The short answer is no, the surrogate does not have to be a relative, and in most cases, is not.
Many people who choose surrogacy do so because they are unable to carry a child themselves due to health issues or other factors. In these cases, turning to a relative may seem like the logical choice, but it is not always necessary or even desirable.
Something to consider is that using a relative as a surrogate can add an uncomfortable emotional dynamic to the arrangement, as the surrogate will be not only carrying the child but also genetically related to him or her. This can create issues of control, boundaries, and responsibility that can be difficult to navigate. Another reason why relatives are not always the best choice is that surrogacy is a complex process that requires a great deal of medical and legal oversight.
Ultimately, the decision to use a surrogate is a deeply personal one, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether or not the surrogate has to be a relative. Working with a qualified surrogate agency that can provide the support and resources necessary to make the journey a success is key, no matter who the surrogate ultimately is.
While there are many requirements that hopeful surrogates must meet, there are also certain factors that may disqualify them from becoming a gestational carrier. Such as:
– Age. Surrogacy agencies will only accept gestational carriers who are within a certain age range, typically between 21 and 45 years old. The age limit is set to ensure that the surrogate can carry the pregnancy to full term without causing any complications.
– BMI (Body Mass Index). Surrogacy agencies typically require that gestational carriers have a BMI within a specific range. A high BMI can increase the risk of complications during pregnancy, such as pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, and hypertension.
– Lifestyle and personal behavior. Smoking, drinking, or drug abuse are disqualifying factors. Additionally, surrogacy agencies might disqualify candidates who have a criminal record or if they participate in dangerous behavior, including not following a proper diet or exercise routine during pregnancy.
– Medical conditions. Some medical conditions that might disqualify a surrogate include heart disease, substance abuse, mental health issues, and autoimmune disorders.
– Previous or current pregnancy complications. Surrogacy agencies typically disqualify women who have a history of repeated miscarriages, premature births, or other fertility issues.
For any questions that you may have regarding the surrogacy process, or for more information, contact us at The New Hope Center for Reproductive Medicine. Or, if you’re ready, you can book in online to schedule an appointment/consultation with one of our reproductive specialists. We serve patients from Virginia Beach VA, Rudee Heights VA, Lynnhaven VA, Linkhorn Estates VA and Dam Neck VA.