When a woman is unable to carry a child,
whether due to to medical, genetic or social reasons,
the couple or single woman may choose to find a surrogate
mother who can carry the baby.
Medical circumstances that may prevent
a woman from carrying a child:
- Recurrent abortion or premature labor
- Dangers to the life of the Intended Mother - for
example, severe heart, kidney or respiratory disease,
unstable diabetes, or severe high blood pressure.
Genetic diseases in which there is a significant risk
of an abnormal gene being passed on to the fetus can
be avoided either by surrogacy or by IVF
using a donor
When the genetic disease needs to be carried by both
partners in order to be of significant risk, AID - artificial
insemination using donor
sperm can also be an option.
The baby born by surrogacy may be the biological child
Both parents - the egg
is retrieved from the IM - intended mother and joined
with sperm from the IF - intended father. This is known
as Gestational Surrogacy (the surrogate
mother has no genetic connection to the child).
Mother & sperm donor
- the egg is retrieved from the IM - intended mother
and joined with donor sperm. This is another type of
Surrogate mother & IF (intended
father) - the surrogate mother goes through
a process of AI (artificial insemination) using the
IF's sperm. This is known as Traditional Surrogacy
(the surrogate mother is biologically the mother of
Neither parent - often
also referred to as embryo adoption. The surrogate mother
may or may not be a biological parent in this case.
The biological background of the child,
and not its surrogate mother, determine the baby's genetics
-- the way the baby will look, its blood type, height,
and all other physical traits.
Payment is frequently given to the surrogate mother.
Fees are intended to cover all medical costs incurred
throughout the pregnancy and for payment to the surrogate
mother. This is known as surrogacy compensation.
In all surrogacy situations, legal issues are an important
issue to consider. Make sure any arrangement is as safe
as possible for both sides.
There are many agencies worldwide that specialize in
surrogacy arrangements. Investigate the agency you choose
and make sure to get recommendations from other couples
who have used it.
of surrogacy laws by state in the US.
This site presents stories both of surrogate mothers
and of intended parents.
Katherine's Story (TS)
Holly's Story (GS)
Poems for a Surrogate Mother.
to Ask a Potential Surrogate
Publication by HFEA (UK) - Egg Donation and Egg Sharing
Here are some questions and answers about surrogacy
that might interest you:
Q - Please could you help? Me
and my husband we have been trying for a baby for 6
years but due to me having problems we can not have
a child by ourselves. We would very much appreciate
it if you would send us some information on how we start
going about surrogacy.
Q - Where do I start in the progress
of finding a surrogate mother to carry a baby for me
as I have had a hysterectomy and am in a new relationship
where we would like a child.
Q - I am a mother of a beautiful
and very healthy bouncing baby boy. I had an almost
perfect pregnancy. I had morning sickness from about
5 weeks till my 16th week of pregnancy but after that
it was smooth sailing from there and the delivery went
so quickly and smoothly that I would love to have another
baby. My partner and I have decided not to have another
child for a while but I really do want to be pregnant
and give birth to another baby. I have been considering
being a surrogate mother since the day I had my son.
If you could suggest where to start in researching being
a surrogate mother I would be forever greatful.
A - Fertility Stories is not associated with any agency.
There are a few links on this page that might be able
to help you. I highly recommend reading other women's
experience, to get some insight about the process &
then the list of questions,
to which I'm sure you'll want to add many of your own.
My main piece of advice is to try to take every possibility
into account (bed rest, twins, birth defects, etc.)
so that all scenarios are accounted for in the legal
contract that you make with the surrogate mother.
Q - I'm just wondering if you
could please help us with a question I have?? It's can
you explain the advantages and problems of surrogacy.
Explain the long term effects of such an arrangment
on the offspring and the legal parents.
A - I think the information on this page should answer
most of your questions.
In brief -- the big advantage of surrogacy is that
it allows a couple who otherwise could not carry a baby
to have a biological child of their own (gestational
surrogacy). The problems with surrogacy are connected
to the fact that an outsider is involved with your child
-- there are a variety of possible conflicts, e.g.,
she drinks while she's pregnant; she needs to be on
bed rest but decides that it's OK for her to go ice
skating, etc... or more subtle problems that can arise
during such a stressful & emotional time.
A baby born using your egg & sperm is your biological
child & the surrogate mother has no effect on the
Surrogacy should always be done using legal, binding
contracts & then, when the baby is born, you are
listed as the birth parents of the baby.
Q - I would like to know if I have another woman have
my child, will the child have my blood or the blood
of the surrogate?
A - If another woman carries your child, using your
egg, the child will be completely yours genetically,
exactly as if you had carried it.
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