Surrogacy - The Basics

Not every couple is fortunate enough to have a child on their own. Some face different challenges that prevent them from expanding their family. They could be dealing with infertility, multiple miscarriage, or medical conditions that make pregnancy a dangerous endeavour. Other options for having children may be explored including adoption and surrogacy. Adoption is more widespread and in many ways is the easier choice. However, a few people might prefer surrogacy as it allows them to have a baby who shares their genes. This approach comes with a lot of complexities but it might be worth it for the right people. 

Types of Surrogacy

There are many ways to categorize differences in surrogacy methods. For example, there is traditional surrogacy in which the father's sperm is naturally or artificially inseminated to the surrogate mother. Records show that this method has existed even in ancient times among certain cultures such as that of the Babylonians. Modern medicine allows us to have a second type called gestational surrogacy. This makes it possible to have genetic relation from both the father and the mother's side. The sperm and egg are joined to create an embryo in a process known as in vitro fertilization. This embryo is then implanted in the surrogate. Surrogacies may also be divided into local and international surrogacy, with the later becoming a popular option for those living in countries with restrictive laws.

Legal, Ethical, and Medical Issues

Most laws that deal with domestic relations assume a traditional family rooted in biological affinity and natural birth. Surrogacy is sometimes frowned upon because of ethical issues that arise from using another person to bear a child for a couple. This arrangement can also be problematic as the surrogate could have a change of heart and assert parental rights over the child. The couple who initiated the process should make sure that they have the legal means to protect their own rights. Sometimes this means going to another country that guarantees protection and lessens the paperwork necessary for legal recognition.

There are also medical concerns regarding the safety of the procedure. Not every country has the facilities required to ensure successful transplants and painless deliveries. Harsh laws against surrogacy can prevent hospitals from investing in talent, research, and equipment. On the other hand, there are governments that support this with laws that are favourable to couples who wish to conceive a child in this manner. They usually have doctors who specialise in this field and facilities that increase the chances of success.

Why International Surrogacy?

Having a child can be difficult enough with all of the medical and health issues that prevent it. Couples who have exhausted all other options may want to give surrogacy a try in the best way possible. Sometimes this means flying to a place that is conducive for the procedure. For example, surrogacy is legal in India although commercial surrogacy is not. The cost is relatively low and the laws protect the rights of everyone involved in the arrangement. The same is true in the UK although is cost is much higher. For more information about the legal implications, consult a surrogacy lawyer.