Surrogacy: What is it, How Does it Works
Comprehensive surrogacy guide for intended parents with information about surrogacy types, costs, process, technique, legislation, and risks
Are you interested to opt for surrogacy services from reputed clinics? It can be the best way to ensure that you can become a parent. But, it is crucial to know about the process in detail before you can proceed.
As experts of IVF and surrogacy, we recommend that you know how surrogacy works.
We acknowledge that the process of availing of surrogacy services is a major step in the lives of childless couples and single intended parents.
At IVF Centre Hyderabad, we point you towards making the right decisions and give you access to the best resources for successful surrogacy. We are dedicated to helping you reach your lifelong goal of parenthood through our expertise and connections with leading fertility service providers.
Welcome to your journey of surrogacy.
Surrogacy is achieved largely through the efforts of a surrogate mother who carries the child in her womb. Also known as the gestational carrier, the surrogate mother chosen for the process has a direct effect on the outcome. Intended parents must agree to pay all the required expenses for the surrogate mother during the gestational period.
A surrogacy baby is carried for nine months by the gestational carrier who is approved by the commissioning parents. A prospective gestational mother has to go through multiple invasive fertility treatments both before and during the surrogacy process. There is a significant amount of physical and emotional stress on a surrogate mother throughout the process.
The surrogate mother should also maintain the stipulated general and personal medical protocols necessary during the surrogacy process. She is responsible for taking care of her health and also lives a lifestyle that ensures the health of the unborn child.
Expenses for a Surrogate Mother
- Medical support – Medical support expenses generally include all the costs related to the medical resources and services required by the surrogate mother during the course of the surrogate pregnancy. It is one of the most fundamental costs that a couple or single intended parent has to pay.
- Gestational surrogate compensation – A gestational surrogate compensation refers to the fee that has to be paid to a surrogate mother after her pregnancy has been confirmed. This fee serves as a key motivation for many surrogate mothers, who have to devote a large chunk of their lives to carrying your child.
- Legal expenses – Legal expenses are required to be paid for attorneys or other legal representation and services that may be required for the surrogacy process to go through. These expenses are not optional and intended parents have to be willing to pay them to an agency or legal professional directly, based on the path they take.
- Screening costs – A potential surrogate mother has to undergo various forms of screening to ascertain that she is eligible for going ahead with the surrogacy. Any possible medical issues that can affect pregnancy are revealed during this stage. The intended parents have to pay the costs of screening tests performed on the surrogate before the process begins.
- Psychological support – Surrogate mothers going through the gestational period may need some form of psychological support. It is quite natural to expect this as a pregnancy period generally has many emotional ups and downs that must be handled through professional intervention. Parents are required to pay these expenses on behalf of the surrogate.
- Other costs – Additional costs may come up if there are any severe complications during the surrogacy period. Intended parents also have to pay for some of the miscellaneous expenses of the surrogate mother.
These are the typical features and results of gestational carrier cycles.
Some insight into the surrogacy process and important statistical information –
- Surrogate mothers were responsible for thousands of successful infant births in the last few decades around the world. Around half of the births were multiples including twins and triplets.
- Trends observed suggested that the intended parents relying on a surrogate mother were generally older compared to those who did not use a surrogate mother.
- Surrogate mothers were generally younger than 35 years of age when the baby or babies were conceived.
- Gestational carriers may also be from another country outside the country of residence of the intended parents. In most cases, however, we attempt to make things easier by helping parents find surrogate mothers in India.
- It has been observed that gestational carrier cycles generally had higher implantation, pregnancy, and live birth rates compared to non-gestational cycles.
- Multiple births and preterm delivery dates were higher among gestational carrier cycles as the transfer of multiple embryos per cycle was more frequent.
The Gestational Surrogacy Process
Surrogacy can be explained as an arrangement between two parties i.e. an individual or couple, and a surrogate woman who agrees to nurture and deliver baby/babies for them. Surrogacy is a solution for those who are affected by infertility.
Surrogacy can be opted for if –
- A woman is missing her uterus or has an abnormal one
- Intended parents have gone through multiple failed in-vitro fertilization attempts.
- A couple has witnessed multiple pregnancy losses resulting from an uncertain medical condition.
- Same-sex couples can rely on a surrogate mother as this is the natural course of action for their parenthood ambitions.
Couples should have a personal understanding that surrogacy may be an emotionally demanding path to embark upon. Our surrogacy consultants emphasize that intended parents should also be mentally prepared to raise a child as if he/she is their own. We also consult with them to know their viewpoints about what and how they will tell the child when he/she grows up.
The surrogacy journey resumes after the intended parents applying for surrogacy can answer these questions.
The Surrogacy Process for Intended Parents
Learn about surrogacy types, advantages, and possible downsides –
Surrogacy is a viable method of expanding a family when either or both of the parents are infertile. In our experience, surrogacy generally has six different stages. The process is fundamentally the same even though laws may vary from one state to another.
The Stepwise Surrogacy Process
- Determining if surrogacy is a suitable course of action
The very first step for any surrogacy process is deciding if the method is the right option for your parenthood goals. At IVF Centre Hyderabad, we are upfront about the fact that surrogacy can be quite an emotionally and financially exhausting process for intended parents across age groups.
The decision to go ahead with surrogacy needs to be made mutually among both partners in a relationship. The advantages and downsides of surrogacy are shown to be discussed openly before taking the final decision on whether to go ahead.
- Surrogacy preparation phase
Once a decision to commit to the surrogacy process has been made by the surrogate mother and the intended parents, the finer details of the process have to be worked upon by both sides. The couple or single intended parent has to start by deciding the type of surrogacy they want to opt for. These include –
- Traditional Surrogacy
- Gestational Surrogacy
Furthermore, the process of surrogacy can vary based on how participants choose from these two – surrogacy agency and surrogacy attorney.
- Surrogacy agency – Intended parents must avail themselves of the services of a surrogacy agency that handles all aspects of the process from beginning to end. Some responsibilities handled by an agency include screening, matching, counseling, support, providing information, and legal advice.
- Surrogacy attorney – Surrogacy attorney is required for completing all legal processes such as agreement drafting, citizen documentation, and assistance for the participants, but does not offer several other services offered by a surrogacy agency.
Both surrogates and intended parents need to consider all aspects of surrogacy to know which the best type is for them.
- Surrogate matching
Surrogate matching is the next step of the surrogacy journey for couples and single intended parents. Prospective parents may have several expectations which the surrogate mother has to meet, and vice versa. It is crucial to ensure that both sides can go ahead with the process. The method of matching surrogate is –
- A surrogacy professional chooses a surrogate mother and matches her to intended parents who have the same expectations regarding surrogacy. If a match is found, the profiles of the surrogate and the intended parents are shared.
- Both the parents and surrogate sides have to agree on the terms to move ahead with the surrogacy process. They can communicate with each other through methods such as emails, calls, in-person meetings, among others. With their consent, the fertility agency initiates the necessary legal contract.
- Surrogacy legal contract creation
A legal surrogacy agreement has to be signed after both the intended parents and surrogate have agreed to commit to the surrogacy process.
The surrogate and the intended parents need to have their attorneys to make sure that their interests are protected during the process. Surrogates and prospective parents have to meet their respective lawyers separately. The contract signing goes through after everyone has agreed to the terms laid out.
- Fertilization and embryo transfer
The IVF process is a medical procedure that starts after the agreements have been signed. The egg donor (intended mother) is given medication for helping her develop eggs. Eggs developed within her will be obtained by the fertility specialists through a process known as egg retrieval surgery. An embryo is created and transferred to the womb of the surrogate mother at the appropriate stage of readiness.
The surrogate mother or gestational carrier receives payments including her compensation and required expenses after she becomes pregnant and the child’s heartbeat is heard.
The surrogate gets discharged from the hospital after the birth of the baby, and the intended parents can then enjoy parenthood. As IVF and surrogacy consultants, we have witnessed many cases where intended parents and surrogate mothers chose to maintain a relationship after childbirth.
3 stages of Surrogacy –
- Egg donation – At this stage, the egg is obtained from the donor through egg pickup.
- Fertilization – This process consists of mixing the eggs of an intended mother or egg donor with the sperm of the male parent.
- Transfer – The embryo is then transferred to the uterus of the gestational carrier or surrogate mother.
Who Requires Surrogate Mothers?
Surrogacy is an agreement between intended parents and a surrogate mother, where the surrogate carries a baby and delivers him/her on their behalf. In most cases, the surrogate mother does not have a direct genetic link to the baby. However, there can be a link in the case of traditional surrogacy.
Eligibility to Apply for Surrogacy
Surrogacy can be opted for by
- Single Parents – A single parent (man or woman) may choose to opt for surrogacy if they want to become a parent again, but cannot achieve that goal through their personal relationships. Single parents opting for surrogacy is for individuals who intend to build their families without the assistance of anyone else. Gestational surrogacy is the right choice for single parents today.
- People affected by medical issues – Some individuals are affected by medical issues, such as heart disease, acute diabetes, kidney disease, and several unfavorable circumstances that inhibit them from carrying a child. Postpartum depression is also a cause for surrogacy.
Surrogacy with donor eggs
Known donor – A known donor can either be a family friend or the surrogacy applicant’s relative.
Unknown donor – An unknown donor is generally provided by surrogacy agencies. This individual is chosen for donating either the eggs for the sperms required for the surrogacy process and paid for the same.
Why do intended parents require surrogate mothers?
Intended parents may require surrogate mothers if and when –
- Female partner fails to conceive due to the absence of a uterus or an abnormal uterus.
- A biological mother has gone through several failed fertility treatments such as in-vitro fertilization without having any successful outcome.
- Multiple pregnancy losses have been experienced by female partners due to unexplained medical issues.
- Individuals are affected by health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid, and a weak heart which make them unable to become a mother to a child.
- A woman can choose to hire a service for surrogate mother pregnancy on the basis of career-related or personal circumstances.
The process of surrogacy is quite complicated as a form of treatment for infertility due to the legal and medical issues that individuals or couples have to deal with, along with a heavy financial burden.
Personally, childless couples need to understand that they must be emotionally ready for becoming parents with the assistance of a surrogate mother.
Keep in mind that the surrogacy process can be quite long and tedious, choosing a donor is just the start.
As leading surrogacy consultants, we have to highlight that finding a suitable surrogate mother can be quite a difficult task for parents. Creating a new life can be quite demanding and there are a lot of aspects to consider. Moreover, intended parents expect the best outcomes for their unborn child.
How to Find a Surrogate Mother
Couples and intended single parents need to consider several factors for choosing a suitable surrogate mother for their children. Take a look –
- Agencies – Individuals or couples can choose to avail of the services of reputed surrogacy agencies to embark on a journey of surrogacy. They also have the option of opting for a surrogacy agency outside their country of residence. In some cases, cross-border surrogacy can prove to be less expensive.
- Directories of online surrogate mothers – Intended parents opting for surrogacy services may find that there are online directories with information regarding surrogate mothers. The data they may find can include surrogate mother lists. Surrogate mothers can also use such directories for finding suitable intended parents. Online directories require them to pay for membership if they want to receive the contact details of surrogate mothers. Surrogate mothers also have to pay a premium fee to find information about intended parents.
- Finding a surrogate through a relative or friend – In some cases, individuals or couples can rely on their friends and relatives to become a part of their surrogacy journey.
- Surrogacy facilitators – They are helpful and experienced professionals who can help intended parents find suitable surrogate mothers. Their relationships in the fertility and surrogacy domain can prove to be quite instrumental to your surrogacy process. They can get you in touch with leading surrogacy agencies so you can make the best decision going forward.
How to choose a surrogate mother?
○ The American Society of Reproductive Medicine says that intended parents have to be between the age of 21 to 45. However, you might find an agency that has different age range requirements for surrogacy.
○ An individual who is willing to be a surrogate mother should have no drinking or smoking habits.
○ A surrogate mother should have a BMI below 30 to be considered healthy enough and capable of carrying a child safely.
○ You should have no major complications from previous pregnancies.
○ A surrogate mother should not have any history of postpartum depression to qualify as a suitable candidate for the process.
○ She should be raising her own child or children.
○ The surrogate mother should have at least one successful pregnancy and no more than 5 vaginal births, and three cesarean deliveries.
○ She should be free from sexually transmitted diseases for at least a year before the surrogacy period.
○ The prospective surrogate has to discontinue using anti-anxiety and antidepressant medication for at least a year before the surrogacy.
○ There should be no issue when it comes to traveling for appointments.
○ Surrogacy needs to start at least a year from the last piercing or tattoo due to medical reasons.
At IVF Centre Hyderabad, we connect you to fertility clinics that ensure the best results for your aspirations of parenthood. We can give you the necessary support, knowledge, and expertise that help to make the entire experience better for you.
The intended parents also need to consider the needs of the surrogate mother. If you are looking for a gestational carrier, you should look for an individual who –
- Is within the recommended age range of 21 to 35 years.
- Has at least one child of her own through natural pregnancy and delivery history. Intended parents can look for a surrogate who has already been a mother.
- Has gone through in-depth counseling and undergone the appropriate medical and psychological evaluations. Along with that, the surrogate mother should have a sense of accountability and responsibility towards fulfilling her commitment as the gestational carrier.
- Can answer all the questions that an intended parent or surrogacy agency may have for them. It becomes crucial to understand what her motivations are for going through the lengthy process of surrogacy.
- Is motivated to go through surrogacy beyond just the promise of financial gain. Ideally, a surrogate mother should not only be motivated by money as surrogacy requires a lot of emotional dedication and a deep sense of responsibility. The payment for surrogacy varies between different countries, and parents need to choose wisely. You can consult with a surrogacy agency like ours to get a clearer idea about the costs you have to bear.
- Has a generally positive attitude towards life, as this is vital for ensuring a healthy surrogacy term. Intended parents should prefer a gestational carrier who has a positive outlook in life and no major issues to deal with.
- Is willing to get a criminal background check-up as required before the surrogacy process can even begin. Most reputed surrogacy agencies agree to share this type of information with parents, as they understand the importance of trust between a surrogate and intended parents.
The legal aspect of a baby’s citizenship needs your attention if you are inclined towards having a cross-border surrogacy. In some countries, the legal mother is the actual birth mother and has her name on the birth certificate of the baby. You can consult with our surrogacy advisors to gain complete information about any such technicalities based on your preferences.
Several nations like Colombia, Thailand, and Russia, consider the surrogate mother as the legal mother of the surrogate child. Such circumstances may require her to give up her rights to the commissioning parents.
Couples or single intended parents should look into the laws of their own country and the law of the destination surrogate country if they want an international gestational carrier. Some countries also allow altruistic surrogacy. Rely on our experts to gain more insight into the details of surrogacy laws in India and international locations.
Pros and Cons of Surrogacy
Intended parents should be aware of the advantages and downsides of surrogacy before they proceed. Doing so can prevent any type of unwanted confusion after surrogacy has begun.
- Makes New Relationships – Surrogacy is a method for creating new and meaningful relationships between intended parents and the surrogate mother. It depends on both parties, and there are cases where surrogates and commissioning parents get to know each other. These types of relationships can be quite fruitful for both sides.
- Ensures your participation in the process – Couples and single intended parents have access to the surrogacy process and all its major stages. They have a right to witness all major events, such as embryo transfer. They may also choose to be present during the appointment sessions involving the surrogate.
- The surrogacy success rate is high – Surrogacy processes are generally successful and intended parents can expect positive outcomes. We can get you in touch with leading surrogacy clinics to ensure better results.
- Complications – Surrogacy can be a complicated process in some cases due to the legal steps involved. The level of complexity depends on the law of the country where surrogacy is being performed. Some intended parents may find that the legal requirements of surrogacy are too much to handle. It is important to realize that the legal steps are vital for the surrogacy process to go through smoothly. Reputed doctors at leading clinics reduce the chances of any medical complications during surrogacy.
- The process is expensive – Surrogacy expenses can be quite high for some intended parents and it is easy to feel overwhelmed. The process can indeed be expensive, but the birth of a child is also a major event in one’s life. Compensating the surrogate mother adequately is vital for ensuring the safety of an unborn child.
- The process is lengthy – Surrogacy is naturally a time-consuming process as it needs at least a full pregnancy term of nine months. Intended parents have to be mentally prepared and patient enough to go through the process.
- Emotionally demanding process – A surrogacy process can have a massive emotional impact on a surrogate mother, who has to give up a child after bearing it for the pregnancy period. Intended parents can also go through emotional ups and downs in some cases.
Legal complications –
A surrogate mother and intended parents need to work with their respective attorneys for drafting and negotiating a surrogacy contract, before the surrogacy embryo transfer and the birth of a child. Every step of the surrogacy process depends on the legal agreements between both sides.
The two key legal requirements of a surrogacy process include –
- Social Requirement – Intended parents should understand that they are legally responsible for helping the surrogate go through the term. The social requirements also apply to the surrogate mother including her not being allowed to smoke or drink to ensure the child’s safety. The parents also have to make sure that there is someone to accompany the surrogate mother to prenatal appointments as she might need such support.
- Financial Requirement – A legal attorney needs to be hired by both the surrogate woman and the intended parents before the surrogacy process can start. Each side needs to have its own attorney. These legal professionals work out the details regarding the base compensation of a surrogate and other expenses she may require. The contract of surrogacy includes information about all the expenses and also clauses for emergency and complication-related issues.
The process of surrogacy can have some medical complications that may even arise unexpectedly. Some of the issues include major problems such as gynecological and obstetrical complications. One of the most common issues that crop up from surrogacy is multiple-birth pregnancy.
There are some complications and risks that are common for both general pregnancy and surrogacy, such as urinary tract infections, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, eclampsia, and stress-related incontinence. Some other risks, such as that of postpartum hemorrhage and amniotic fluid embolism is generally connected with pregnancy, but not surrogacy.
Two main techniques are used for surrogacy. These are Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and In-vitro Fertilization (IVF). Take a look –
IUI – Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is a treatment method that requires the placing of sperm in the uterus of a woman for the purpose of fertilization. The main objective of an IUI fertility treatment method is to raise the quantity of sperm within the fallopian tubes of a woman. Doing so can enhance the chances of successful fertilization.
IUI, as a method, is useful for helping a sperm get closer to the egg. However, the sperm does need to make its way to the egg for the fertilization to be successful. Intrauterine insemination is a less expensive and less invasive fertility treatment method in comparison with in-vitro fertilization.
IVF – In-vitro fertilization (IVF) involves several treatments required for enhancing the chances of pregnancy. It is also used for helping with the conception of a child. During the IVF process, mature eggs are retrieved from the ovaries of a woman. The fertilized egg or embryo is then transferred to a womb. A typical IVF cycle lasts for three weeks. The duration can vary depending on the circumstances in specific cases.
Legal Aspect of Surrogacy
Intended parents and prospective surrogate mothers should know about all the legal terms of a surrogacy process. This is important to have a safe and hassle-free surrogacy period.
Legal aspects for any cross-border surrogacy program tend to be quite important. Intended parents and surrogate mothers need to know the surrogacy laws of both countries in advance. Get in touch with our experienced IVF and surrogacy consultants to get a better idea of the legal requirements for your particular case.
- Surrogacy is legal and cost-effective in some countries where the practice is more widespread. It is advised that you know about the surrogacy laws of your country to make sure that the requirements can be met.
- It is also important to know if the consul of your country of residence can provide the requisite legal documentation needed for a surrogacy baby.
- In the case of cross-border surrogacy, you need to know precisely what documents are needed and how much time will be required to bring the baby into the country.
It should be noted that some countries have legal frameworks that oppose the practice of commercial surrogacy. However, many of these countries do consider altruistic surrogacy as an acceptable option. It is advised that intended parents have an attorney to gain the required support and legal guidance to make sure they are abiding by laws. For traditional surrogacy, you have to go through all the aspects of your legal parentage with your attorney.
The legal processes for a surrogacy process should be specific to your case. A qualified lawyer has to be hired by intended parents to go through with the legal surrogacy agreements. It can be quite crucial to do so for ensuring that a baby’s rights are protected and that there are no hurdles for gaining legal parentage.
A reproductive attorney is also important as surrogacy laws differ greatly between countries and sometimes within the same country also. In some countries, certain states have laws different from others while several states may have no laws at all.
Surrogacy Legal Processes for Intended Parents
Intended parents can expect a smooth surrogacy process if all the legal requirements are met. You must always take steps that are legal. You can consult with us to know more about the legal requirements of surrogacy across all parts of India, and across all top international surrogacy locations. You can proceed by availing the services of an attorney for drafting and negotiating a surrogacy contract.
Intended parents should take note of all the legal surrogacy requirements and implications for any complications that may arise during the process. The number one priority should be looking for an experienced surrogacy professional during the agreement drafting process. Make sure to inquire with your lawyer about all the steps you can take if other parties involved do not keep up their end of the agreement.
Representatives of a surrogacy clinic can cooperate closely with your chosen legal professionals to make sure that the entire surrogacy process stays free from any legal hurdles.
Intended parents can also hire an independent lawyer for assisting them with the drafting of the surrogacy agreement. For any assistance regarding such requirements, get in touch with our consultants. We may be able to use our resources to assist in the process of hiring a competent and experienced surrogacy lawyer.
One of the most legal processes involved in surrogacy is performing all the steps needed to establish the intended parents as a child’s legal parents. This process can vary from country to country, and also between states.
Surrogacy-friendly states enable intended parents to cooperate with their lawyers for filing a pre-birth order. This order is required for setting the post-birth order in motion. It is a fundamental requirement for ensuring that the newborn baby can be discharged to the commissioning parents after birth.
Some surrogacy cases require a few extra steps to be taken legally following the birth of the surrogacy baby. It becomes especially useful for cases where none of the intended parents are linked genetically to a newborn child.
A process known as separate adoption must be followed if the baby has a genetic link to only one of the intended parents. It can be the case that either the sperm donor or the egg donor has a genetic link with the baby. The male partner in a married relationship may adopt the legal child of his wife, or the female partner can adopt the legal child of her husband. The adoption step is mandatory in order for both the parents to have rights to the child.
The Surrogacy Laws of India
Indian citizens who want to avail services for surrogacy within the country should be aware of the laws. The Indian government made modifications to its surrogacy laws in the country in 2015. Based on the terms of these changes, foreign couples cannot avail of commercial surrogacy services in the country. New Indian laws of surrogacy prohibit international intended parents from applying for surrogacy in India. Expected parents in India who are married can now opt for commercial surrogacy. However, commercial surrogacy might be banned in the future.
How Surrogacy Works in India
The first step of surrogacy in any country is picking out a healthy surrogate mother. Take a look at the other steps to follow after a surrogate mother has been chosen.
As experienced consultants who help thousands of couples, we want to be clear that the surrogacy process may be unpredictable and certain situations can seem out of your control. We advise you to have a positive outlook and be patient right from the beginning of the process. Read on to know more about the surrogacy process from start to finish.
Steps of the Surrogacy Process
The step-by-step process for surrogacy –
- Surrogate Matching
The matching phase involves a surrogacy agency matching a couple or single intended parents with surrogates. At this stage, the preferences of intended parents are considered. This can include preferences regarding the physical attributes of the surrogate mother. Surrogates can be shortlisted to give intended parents more choice. You can get in touch with our IVF and surrogacy experts to know more about what to expect at this stage. We can give you the right type of information for selecting a suitable surrogate mother.
After the surrogate matching step, the dates are confirmed for the IVF cycles and menses. Intended parents have to be available on those dates. Depending on these dates, the gestational carrier is prescribed birth control pills so that her natural cycle can match the upcoming IVF cycle. The egg donor is synced with the surrogate mother for the IVF cycle if an egg donor is being used by the intended parents.
Intended parents can meet up with a surrogate mother if they deem it to be necessary. Surrogacy does not happen with anonymity.
An egg donation is generally needed when an intended parent is unable to use her own eggs, either due to medical reasons or age. An egg donor needs to be approached for surrogacy where the intended parent is a single male or gay. Many intended parents now are also opting for IVF and egg donation rather than conventional surrogacy services.
After the surrogate mother has been selected, the legal documentation and medical processes are initiated.
The female partner of the intended parents undergoes an evaluation to confirm that she is fertile. Similarly, the male partner needs to go through a few blood tests and sperm analyses to ensure that he is suitable for IVF. Generally, female partners have to go for more tests than their male counterparts during this phase.
Scanning and testing are also done on the gestational carrier to ensure that she is healthy enough and can carry a baby. The reproductive health of a woman and her uterus lining are two of the most important factors of her medical evaluation.
A pelvic scan is administered by a fertility expert to eliminate the possibility of fluid in the uterus or a cyst, and for evaluating the endometrium lining’s thickness. Some of the testing methods include a physical examination and a pelvic ultrasound apart from other treatments. Hormonal profile and blood tests are also performed at this stage. A fertility doctor then discusses the process of surrogacy with you and discusses all the possible side effects or risks of it.
- Recipient Synchronization
Gestational carriers have to take birth control pills for matching the menses cycle of an intended female parent or an egg donor before the upcoming IVF session. The pills enable a doctor to regulate and fine-tune the menses of an egg donor and make the IVF cycle more manageable. This step can prove to be quite significant if a traveling egg donor is being used.
The fertility doctor can ask a female partner to take birth control pills on particular dates for managing her menses if she is utilizing her own eggs for the process. She will have to visit the IVF clinic again when her menses starts for evaluation and initiation.
In some cases, synchronization may not be required when there is a plan for freezing embryos. The couple can perform the IVF and freeze embryos for future use. The embryos can be used with a surrogate mother in the future when the intended parents are ready for surrogacy. The gestational carrier is then tested and prepped for endometrium lining to facilitate a future frozen embryo transfer (FET).
Managing frozen embryo transfer is easier compared to performing a fresh cycle and transfer session.
- Preparing the Uterus Lining
The process required for preparing the uterus lining of a gestational mother involves a few steps. She has to take oral or injectable medications that help to thicken her endometrium to the required thickness prior to the embryo’s transfer.
A fertility doctor generally prefers the endometrium thickness to be 10 mm during the embryo transfer. The gestational carrier has to visit the IVF clinic several times for the process of endometrium lining width reviewing. The doctor assigns a date and time for the embryo transfer if he observes that her lining thickness is satisfactory enough.
The embryo transfer process generally happens between days 18 and 21 of the surrogate’s menses. This is a major step indicating progress to the intended parents.
- Embryos Transfer
Embryos transfer is an easier process compared to egg pickup and it does not require any anesthesia.
A catheter is generally utilized for transferring embryos into the uterus of a surrogate woman vaginally. It is a process that can last for up to 20 minutes. It is a single-day process and the surrogate only needs to rest for a few hours. She usually has to take injectable or oral meds and rest for a few days to recover.
The surrogate mother can carry on with her day-to-day activities following the embryo transfer. But she has to avoid physically demanding activities. A BHCG blood test is performed a few weeks later when she visits the clinic again. This test is done to confirm the pregnancy.
- BHCG test for pregnancy confirmation
The two-week waiting period after the embryo transfer can be quite hard on the parents and the surrogate mothers. The pregnancy confirmation day is quite important and decides if surrogacy can happen.
Pregnancy can be confirmed through home pregnancy tests referred to as human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). An early morning urine test may be advised for the surrogate mother. The placenta of a pregnant woman creates a pregnancy hormone known as hCG. The urine test can detect hCG in a surrogate woman’s urine approximately ten days following the transfer of embryos.
A home pregnancy test kit has an accuracy rate of 99%. However, the fertility doctor may require a blood sample for checking the presence of the hCG hormone. The blood tests are fully accurate and there is no possibility of error.
The doctor may want the surrogate woman to have a few more BHCG tests done to see if the value of the chorionic gonadotropin hormone is rising. This confirms that the pregnancy is continuing. Repeat tests are conducted 24 to 48 hours after the tests have been conducted. Doubling values of hCG indicate that the conditions are optimal for the development of the baby.
The BHCG value after testing can be higher if the surrogate mother’s womb is carrying twins. Keep in mind that it is not possible to tell if you are going to have twins at the BHCG test stage. The existence of two placentas raises the BHCG hormone level. Your doctor may hint at twins but that cannot be confirmed until the gestational sacs of twins are seen at a later date.
- Pregnancy Phase
Once the doctor has observed the gestational sac and pregnancy has been confirmed, the external hormonal support continues for 12 weeks. Following that the pregnancy is almost similar to a natural pregnancy. Monthly checkups are done based on the norms of antenatal care. During this time, both the commissioning parents and surrogates are quite enthusiastic and expect positive outcomes.
Intended parents can be present when the surrogate mother is being put through the scanning process. Seeing the image of the unborn child and being able to hear his/her heart beating is a special experience for the parents.
- The Delivery
The delivery date is discussed in advance with the intended parents and the surrogate mother. The surrogate baby’s birth is a great moment of jubilation for the intended parents. However, the surrogate woman may have some emotional ups and downs as she carried and cared for the unborn child during the pregnancy period. It is the end of the surrogacy journey.
Choosing to have a baby through a surrogate mother is by no means an easy proposition for intended parents. Numerous childless couples go through the steps of infertility treatment which takes a toll on them both financially and emotionally. Surrogacy motherhood is often the only choice left for a couple or a single intended parent. However, we can ensure that you have a hassle-free journey and your dreams of parenthood come true. Our consultants can give you all the help required to find suitable clinics, doctors and donors.
Commissioning parents generally require a surrogate mother who feels accountable and responsible to ensure the best for an unborn child. Every parent, intended or actual, wants their unborn child to be in the most optimal condition possible. Hence, picking out the right surrogate mother can be the most important decision for your parenthood aspirations.
The surrogate mother has to take care of the baby’s emotional and physiological health by maintaining a healthy lifestyle herself. The environment in which the surrogate mother stays also has some impact on the unborn child. This is why you should connect to a reputed fertility clinic and lawyer to ensure that the surrogate mother is putting in her effort. We can connect you to leading clinics and doctors in India and all parts of the world.
Surrogacy Agency Services for Parents
A reputed surrogacy agency is your best bet if you are interested in availing a sperm donor, egg donor, or any associated services. Such an agency has working relationships with leading doctors, clinics, and surrogates. They can help you ensure favorable outcomes and make your path to parenthood a smooth experience.
We are always available to listen to your concerns and queries regarding IVF and surrogacy services. Get in touch with our experienced fertility consultants to start your journey today.