Surrogacy has become a life-changing procedure for many families around the world. It has given the miracle of life to families that may find it medically impossible to bear a child. Couples receiving the news of being unable to have a child can be devastating. Surrogacy has enabled families to have another chance to build their families. Meanwhile, women who lend their wombs to become surrogate mothers are changing lives and giving opportunities for other couples to have a chance at being a parent.

Surrogacy is an agreement that is often backed up by a legal arrangement, whereby a woman agrees to carry a child in her womb for another person. The woman is referred to as the surrogate mother while the clients are called the intended parents. When pregnancy is too dangerous for a couple or if they are in a medical situation, surrogacy can be one of the options for parents so that they can have their child.

Surrogacy has two types, namely traditional and gestational. The two types of surrogacy are similar since both types have a woman carry a child for another couple or person. The difference would rely on the process and the biological factors involved.

Two Types of Surrogacy

Traditional Surrogacy

Traditional surrogacy can also be referred to as genetic or partial surrogacy. A surrogate mother undergoing traditional surrogacy would use her egg in the process. The sperm will be artificially inseminated from a donor or intended father. If the intended father has medical problems, a donor can donate the sperm or a sperm bank can provide it. The surrogate will carry and deliver the child. Since the traditional process uses the surrogate’s egg, this means that she is the child’s biological mother. Since the surrogate is the biological mother, she must give up her parental rights and relinquish them to the intended parents so that they can raise the child as their own.

Traditional surrogacy has become less common than its counterpart due to the emotional and legal complexities involved. However, if an intended mother has medical problems preventing her from having a child or her egg has issues, traditional surrogacy is a viable option.

The legal implications of traditional surrogacy include termination of parental rights or step-parent adoption instead of full parental rights. In cases like this, an experienced lawyer can help guide the intended parents and even the surrogate during the whole process. Some states in the US do not have any legal grounds for surrogacy. Other states have not legalized traditional surrogacy but allow gestational surrogacy. The intended parents must have the surrogacy process in a state where there is a legal framework that supports the procedure.

Gestational Surrogacy

Gestational surrogacy is also known as host or full surrogacy. Unlike in the traditional procedure, gestational surrogacy is a process where the surrogate mother has no biological association with the child. The creation of the embryo is done through in vitro fertilization or IVF. The IVF process utilizes the intended parents’ egg and sperm that will be inserted into the surrogate mother. If one or two of the intended parents have medical issues where their egg or sperm cannot be used, a donor can be utilized for the IVF process.

In most cases, at least one of the intended parents is biologically related to the child. In some cases, both intended parents share a genetic relationship with the child. The surrogate mother has no biological relations with the child. This procedure is more common nowadays. It is less complicated legally since a second-parent adoption is not a requisite.

Intended parents can work with a surrogacy agency that handles the screening for surrogate mothers. They can also work with an attorney if they plan to do an independent surrogacy process. However, a procedure that is independent of any agency can be complicated since they will have limited resources to screen surrogate candidates compared to an established agency.

Women who are interested in becoming surrogate mothers must adhere to certain requirements such as a previous successful pregnancy with good mental and physical health. Surrogacy is a process that can be unnerving if anyone goes into it without proper research. Working with an agency or a lawyer specializing in this field can be helpful and can aid all parties involved to navigate the process.

Author's Bio: 

I am Eva Braughly, a mother who uses writing to share information on various societal issues, home improvements, DIY, health, earning opportunities, lifestyle, family, motherhood– in other words, life itself.