Infertility is a growing concern affecting almost 1 in every 6 couples. Infertility includes both the inability to conceive or get pregnant, and/or to carry a pregnancy to term. Surrogacy is a legal alternative to pregnancy.
What is Surrogacy?
Surrogacy is a type of assisted reproductive technique (ART) wherein a woman offers to carry a baby through the entire pregnancy on behalf of the woman desiring a baby and returns the baby to the intended parent(s) once born. The lady who carries the baby is known as a surrogate mother. The surrogate can be a stranger who you have never met, a close acquaintance or even a willing close family member.
The process includes the creation of an embryo in a petri dish using the egg and sperm of intended parents, or donors if required, followed by implantation of the embryo into the uterus of the surrogate mother. The baby is by no means genetically linked to the surrogate mother. The surrogate merely facilitates nutrition and survival of the fetus up to birth.
Eligibility for Opting for Surrogacy
- Cases where women are unable to become pregnant or carry a pregnancy due to a medical condition.
- Couples who have had unsuccessful in vitro fertilisation (IVF) cycles.
- Single men or men in a same-sex relationship who desire to father a child.
Process of Surrogacy
Identifying the surrogate is the most crucial step in this process. Legal formalities need to be up to the mark as well.
- Screening of a surrogate mother- She must be screened for various infectious and potential medical diseases. She should be older than 25 years and not more than 55 years of age. She should have given birth to a healthy child prior to surrogacy.
- Written consent of both parties needs to be taken after all points explained clearly before signing.
- The lady who desires to have a child is stimulated to produce eggs through medications. In case she cannot produce eggs, donor eggs can be obtained.
- The surrogate mother is initiated on medications to halt her menstrual cycle and prepare her womb for implantation of embryo and pregnancy.
- Eggs and sperms are collected from intended parents and fertilised externally in the laboratory in a completely controlled environment with utmost care.
- After fertilisation, embryos develop in the laboratory for 3-5 days, followed by embryo placement into the surrogate woman’s uterus.
- After implantation, the surrogate mother carries the baby till birth and once born, the baby is given to the genetic parents.
Success rates for surrogacy vary significantly. The age of the woman who is contributing the eggs plays a critical role.
Risks of surrogacy
The risks associated with surrogacy are similar to those with IVF. If the surrogate is not screened well, the risk of infectious diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis B is high.
Costs of Surrogacy
Costs vary according to the individual arrangement and based on the difficulty of producing eggs/sperms by the parents desiring the baby. The entire procedure is explained in detail during the first medical consultation.
If you have been trying hard for pregnancy and have been unsuccessful, surrogacy is a great option. We have a comprehensive and dedicated team which not only includes the best physicians but also coordinators and legal experts coupled with our state of art infrastructure which helps couples embark on this wonderful journey called parenthood.
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