Surrogacy is a life-altering journey, impacting all parties involved–from egg donors, surrogates, and intended parents. It is a rewarding experience, fulfilling dreams of parenthood and changing lives. At Growing Generations, it is our mission to take care of you during this journey. Understanding what surrogacy is and what it entails is the first step on this journey.
- What is Surrogacy?
- Understanding the Surrogacy Process
- Reasons for Surrogacy
- Types of Surrogacy
- Traditional vs Gestational Surrogacy
- Things to Consider about Surrogacy
- Challenges of Surrogacy
- Benefits of Surrogacy
- Legal and social challenges faced by LGBT+ intended parents
What is Surrogacy?
In a nutshell, surrogacy is a process in which a woman agrees to carry a pregnancy for another person or couple. There are countless reasons why surrogacy becomes an option for individuals or couples. Some are medical while others are more personal in nature.
There are two primary types: traditional and gestational surrogacy. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is the egg donor and biologically related to the baby she is carrying. On the other hand, gestational surrogacy is when the surrogate is not biologically related to the baby she is carrying. This is the most common type of surrogacy today. Growing Generations offers gestational surrogacy services.
Surrogacy involves a complex legal, medical, and emotional process. It requires the involvement of several professionals, including surrogacy agencies, attorneys, fertility specialists, and psychologists. To help ensure a safe and successful outcome, it is important to work with these professionals and understand the surrogacy process and the nature of the journey towards parenthood.
Understanding the Surrogacy Process
Surrogacy is an involved process. Before making the decision or taking the first steps towards it, consider the legal issues, medical processes, and emotional implications that come along with the journey.
Legal considerations include creating surrogacy contracts to establish the rights and obligations of all parties involved and complying with surrogacy laws and regulations in different states and countries. The medical process requires a thorough screening and evaluation of surrogates to ensure their physical and mental health as well as in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures with possible risks and complications that need to be managed carefully.
In addition, surrogacy can have significant emotional implications for all parties involved, including the intended parents, surrogate, and the child. It is important to understand how to manage expectations, communicate effectively, and provide emotional support throughout this process.
Reasons for Surrogacy
There are several reasons why couples choose surrogacy as an option to build their family. Some of the most common reasons are infertility, medical conditions that make carrying a pregnancy dangerous, and same-sex male couples who wish to have a biological child.
Infertility is a medical condition that affects many people and can prevent them from having children. Surrogacy can be a good option for couples who are battling infertility because it allows them to have a biological child even if they are unable to carry the pregnancy themselves. It provides hope and a chance for parenthood by allowing for the creation of a biological child using the intended parents’ or donors’ egg and sperm, which can be implanted in a surrogate’s uterus to carry to term via in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Medical conditions that make carrying a pregnancy dangerous
Some medical conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, can make carrying a pregnancy risky or even life-threatening. Surrogacy is a good alternative for people who have medical conditions that make carrying a pregnancy to term dangerous. Surrogacy allows them to have a biological child without putting their health and themselves at risk.
Same-sex male couples who wish to have a biological child
During the first successful attempt at gestational surrogacy in 1985, the opportunity was not available to same-sex male couples. We, at Growing Generations, are pioneers in this field being one of the first agencies to serve gay and single men. Today, through advocacy, dedication and hard work, same-sex couples are able to realize their dreams of parenthood.
Types of Surrogacy
Earlier on, we briefly mentioned the two primary types of surrogacy: traditional and gestational.
In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is the egg donor and genetically related to the baby she is carrying. The embryos are created utilizing the sperm from the intended father or donor through a process called intrauterine insemination (IUI). This form of surrogacy is far less common than gestational surrogacy.
On the other hand, in gestational surrogacy, the surrogate or gestational carrier is not biologically related to the baby she is carrying. The embryo is created in the lab through in vitro fertilization (IVF) with the use of the intended mother’s or donor’s egg and the intended father’s or donor’s sperm. It is then transferred to the surrogate’s uterus at the fertility clinic. Between the two, gestational surrogacy is the most common option.
Traditional Surrogacy vs Gestational Surrogacy
The main difference between traditional and gestational surrogacy is the surrogate’s biological connection (or lack of) to the child. However, this difference impacts several factors in the surrogacy process: medical procedures, legal process, wait time, costs, and risks. It is up to intended parents and prospective surrogates to consider their own goals and priorities when choosing the right type of surrogacy for them.
Things to Consider about Surrogacy
Surrogacy is a very involved process with many moving parts. Before choosing surrogacy as an option, some of the things that need to be considered include:
Legal, medical, and emotional considerations involved in surrogacy
Legal issues in surrogacy include drafting surrogacy agreements, establishing the rights and obligations of all applicable parties, such as the intended parents, the surrogate, and the egg donors. The laws surrounding surrogacy can vary by state and country, and it is important to work with experienced legal professionals to ensure that legal requirements are met.
Medical considerations involve finding a qualified surrogate mother and ensuring she receives appropriate medical care throughout the pregnancy. The intended parents may also need to undergo medical and genetic testing before the surrogacy process can begin. There is also the task of finding a good match between egg donors, surrogates, and intended parents.
Emotional considerations involve the bond that can develop between the intended parents, the surrogate, and the child. It is important for all parties to have emotional support throughout the process and to communicate openly and honestly with each other.
Screening and Evaluation
Surrogacy involves multiple parties–the intended parents, the surrogate, and the egg donors (if applicable). All parties will undergo a screening process to ensure they are prepared for the surrogacy journey.
For surrogates, the screening process includes medical testing to ensure they are healthy enough to carry a pregnancy, as well as psychological evaluations to assess their readiness for the process. Intended parents will also go through medical screenings. Egg donors are screened thoroughly as well.
It is important to work with experienced professionals throughout the screening and evaluation process to ensure that all parties involved are both informed and prepared for the surrogacy process. This helps to minimize the risks and challenges associated with surrogacy and increase the likelihood of a successful outcome. The screening and evaluation process is an important aspect of surrogacy and helps ensure the safety and well-being of all parties involved.
Role of Professionals in the Surrogacy Process
The surrogacy process requires the involvement of multiple professionals, including surrogacy agencies, attorneys, fertility specialists, and mental health professionals.
Surrogacy agencies assist in finding surrogates and egg donors when needed, as well as guide intended parents, surrogates, and egg donors through the legal and emotional aspects of the process. Attorneys will help with the legal side of the process including drafting surrogacy agreements that establish the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved.
Fertility specialists assist with the medical aspects of surrogacy, including in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures and the monitoring of the surrogate’s pregnancy. Mental health professionals provide education and support for all parties involved in the process.
The involvement of experienced professionals helps ensure the safety and well-being of all parties involved in the surrogacy process. Intended parents will work with qualified professionals to ensure that they are informed and prepared during their path to parenthood.
Challenges of Surrogacy
Surrogacy is a process that may come with challenges–from medical complications to waiting for your surrogate match. Medical complications can include risks to the health of the surrogate mother, such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, or complications during childbirth. There can also be risks to the health of the baby, such as premature birth or low birth weight. Other challenges may include navigating the legal and financial aspects of surrogacy, and managing the relationship between intended parents and their surrogate.
It is important for all parties to be aware of these potential risks and challenges and to work with experienced professionals to address them. This may include support for intended parents and the surrogate, as well as medical monitoring and care throughout the pregnancy.
Despite the risks and with the right support and preparation, surrogacy is a rewarding experience for all parties involved. There are benefits to choosing surrogacy as an option.
Benefits of Surrogacy
For those who are struggling with infertility, medical conditions which make carrying a child a health risk, same-sex couples, or other reasons someone may need a surrogate, surrogacy offers a path to parenthood that may not have been possible otherwise. Surrogacy provides a way for intended parents to experience the joys of parenthood and to have a biological connection to their child.
For surrogates and egg donors, this is an opportunity to help make the dream of parenthood a reality for someone else. Being a part of changing lives and growing families is a reward in itself.
Legal and Social Challenges Faced by LGBT+ intended parents
Though we’ve made leaps and strides over the past couple of decades, LGBT+ intended parents who choose surrogacy may still face legal and social challenges. Laws related to surrogacy vary by state and country, and some may discriminate against LGBT+ individuals or couples. This makes it difficult for them to establish legal parental rights for their child. That’s why it is so important to work with legal professionals.
Working with a reputable surrogacy agency and legal professionals who are both knowledgeable and supportive of their situation can make a huge difference. These professionals will help them navigate the legal and societal challenges they may face and ensure that their rights as parents are protected.
Understanding what surrogacy entails is a step towards your journey to parenthood. It’s a complex process that can involve egg donors, surrogates, and intended parents, and navigating it can be confusing and time consuming. However, with the support of a knowledgeable and empathetic team of professionals, the risks and challenges can be mitigated. At Growing Generations, we’ve been committed to making family dreams come true since 1996. We understand the importance of personalized care and support and strive to tailor our services to your unique needs. Let us help you build your family today.