A practice wherein infertile couples (referred to as Intended Parents/Couple) can hire another woman (often known as Surrogate Mother) to bear and deliver a child on their behalf. Usually, a surrogate mother is hired when the female partner experiences a womb malfunction.
The volunteer surrogate will be inseminated with the fertilised egg and the sperm usually of the intended parents(embryo) through the process of In-Vitro-Fertilization. IVF is a manual way of fertilising the egg and sperm outside the human body, when the embryo is formed it will be surgically implanted in the surrogate’s womb. This case is much different than the traditional method as it does not use the surrogate’s egg and therefore surrogate is not the biological mother. The egg and/or the sperm can be from any individual apart from the surrogate.
The surrogate volunteers to donate her egg and carries the baby until birth, the surrogate will be the biological mother. This usually takes place when the intended mother is not able to conceive naturally due to various issues such as older age, history of miscarriage, incapable of reproducing, absence of uterus or the uterine wall or cervix deformity.
An arrangement in which a surrogate is paid for carrying foetus of the intended couple in her womb. Medical expenses and other expenses of the surrogate are sponsored by the intended parents. A contract or a mutual agreement is signed by the surrogate and the intended parents to avoid disputes over reimbursements of medical expenses and promised compensation.
For various reasons, commercial surrogacy was critically questioned by many, calling it an act of exploiting the women below the poverty line. Hence many countries switched to an arrangement called Altruistic. As per this arrangement, a woman could voluntarily come forward and support the intended parents in having a child. The law in many countries allows an Altruistic Surrogate to only avail a reimbursement of the medical bill.
When the intended mother is not able to produce egg or is experiencing a womb malfunction. This is known when the intended couple undergo a series of treatments through assisted reproductive techniques like In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) themselves.
We can see mushrooming of agencies everywhere to connect patients and hospitals. But many of these are not authorized by the law. These unauthorized agencies promise to get a surrogacy arrangement done for quite a lesser cost than what a legally authorize agency would charge. But the intended couple could be undergoing an arrangement in the unhealthiest environment. They hire surrogate mother breaching the law. Hence it is recommended to know completely about the market practice before calling an agency for assistance.