Every family has one important purpose in life – being a parent. Unfortunately, this does not happen for everyone. And some married couples would never have experienced happiness and parental feelings if there weren’t other women ready to give birth and childbearing for another family. Therefore, surrogacy – one of the assisted reproductive methods in the treatment of infertility.
This program is a program in which a woman of her own free will agree to conceive in order to give birth and give birth to a child who is not related to blood and will be given to biological parents for education. This happens in the presence of medical indications and informed consent for medical attention.
This is used when pregnancy and childbirth are prohibited or medically impossible for a woman who wishes to have a child. For example, when there is the absence or abnormal development of a woman’s reproductive organs, structural and morphological changes in the endometrium, extragenital pathologies, genetic pathology, risk is very dangerous for the life of the mother and child.
A woman between the ages of 18 and 35 who is physically and mentally healthy can become a surrogate mother. They should definitely have children born naturally. If the potential mother is married, you must obtain a notarized written consent from the husband for IVF.
A woman acting as a surrogate mother to participate in the program and assist a married couple receives monthly financial compensation and wages after the birth of a child.
The benefits of surrogacy for these women include:
- the opportunity to help a couple with infertility;
- complete confidentiality;
- legal support;
- free medical support for the entire term;
- timely payments in an appropriate manner;
- psychological support;
- the legality of all procedures.
Types of surrogacy
Depending on how the fertilization procedure will take place, there are 2 types of surrogacy – gestational and traditional.
The traditional one is characterized by the fact that conception takes place with the help of the sperm of the man who will be the father of the child and the egg of the surrogate mother who will carry the fetus. This method came to us from ancient Rome when men sold their wives to married couples who had no children. Insemination took place through sexual intercourse with a “hired” mother, which resulted in the birth of a legal child of an infertile couple. Of course, nobody uses this method for a long time anymore. For fertilization, IVF is performed and an already healthy embryo is implanted in the uterus of the surrogate mother.
It is rarely used today. This is due to the moral and ethical position of many countries and religions. The reason for this are clear examples of a surrogate mother not wanting to give her birth child, thinking it is her own child. Since the egg, the child has 50% genetic relationship and can claim parental rights according to the laws of most countries. Therefore, this type of motherhood is prohibited in most parts of the world.
Gestational Surrogacy. This type is the best known method and is allowed in most of the countries tolerant of surrogacy. This method allows the use of the genetic father’s sperm and the mother’s egg (if not available, the donor’s egg is used). Then, in vitro fertilization is performed and the healthiest embryos are placed in the uterus of the surrogate mother. She carries and gives birth to a child and then passes it on to genetic parents. Thus, the genetic similarity with the surrogate mother is eliminated and the married couple takes their own children. This method is considered more humane and moral.
Pregnancy surrogacy is divided into subtypes:
- Program using your own eggs. One of the options for surrogacy when the program uses a married couple’s sex cells. However, this is only possible if the woman’s ovaries are functioning normally and are able to produce healthy eggs. For this, the female is subjected to hormonal stimulation of the ovaries. Then, the mature eggs in the lab are inseminated with the sperm of the genetic father. After that, mature embryos are placed in a surrogate mother’s womb.
- Program using donor eggs. It is used for problems with the expectant mother’s own egg production or genetic abnormalities. An oocyte donor was selected for the couple and is currently undergoing ovarian stimulation to obtain an egg. After fertilization with the sperm of the genetic father, the embryos are transferred to the uterine cavity of the surrogate mother. Thus, the child has half the genetic similarity.
- A married couple brings their surrogate mother. This woman is a direct relative or simply a woman close to the family. The advantages of this method are that the couple is emotionally close to this woman, they know their habits and qualities, that is, they trust her more, and the surrogate mother is less nervous. There is also savings on the selection of surrogates and the final reward.
In Ukraine, at the legislative level, it is allowed to participate in gestational surrogacy programs. A married couple can use their own eggs or donated eggs.