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Can surrogacy be the answer

Surrogacy couple worried

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Infertility can be a heart breaking and emotional roller coaster that so many would be parents find themselves experiencing. Many couples who can not conceive naturally or where the woman can’t carry a child themselves are looking into the possibility of using a surrogate to realise their dream of becoming parents, can surrogacy be the answer?

For some women who are unable to go through a pregnancy for various reasons, another woman carrying her and her partners baby may be their only option; and while using a surrogate is legal in the UK, there are strict guidelines all parties should adhere to in order to provide a successful partnership between parents and surrogate.

You can not advertise in the UK for a surrogate and the same applies for women offering to be surrogates – neither can a third party be involved and receive fee’s for ‘brokering’ relationships between parents and surrogates. It is acceptable for organisations to open channels of communication between the two, but they should not be asked to, or be paid on behalf of parents or surrogates to find appropriate matches. If you are planning on using a surrogate, you should only be paying her for expenses incurred for carrying your child, anything that be classed as paying her a ‘fee’ or ‘paying for a child’ is illegal and no surrogate should request such payments.

What is surrogacy?

There are two types of surrogacy you can choose from, either straight or host. Straight surrogacy is where the surrogates’ egg is used with the fathers’ semen. The surrogate mother will artificially inseminate herself either at home or in a clinic and the baby will in effect have the surrogate host as his or her biological mother. When the child is born, the surrogate relinquishes her parental rights and the mother can legally adopt the baby. This method of surrogacy is the simplest and cheapest option, but may not prove the best for some. Knowing your child is not genetically linked to you can have a detrimental impact on the mother and may give way to more complex questions and answers when they child grows up. Some surrogates may not feel comfortable using their own eggs either, knowing that the child they are carrying and will have to hand over, is biologically theirs. If that is the case, then the other option is host surrogacy.

Host surrogacy uses IVF to fertilise the mothers’ egg with the fathers’ sperm and then transfer it to the surrogates’ womb. The egg can either be fresh or taken from storage. Fresh egg transfer must mean the surrogate and mother’s monthly cycles are precisely synchronised which is done using hormone medications. Eggs which have been defrosted from storage can either be placed directly into the surrogates womb at the appropriate time within her cycle or she may be given medication to ensure the lining of her womb is ready for the egg to be transferred. Even though it is more complex and considerably more expensive, many surrogates and parents find this method better suited to them. Both parents are the biological parents and the surrogate often finds it easier to detach themselves emotionally from the child they are carrying as they are aware they have no genetic link.

In some circumstances when the surrogate doesn’t want to use her own egg, the mother can’t use her eggs or for same sex couples, then donor eggs may be used. Either a friend or relative may donate their egg through an IVF clinic or an egg donor is selected from a list of possible donors. If you choose to use a donor egg, they may have requested total anonymity so you will not get to meet them but will receive limited information about her. In either case, you should be aware that when the child turns 18, they will have the legal right to receive information about the egg donor.


Be prepared

While surrogacy may be the last or only resort for some couples, it can be the answer to many who are desperate to become parents. Parents wanting to use a surrogate should prepare themselves for the emotional and psychological demands that may be placed on them and understand that surrogacy is a selfless and wonderful gift a woman can give and is not a decision that is taken lightly. Surrogates are prepared to go through all the toils that pregnancy can wreak on a woman’s body and give birth to your precious gift; but a successful surrogate arrangement can bring untold joy to all concerned.



About Rebecca Robinson

About Rebecca Robinson

After spending the last 8 years juggling life as a mum of two, wife and working full time as a Project Manager for a global telecommunications company, Rebecca Robinson made the decision to follow her love of writing and took the plunge; turning her passion into a full time career. Since becoming a full time writer, Rebecca has worked with various media and copy-writing companies and with the ability to make any topic relevant and interesting to the reader, now contributes to The Working Parent on articles ranging from credit cards to teenage relationships. Ever the optimist, Rebecca's dreams for the future include a house in the country filled with children, dogs and horses in the field!

Website: Rebecca Robinson

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