What is Surrogacy?
Surrogacy is an arrangement in which a woman agrees to a pregnancy, achieved through assisted reproductive technology in which neither of the gametes belong to her or her husband with the intention of carrying it to term and handling over the child to the person or persons for whom she is acting as surrogate and surrogate mother is a woman who agrees to have an embryo generated from the sperm of a man who is not her husband and the oocyte of another woman implanted in her to carry the pregnancy to full term and deliver the child to its biological parents.
Who can be a Surrogate Mother?
Has given birth to and be raising that child This is the number one requirement to become a surrogate mother with Surrogate Alternatives as well as all IVF clinics. The reason is that once a woman gives birth, it shows she is able to become pregnant and establishes fertility. The IVF clinic will also require OB records from the surrogate, so the IVF physician can review them to make sure the surrogate had an uneventful and uncomplicated pregnancy.
Has a Healthy Lifestyle
This is very important to all parties involved. Our surrogate mothers must live a healthy lifestyle to be given the trust to take care of someone else’s child. Intended parents basically want to make sure their surrogate mother is taking care of the pregnancy like they would if it was their own child they were carrying. We all know as mothers, that it’s important to eat healthy and exercise while we are pregnant to avoid possible complications.
Be Financially Stable
It’s very important to Surrogate Alternatives that our surrogate mothers are financially stable and not collecting government assistance. The reason that this matter’s to us it that we have to make sure they are becoming a surrogate mother for the right reasons and just not solely on the funds they will receive. Women who sign up to become surrogates understand that it takes sacrifice and time to be a surrogate mother. It’s also a great thing to receive the extra funds for your future, whether used to go back to school or save for a down payment on a first home.
Be a Non-Smoker
This is a very important requirement when you sign up to become a surrogate mother. Smoking during pregnancy can cause a stillbirth, premature delivery, and low birth weight. It will also cut the oxygen off to the baby by narrowing blood vessels throughout your body, including the ones in the umbilical cord. So you see why we do not accept smokers into our program.
BMI under 32
IVF clinics have become very strict in regards to the body mass index (BMI) a surrogate mother must be, in order to become a surrogate mother. The reason for this is, if you are over the normal BMI you are at a greater risk of developing diabetes, which can be a risk not only to you but also, to the pregnancy.
No history of mental illness
To be a surrogate mother you have to be able to schedule appointments, remember to attend them and take the proper medication when the time comes. You have to also be able to read and understand the legal contract you will be entering into with the couple you help. Being a surrogate mother requires you to relinquish your rights to the baby once you deliver, as you are only the carrier and not the biological or legal parent. We have to be sure you are stable enough to be able to do that.
Your age is between 21-38
During our 15 years of experience in operating a surrogacy and egg donation agency, we feel that our surrogates need to be at least 21 years of age to be a surrogate; this is also an IVF clinic requirement. We accept surrogate mothers up to the age of 38, since of course it’s the egg donors or intended mothers who provide their eggs, and not the surrogate mother
The surrogate must agree to psychological & drug screenings
This is one of the standard requirements of our program and the IVF clinic. The IVF clinic not only requires it, but it is important as you are carrying someone else’s child and must make sure you are healthy. The intended parents must put their trust in you, a complete stranger and this only helps them through this emotional process.
IUD’s will have to be removed
If you have an IUD for birth control, you will have to schedule an appointment with your OB or primary care doctor to have it removed. You cannot proceed with an IVF cycle if you have an IUD, as the IVF doctor will need to look at your uterus to make sure there is no scarring or fibroids and he cannot do this with an IUD in place. You cannot have an IUD in you while attempting an embryo transfer.
Tubal ligation is OK
It’s ok if you have had your tubes tied. As a surrogate mother, your eggs will not be used, only your uterus as the carrier.
What are legal issues in Surrogacy?
The Indian government has drafted a legislation, earlier floated in 2008, finally framed as ART Regulation draft bill 2010. The bill is still pending with Government and has not been presented in the Parliament. The proposed law has taken consideration of various aspects including interests of intended parents and surrogate mothers. The proposed draft needs to be properly discussed, and its ethical and moral aspect should be widely debated by social, legal, medical personal, and the society before any law is framed. The bill acknowledges surrogacy agreements and their legal enforceability.(5) The surrogacy agreements are treated at par with other contracts under the Indian Contract Act 1872 and other laws applicable to these kinds of agreements. Both the couple/single parent and surrogate mother need to enter into a surrogacy agreement covering all issues, which would be legally enforceable. Some of the features of proposed bill are that an authority at national and state level should be constituted to register and regulate the I.V.F. clinics and A.R.T centers, and a forum should be created to file complaints for grievances against clinics and ART centers. The age of the surrogate mother should be 21-35 years, and she should not have delivered more than 5 times including her own children. Surrogate mother would not be allowed to undergo embryo transfer more than 3 times for the same couple. If the surrogate is a married woman, the consent of her spouse would be required before she may act as surrogate to prevent any legal or marital dispute. A surrogate should be screened for STD, communicable diseases and should not have received blood transfusion in last 6 month as these may have an adverse bearing on the pregnancy outcome. All the expenses including insurance of surrogate medical bill and other reasonable expenses related to pregnancy and childbirth should be borne by intended parents. A surrogacy contract should include life insurance cover for surrogate mother. The surrogate mother may also receive monetary compensation from the couple or individual as the case may be for agreeing to act as such surrogate. It is felt that to save poor surrogate mothers from exploitation, banks should directly deal with surrogate mother, and minimal remuneration to be paid to the surrogate mother should be fixed by law.
Indications To Go In For Surrogacy :
- Woman without uterus- by birth or by hysterectom.
- Woman with some uterine disease (adenomyosis, multiple fibroids, endometrial damage).
- Woman with chronic ill health (uncontrolled diabetes & hypertension, heart disease, seizer’s disorders, physical disability etc).