Surrogacy is a legal arrangement (in a few countries as of now) in which a fertile woman chooses to conceive the child(s) of the intended parent(s) and hand over the baby(s) to them after birth. The surrogate mother is conceived through the IVF process where externally fertilized embryos are transferred to the surrogate mother,and she carries the foetus to term.
There are two different common variations of surrogacy:
1. Traditional surrogacy
In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother used her eggs to fertilize in cases where the intended mother unable to produce eggs or if a gay couple is the intended parents.
2. Gestational surrogacy
In the Gestational surrogacy, the intended mother or a different egg donor provides the eggs. These eggs are externally fertilized through IVF; these embryos are later transferred into the surrogate mother’s womb.
Legalities of surrogacy
Surrogacy laws vary in different countries. Intended parents are to know the complete surrogate rules and regulations of the country before they decide to proceed further.
Countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Bulgaria completely legally ban the practice of surrogacy.
Whereas, countries such as the United Kingdom, Denmark, Belgium, and Ireland legally allow surrogacy only in cases where the surrogate mother does not receive monetary benefits from the intended parents or fertility clinics.
The surrogate mother will only receive reasonable expenses to maintain her health during the term and for any pregnancy-related expenditures. Commercializing the surrogacy treatment is prohibited in these countries, providing room only for unselfish surrogacy.
Countries such as Georgia, Ukraine, Russia and some states of the United States of America have legalized commercial surrogacy making it more accessible to couples that are unable to bear their child.
In Australia, surrogacy laws are different from other countries. Some Australian states have officially banned international surrogacy, which means that the citizens have no option of looking for a different country to choose a surrogate mother for the child. However, some states with Australia permit international surrogacy.
Many couples opt for international surrogacy if their resident country or state has illegalized the surrogacy procedure.
Countries that support surrogacy
The United States of America, Georgia, Ukraine, Mexico, Kenya and Russia are the most popular countries among the intended parents and fertility clinics to choose a surrogate mother. These countries not only have legalized surrogacy treatments but also make exceptional arrangements for the surrogacy procedures.
The surrogacy treatments cost different in a different country and also varies from one IVF fertility clinic to another. There are multiple changeable factors in a surrogacy treatment that will affect the total price of the whole procedure.
The total number of IVF attempts it takes for the surrogate or the intended mother to conceive, whether the eggs or sperms have to be collected from external donors, the cost of the services of the surrogate mother is some of the examples of cost variables in an IVF surrogate programme.
In many countries, it will be months before the intended parents can bring the new-born to their home country due to the legal formalities. This is because the intended parents are not legally recognized as the lawful parents of the baby at the time of birth.
There is a series of documentation that is followed by all parties involved in the process; which is the intended parents, surrogate mother, and the ivf fertility clinic.
The legal custody of the baby goes to the surrogate mother by law when she births the baby. Post this; the surrogate mother needs to transfer the custody of the baby to the intended parents so that they could be legally recognized as the baby’s parents in their home country.