A surrogacy agreement is when a woman carries and gives birth to a child for intended parents. While using a surrogate mother to have a child is still controversial, surrogacy is believed to be one of the easiest and safest infertility solutions.
Surrogacy is usually of two types:
- Gestational Surrogacy: In this surrogacy, the pregnancy is created by transferring an embryo created by IVF so that the baby is genetically unrelated to the surrogate mother.
- Traditional Surrogacy: The surrogacy in which the surrogate is impregnated naturally, by the insemination of the intended father’s sperm, and the baby is genetically related to the surrogate mother.
A surrogacy procedure—gestational or traditional—may or may not have a monetary compensation associated to it. If a surrogate gets paid to carry a child, the surrogacy is commercial. But, if the surrogate does not receive any financial gain except the out-of-pocket expenses such as medical bills, time off work, travel etc., the surrogacy is called an altruistic surrogacy.
Reasons for considering surrogacy:
Surrogacy is an infertility treatment that may be considered when either a pregnancy is medically impossible, there is an unacceptable danger to the mother’s health, or a same sex couple is looking to start a family.
Back in the 20th century when John Rock broke the ground by fertilizing a human ova outside the uterus in 1944, and the cryopreservation of sperm was successfully performed in 1953, the first commercial sperm bank came into being in the year 1971. Noel Keane—a Michigan lawyer—wrote the first surrogacy contract, and continued to work with surrogacy through his infertility center.
It was in the year 1985 that a woman successfully carried a gestational surrogate pregnancy. The baby was born in the United states, and was named Melissa Stern (famously known as Baby M).
Once you have chosen a suitable surrogate, the cycle for gestational surrogacy can begin. The process takes place in the following cycles:
Cycle Synchronization: the menstruation cycle of the surrogate and the intended mother needs to be synchronized—by manipulating the hormones with the help of birth control pills and other drugs—in order to acquire matured eggs and embryos.
Hormonal Therapy: The surrogate starts taking estrogen to invigorate the growth of the uterine lining, and the intended mother begins to to take follicle-stimualting hormone (FSH) to stimulate egg production. This cycle takes around two to three weeks and is monitored with ultrasound and blood estrogen levels till the eggs are ready for retrieval and the uterus is ready to accept the embryo.
Egg Retrieval and Embryo Formation: After the eggs are ready, they are retrieved in a test tube and are taken to the IVF lab. A fresh sample of sperms from the intended father is then placed with the eggs in an incubator, and the number of embryos formed the next morning are collected for further procedure.
Embryo Transfer: The embryos formed are allowed to grow in the lab for three to five days to select the healthiest ones. Once that is done, they are transferred to the uterus of the surrogate mother. A pregnancy test after two weeks determines the success of the process.
Legal Issues associated with surrogacy
Surrogacy comes with certain legalities. Parental rights are not always guaranteed in a surrogate pregnancy. In the past, there have been cases when the surrogate refused to give the baby to the intended parents after the delivery and the State Court had to intervene. For this reason, surrogacy is illegal in many countries.
In India, however, commercial surrogacy has been legal since 2002, and the legal aspects encircling surrogacy are diverse, complex, and somewhat unsettled. The country allows a contract between the surrogate and the intended parents but there is no information as to what will follow if the contract is breached.
Pros and Cons
Surrogacy is often more successful than other infertility treatments. Surrogacy has increased the surrogacy-related fertility tourism of India because of the low costs and the guidelines issued by the Indian Council for Medical Research that favour both the parties equally.
Medically, surrogacy is the safest infertility solution. The only downside of surrogacy is the absence of steps to be taken if the contract between the surrogate and the intended parents is broken.
Success Rate and Prevalence in India
India is emerging as a leader in international surrogacy because of the favourable legal conditions and low costs. The surrogacy packages in India costs almost half as compared to other countries. These packages cover medical and legal fee, delivery charges, surrogate work up and compensation, egg/sperm donor, drugs and medicines, and IVF costs (for gestational pregnancy).
The success rate of surrogate pregnancy is approximately 25% with frozen embryos and 45% with fresh embryos.
After receiving your enquiry, the professionals at Iswarya Fertility Clinic will thoroughly discuss your case with the clinic, surrogates, and egg donors. After you have decided that you want to go ahead with us, the process of screening and locating surrogate and/or egg donor begins. Our lawyers will take care of all the papers and contracts.
After all the papers have been set, we start the process of recruiting your egg donor and/or surrogate. All the egg donors and surrogates are enlisted after proper medical tests and background checks.
We arrange a meeting between the intended parents and the surrogate following which a surrogacy agreement is signed and the surrogacy payment is made.
For cases where the eggs of the intended mother are used, the menstruation cycle of the surrogate and the intended mother is synchronized followed by egg stimulation and embryo transfer. Once the pregnancy is confirmed after 15 days of embryo transfer, the surrogate carries the baby like a normal pregnancy.
For our international clients: Iswarya Fertility Center provides assistance to its international clients with all the procedures. We send our clients application for medical visa, information regarding accommodation near the clinic, and post-delivery procedure (required documents and exit visa).
Call to Action
Iswarya Fertility Clinic operates a 7-day service for 24 hours each day. A reliable team of experts willing to go above and beyond your expectations to deliver state-of-the-art care is always at your service. Don’t hesitate to call us. We look forward to speaking with you.