‘Motherhood’ is a word that carries with it a wealth of emotions. Mothers are a unique group of women, whose dedication and love are boundless. To many, motherhood is the ultimate expression of womanhood and is a privilege that must be accepted with gratitude.
It is very sad when women find themselves unable to bear children whether because of physiological reasons or age. However, with the advent of technology, what was once an impossibility for many has become something that is within arms reach. Even with the challenge of age or infertility, there is now hope for couples who are looking at growing their families through third party reproduction.
What is surrogacy?
Surrogacy is a method whereby a woman agrees to carry a pregnancy for another person or persons, undergoing the IVF process to achieve pregnancy and gestate the baby for the intended parents. It often involves two women: the surrogate who will carry the child for 9 months and the intended mother who is the child’s mother who will rear and take care of the child as her own.
After the baby is born, the intended mother takes her baby home. Surrogacy is generally done when pregnancy may pose a risk to the intended mom’s own health or when pregnancy is practically or medically impossible. Also,surrogacy may be done when a single male or a homosexual couple wants to have a child. Usually, the woman bearing the child for 9 months is compensated a certain amount for the risks and inconvenience she takes on to make parenthood possible for others. In many countries surrogacy is not permitted and therefore intended parents may travel across the world to the United States, in particular California, to pursue a surrogacy arrangement. There are legal agreements regarding this and the entire process of surrogacy is done under the surveillance of law in the US. Also, the surrogate is required to possess certain surrogacy qualifications to participate in the process.
When is surrogacy needed?
Surrogacy provides an opportunity for those who are incapable of conceiving to have a childof their own with the help of another. Kind and dedicated women are generously giving their time to assist single parents, same sex couples, and traditional couples in building their families by becoming surrogates.
Below is the list of some medical conditions that may make it impossible for a person to conceive a baby:
- Removal of Uterus/hysterectomy
- Complete absence or malformation of the womb
- Repeated failure of in vitro fertilization attempts
- Recurrent loss of pregnancy or miscarriage
There might be some other conditions that lead to a loss of the capability to bear a child and make it beyond possible to conceive.
Some basic necessities:
The mother considering becoming a surrogate is required to possess certain surrogacy qualifications which are listed below:
- Must be between the ages of 21 – 42 years
- Must have given birth to at least one child whom she is currently raising
- Financially stable
- Have a normal height/weight ratio and/or history of successful pregnancy at or near current BMI (Body Mass Index)
- Physically and emotionally healthy
A woman who meets these basic qualifications can be considered to become a surrogate mother. The surrogate mother maintains open communication during the process with the couple who will be taking care of the child as well as the agency facilitating the process. She must be emotionally prepared that the child she will carry is not her own and that she will have no parental rights. This act of generosity makes it possible to create new families which were long ago inconceivable.