Surrogate: An Answer to Infertility Problems

Filed under: Infertility, Expert Advice: Pregnancy

Surrogacy is a common solution to infertility Credit: Getty Images


A surrogate is a woman who agrees to become pregnant and deliver a child for another individual or couple. There are two different types of surrogacy:

Traditional Surrogacy: In this case, the surrogate is the child's genetic mother and has conceived with the intention of relinquishing the infant to another family which often includes the biological father. A traditional surrogate may conceive the child through sexual intercourse or artificial insemination.

Gestational Surrogacy: In the case of a gestational surrogate, fertilized eggs from another woman are implanted via In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) into the uterus of the surrogate. This type of surrogate is called a gestational carrier and has no biological link to the child.

Before reaching out to a surrogacy agency, which plays matchmaker between the parents-to-be and surrogate, all potential parents should familiarize themselves with their state's surrogacy laws. Several states prohibit surrogacy agreements. Others have mixed or unclear laws.

A surrogacy agency helps potential parents locate a surrogate. A good agency will perform background checks and psychological evaluations on both potential surrogates and parents. The agency should also perform in-depth screenings of potential surrogates' medical and personal history.

Ultimately, however, the intended parents must choose the right surrogate. And, because the relationship between the parents-to-be and a surrogate is a complex one, it needs to be given careful consideration. The parents-to-be should feel comfortable with their surrogate and potential problems should be addressed well before the lawyer -- usually a reproductive law specialist -- is formalized.

Read more about pregnancy and birth on ParentDish.
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