Fertility Treatment Options
- Surrogacy involves a woman becoming pregnant and giving birth to a baby for a couple who want to have a child but can’t.
- Check surrogacy laws in different countries.
What is Surrogacy?Surrogacy involves a woman becoming pregnant and giving birth to a baby for a couple who want to have a child but can’t. The couple may not be able to get pregnant due to infertility, medical conditions that make pregnancy difficult or life threatening, or male same sex couples. Surrogates can be family, friends or strangers matched through an agency or organization.
Types of Surrogacy
- Full surrogacy (also known as Host or Gestational): the intended parents provide the egg and sperm (their own or through donation) to create the embryo which the surrogate will carry to term. The embryo is not genetically related to the surrogate.
- Partial surrogacy (also known as Straight or Traditional): the embryo results from the egg of the surrogate and the sperm from the intended male partner. This type of surrogacy is least common as the embryo is genetically related to the surrogate.
Steps of surrogacy processThere are several legal and medical steps in the process of surrogacy.
- Intended parents and surrogate agree on the process of surrogacy and might need to undergo psychological evaluation and legal mediation to discuss how the process will develop.
- In Full Surrogacy, the female partner undergoes IVF treatment to collect eggs, and the eggs are fertilized in the lab with the male partner’s sperm. In same sex-male couples, an egg donor can be used. At the same time, the surrogate prepares her uterus for embryo transfer.
- In Partial Surrogacy, if the surrogate is providing her eggs, she might have IUI to receive the male partner’s sperm, or IVF where the eggs are collected, fertilized in the lab and transferred into the uterus.
- Intended parents and surrogate may go through the pregnancy process together, including medical appointments.
Surrogacy RegulationsReproductive regulations on surrogacy vary from country to country. Some countries still don’t allow surrogacy treatments. In other countries, surrogacy is altruistic, which means surrogates can only be paid general expenses. And in other countries surrogacy is commercial, and surrogates can be paid for carrying the pregnancy.
It is also important to know that different countries have different legal requirements after the baby is born. In some countries the surrogate’s name will be in the birth certificate and the intended parents will go through a legal process similar to adoption to become legal parents. In other countries, the intended parent’s names will be on the birth certificate from birth.
You can check surrogacy laws by country here.
Research whether surrogacy is the right option for you and what are the regulations where you live and where you intend to have treatment. It is also useful to speak with a surrogacy counsellor and a surrogacy legal advisor.