There are many loving individuals and couples who would love to have a child, but for one reason or another they are unable to. Oftentimes these individuals will consider adoption, however, using a surrogate mother is increasingly becoming more of an option.
When using a surrogate mother, there is still a way for the intended parents to be of biological relation to the child and are able to have the child that they've always dreamed of, thanks to choosing a caring woman who will bring their child into the world. This woman is known as the surrogate mother.
The process of surrogacy entails the use of one woman's uterus in order to implant and carry the embryo – and subsequently to deliver the baby – for another individual or couple. This is done through the use of in vitro fertilization, or IVF, and there are various different ways to accomplish this.
The success rate for using surrogacy via in vitro fertilization can vary a great deal. One of the most critical factors is the age of the woman who is providing the eggs. For example, overall pregnancy rates using eggs from infertile women are actually higher than with those from women who are fertile.
Gestational surrogacy is typically used when a woman has no uterus, yet still has her ovaries. In this case, the woman is able to provide the egg that is needed, but does not possess a womb in which to carry the baby until birth. In this process, the woman's egg is used along with in vitro fertilization using a surrogate mother in order to carry the pregnancy through to the child's birth.
When going through the process of gestational surrogacy, a surrogate is first chosen and screened in order to determine whether she has any health conditions that could be harmful to the embryo.
When ready to proceed, the surrogate mother is placed on medicines that will help her in developing numerous eggs. Once her follicles are ready, eggs will be retrieved from her ovaries. These eggs are then fertilized with the mother's partner's sperm.
Typically, the embryos will develop over a three to five day period in the laboratory. Once ready, the embryo will be transferred to the surrogate mother's uterus where it is hoped that they will then implant.
Once the baby has developed in the surrogate mother's womb and is ready for birth, the surrogate mother will go through the normal process of delivering the baby. Similar to with other births, provided that the baby is healthy and ready, he or she then leaves the hospital and goes home with the "genetic parents."
There are also legal issues that must be covered when using gestational surrogacy. All parties that are involved will need to sign consent forms after all potential issues and concerns have been addressed and clearly clarified. This is essential – especially if one or more of the involved parties has a change of heart throughout the process or after the baby is born.