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Surrogacy - Everything You Need To Know

Surrogacy Information You Need To Know
Posted on October 07, 2022   |   Comments 

Surrogacy is a method of reproduction whereby a woman agrees to become pregnant and deliver a child for another person. It is useful in situations when a couple cannot conceive or when the risks of pregnancy would be too high. It can also help single men or same-sex couples become parents.

Although formerly a relatively obscure practice, surrogacy is becoming more commonplace. The number of U.S babies born from surrogates increased by 89 percent in four years between 2004 and 2008, and growth has continued in the past decade. Surrogacy is also becoming more well-known and accepted by the general public following high-profile celebrity surrogate births, most recently in the case of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.

That said, the ins and outs of surrogacy remain somewhat of a mystery for many people. That’s why Best Little Baby has put together this guide covering all you need to know about the process, and what it takes to get involved as a parent, surrogate, or egg donor.


What Happens During Surrogacy?

There are two ways to become a surrogate: traditional and gestational surrogacy. Traditional surrogacy involves using the surrogate’s own egg with a father or donor’s sperm, while gestational surrogacy implants both the egg and the sperm. In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate has no biological connection to the baby.

Gestational surrogacy is the more common of the two and uses IVF (in vitro fertilization), where the egg is fertilized outside the body and then implanted into the surrogate. IVF involves several rounds of fertility treatments so your body can produce numerous eggs ready for fertilization. Then, the fertilized embryos are transferred to the surrogate’s womb. Because this is an extremely expensive procedure (one round of IVF costs on average $11,000-$12,000), multiple embryos are usually used, which often results in twins or triplets.


What Are The Potential Risks Or Complications?

Medically, surrogacy carries no more risk than a regular pregnancy, except for the usual risks of multiple pregnancies. However, there is an emotional cost to becoming a surrogate and to giving away the child at the end of the pregnancy. Women considering surrogacy should make sure they understand how this might affect them and take steps to reduce stress, such as getting enough sleep, eating nutritiously, and breathing to help the body relax.

While many new mothers experience postpartum depression, for a surrogate who has formed bonds with both the unborn baby and the baby’s family for several months, this depression may be exacerbated when the baby and the family go off to start their new life. One study concluded that surrogates should get professional counseling before, during and after the pregnancy due to the high risk of negative emotional experiences surrogate mothers are likely to have.

Clear expectations may help alleviate some of this upfront and longer term stress. Drawing up a contract is the best way to prevent conflict and complications between the surrogate and the parents. A surrogacy contract outlines the responsibility of the surrogate (to keep herself healthy during the pregnancy) and the parents (to provide financial support). A pre-birth order establishes the parents as the child’s legal parents before birth.


Becoming A Surrogate

The rules on surrogacy can vary depending on the laws in your state, so take some time to carefully research this choice to find out how best to proceed. If becoming a surrogate speaks to you as a way to help couples fulfill their dreams of parenthood, it’s wise to use an agency. Agencies offer support and guidance and help you understand the benefits of this selfless act.

There are financial benefits to this transaction, and this typically includes compensation for travel, lost wages, and life insurance. That said, surrogacy is an emotionally and physically demanding job, so it should not be taken lightly.


Finding A Surrogate

Prospective parents looking for a surrogate may want to ask someone they know and trust to be their surrogate, but there are definite benefits to using an agency. According to Fatherly, agencies protect all parties to some extent from the legal, logistical, and emotional complications of surrogacy. This can cost more, as the agency takes a fee, but the peace of mind is usually worth it. 


Donating Eggs

Women can also simply donate their eggs to be used in the surrogacy process instead of becoming a surrogate themselves. Cosmopolitan notes that pay for first-time egg donors usually ranges between $6,000 and $8,000 per cycle, and you are usually limited to six donations overall.

As surrogacy’s popularity increases, more people will be drawn to this method, whether as potential parents, surrogates, or egg donors. Giving a loving parent the opportunity to have a child is a wonderful thing, which is why surrogacy can be so immensely rewarding. However, before getting involved at any level, it is important to do your research and know exactly what to expect financially, emotionally, and practically.


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