Surrogacy is a relatively new means of assisted reproduction where a surrogate mother carries and bears a child on behalf of an intended parent. It is a method for millions around the world who experience fertility challenges and those who feel the need to have children without the ability to do it on their own.
Surrogacy is a generally positive experience for surrogate mothers, who are women who embark on this journey after completing their own families. The desire to assist those who would not otherwise be able to have children drives, a surrogate mother.
Making the decision to the surrogate mother
Surrogacy is a deeply personal decision considering the rigors of pregnancy and the eventual necessity of handing over a baby to its intended parents.
There are a few factors to consider when seeking to find out whether surrogacy is right for you. These include:
- your comfort level with previous pregnancies,
- the type of surrogacy you are more interested in, and
- whether you are going to pursue surrogacy independently or through an agency.
These decisions will help you outline what your preferences and goals are throughout the surrogacy process.
After ensuring that she meets the criteria for being a surrogate mother, individuals undergo health screening. where medical professionals seek to uncover any genetic, physical, and mental health challenges that may impede a healthy pregnancy.
This screening also spills over into non-medical factors like social status, criminal history, and child abuse history among other aspects relevant to parenthood.
A surrogate mother is matched with a profile of intended parents with whom they share values after being deemed a qualified candidate for surrogacy.
This is often lengthy since intended parents may meet a few candidates to ensure they find a surrogate they relate with and feel most comfortable around.
Following this matching, the intended parent and a surrogate meet in person, at which point an agreement is signed and the surrogate is ready to travel.
IVF is used to implant an embryo into the uterus of a surrogate. A full IVF cycle takes nearly three weeks and requires a 10-day wait between transfers and when a pregnancy test can produce results.
After a pregnancy test proves that the IVF was effective, it marks the beginning of the 9-month journey where the embryo grows into a child.
During this stage, surrogates undergo close health monitoring in addition to counseling that improves and stabilizes mental and emotional well-being.
The period of pregnancy also allows sufficient time for the intended parents and their respective surrogate mothers to get to know each other better. During doctor’s visits and planned counseling sessions, both parties understand each other and form a bond that often outlives the surrogacy journey.
Surrogacy experts also advise preparing the baby for emotional transfer after birth, since a child becomes used to the surrogate mother’s voice and touch during birth. An infant may experience shock after losing this familiarity after birth, so steps should be taken to make the transition easier for the intended parents.
A proven means of doing this is by encouraging intended parents to talk to the baby during pregnancy. Another way is by providing a transitional item that parents can take home after birth.
Birth and Handing Over
Surrogates typically have a difficult time adjusting to life after giving birth because they have already given the baby to the intended parents. Surrogates typically have a difficult time adjusting to life after giving birth because they have already given the baby to the intended parents. As one gets used to the idea that the child rightfully belongs to someone else, this feeling gradually gets better.
A study by Oxford Academics published in Human Reproduction Volume 18, Issue 10 found that surrogate mothers did not have or express any doubts about the decision to relinquish a child to their intended parents.
The researchers discovered that any significant disagreements with this viewpoint were resolved long before birth by those who faced them early in pregnancy.
The research came to conclusions that were consistent with other studies findings and the experiences of many previous surrogates. This demonstrates how important it is to prepare emotionally and psychologically for a surrogacy process in order to ensure a successful outcome for all parties involved.
Parents typically keep in touch with their surrogates, though this varies from family to family and is frequently decided upon early on in the relationship.
For surrogate mothers, it is important to have a support system that they can lean on after pregnancy. Typically, surrogates should not be afraid to reach out to their intended parents when feeling overwhelmed by the physical and emotional implications of the pregnancy.
Surrogacy is a deeply personal process that requires a willing and generous spirit, armed with the knowledge that a surrogate imparts an invaluable gift to another person who struggles with fertility and childbearing. If you’re interested, speak with a surrogacy agency to learn more about the procedure, the rules, and what other people who have been in your situation have generally experienced.