Surrogacy, also commonly known as surrogate motherhood, is the voluntary practice in which a woman gestates a baby for another person or couple. At a genetic and legal level, the baby will belong to the parents. It is considered that when a woman donates her gestational capacity, she decides to gestate the child for another couple or person.
The most common thing about surrogacy is that the process is carried out by creating one or more embryos, following the in-vitro fertilization technique, then proceeding with the transfer to the uterus of the surrogate mother. Taking into account that the embryo is requested according to the wish of the future parents, eggs, and sperm provided by them are usually used. Otherwise, you can also use donor eggs.
The most basic function of the surrogate mother is to gestate and have the baby. However, in certain situations, she is also responsible for providing the egg (these cases are becoming less common and, in certain countries, it is prohibited).
Legislation Of Surrogacy
This topic is quite controversial. According to the legislation of some countries, surrogacy is not allowed. Therefore, before starting the process, it will be crucial to compare the legislation of the different countries, thus being able to choose the one that offers the greatest possible security on it. When studying the law, it will be necessary to consider both the rights and obligations of those involved, the way to act in the event of problems, the form of contract, people who are going to accept the pregnancy, the choice of the pregnant woman and the compensation she will receive.
Surrogate motherhood in the United States, according to the legislation of the country, offers maximum security for future parents. Specifically, California is a state that is much more tolerant towards this issue. In this way, any person or couple can access treatment (regardless of race, marital status, or sexual orientation). The women will carry the baby voluntarily and altruistically and will undergo the appropriate medical controls (physical, psychological, and emotional) to guarantee that the entire process works as per the requirements of both parties. In the United States, the law prohibits the surrogate mother from providing her own eggs, so donor eggs are used so that there is no link between the surrogate mother and the baby. To offer maximum guarantees to the parents, there is a court ruling before the birth that dictates the baby's parentage to the intended parents. Hence, it can be said that surrogacy is a good alternative that allows many people to fulfill their dream of having a biological child.
Types Of Surrogacy
Surrogacy can vary based on two main aspects. On one hand, surrogacy can be traditional or gestational, depending on the origin of the eggs. On the other hand, depending on whether or not the surrogate mother receives financial compensation, surrogacy can be classified as commercial or altruistic. Here, each modality of surrogacy is detailed, taking into account the two previous factors.
● Traditional Or Gestational
Depending on the origin of the eggs, we can classify surrogacy as partial or complete:
A) Partial, Traditional, Or Linear Surrogacy
In this case, the pregnant woman is the biological or genetic mother of the embryo. Therefore, the pregnant woman is the one who provides her own eggs for fertilization. In this situation, it would not be necessary to carry out in-vitro fertilization, but the assisted reproduction technique applied would be Artificial Insemination (AI), either with donor sperm or sperm of the future father.
B) Complete, Total, Or Gestational Surrogacy
It means that the pregnant woman only acts without providing her eggs. The surrogate mother is in charge of carrying the pregnancy to term and giving birth to the baby. In this type of surrogacy, the baby will be biologically the child of the intended parents (or donors, if necessary). Therefore, it will be required to resort to IVF to generate the embryos, which will be transferred to the pregnant woman.
Out of these two types of surrogacy, it should be noted that the partial form is practically in disuse. Most of the countries in which surrogacy is allowed by law carry out the complete and non-traditional gestational process.
● Commercial Or Altruistic Surrogacy
We can classify the surrogacy technique according to whether the surrogate receives financial compensation for the pregnancy or not. In this sense, we differentiate between:
A) Commercial Surrogacy
The surrogate mother receives payment for the pregnancy, in addition to the expenses derived from it.
B) Altruistic Surrogacy
The surrogate does not receive any payment beyond the reimbursement of the expenses derived from the pregnancy, such as maternity clothes, medical check-ups, specific food, trips to the hospital, etc.
Carrying out one type or another of surrogacy will cause the price of the treatment to vary since the commercial option, and the need to resort to egg and/or sperm donation make the procedure more expensive. In addition to that, the price of surrogacy may be higher or lower depending on the country where it is performed due to the characteristics of each destination.
Surrogacy is an ethically controversial technique, and, therefore, it is not accepted in all countries. A lot of destinations with favorable regulations does not show the same conditions and requirements.
Common Surrogacy Destinations
There are countries like the United States that allow any modality (commercial, altruistic, partial, total) and for any person or couple (man, woman, homosexual or heterosexual couple) and others like Canada that only allow altruistic surrogacy although applied to any family model. There are destinations such as Ukraine where only heterosexual couples can access this technique and others such as Spain, France, or Germany where the method is not allowed. Moreover, the egg donation age differs from country to country.
If you are looking for a detailed consultation on surrogacy before you decide to consider it, get in touch with us. We can help you understand the process, the surrogacy cost in the USA, and the disqualifications for surrogacy so that you can make an informed decision.