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What Does ‘Surrogacy’ Mean? Surrogate Defined

Surrogacy in the modern world is becoming more accessible, making it easier for people with varying backgrounds to pursue their dreams of having a child. Reasons for using a surrogate to build or expand a family are numerous, as are the reasons for being a surrogate — but whatever the reason, surrogacy is an opportunity to fuel hope and make dreams come true. Here, a deeper look into the definition of surrogacy provides valuable clarity. 

Key takeaways:

  • Surrogacy, or surrogate pregnancy, is when another person carries and births your baby for you.

  • There are different reasons why people may have a baby through a surrogate. Some examples include fertility issues, medical concerns, or if you’re in a same-sex relationship and can’t biologically carry a baby.

  • There are many logistical and emotional considerations when thinking about having a baby through surrogacy. The financial cost can be steep, and the process can be lengthy.

There are many ways to have children these days, and one option is with a surrogate. This is when a person carries and births a baby for another person.

Surrogacy is an option when a person isn’t physically able to carry a child for themselves. This may be because they don’t have the necessary reproductive organs, they can’t get or stay pregnant, or because a pregnancy may be too risky to their health.

Surrogacy can be a complicated process, but it can also be a straightforward one. It all depends on your personal circumstances, your relationship with the surrogate, the expectations of both parties, and your financial situation. Read on for more information about what surrogacy involves, and if it might be right for you.

What does the word surrogate mean?

The word “surrogate” comes from the Latin word surrogatus. It means a substitute, or something in place of something else. In the context of pregnancy, it refers to a person who has a pregnancy and births a baby for someone else.

The word surrogate can mean different things in different contexts. For example, it can refer to a person who makes decisions or performs duties on behalf of someone else. Or, it can refer to an approximate way of measuring something that’s hard to measure.

What types of surrogate pregnancies are there?

There are two different types of surrogate pregnancies: traditional and gestational. The right one for you depends on your personal situation.

Traditional surrogacy

In a traditional surrogacy, the surrogate’s egg is artificially inseminated with the intended father’s sperm or the donor’s sperm. The baby shares a genetic connection with the surrogate since their egg was used. This genetic connection between surrogate and baby can lead to more legal or ethical complexities.

Gestational surrogacy

In a gestational surrogacy, there’s no shared genetics between the baby and the surrogate. The surrogate undergoes in vitro fertilization (IVF) to implant an embryo. The egg may be from the intended mother or an egg donor. The sperm may be from the intended father or sperm donor. Gestational surrogacy is more common.

Can a surrogate be a family member?

Yes, a surrogate can be a family member, such as a sibling or cousin. Whether this is a good option will depend on many factors, including the surrogate’s medical history and willingness, and your relationship with the surrogate.

Why someone would choose to use a surrogate

The most common reason why an intended parent or parents turn to surrogacy as a way of having a child is because they can’t carry a child themselves. This may be because:

  • They have infertility.

  • They have medical conditions that make a pregnancy impossible or dangerous to the mother and/or baby.

  • They’re in a same-sex couple and can’t biologically conceive or carry a child.

  • They’re a single person who wants a child but can’t carry one themselves.

There’s no test or assessment you need to take in order to choose to work with a surrogate. This is a personal decision and an agreement between the parent(s) and the surrogate.

How does surrogacy work?

Once you’ve decided to explore a surrogate pregnancy, the process for finding and partnering with a surrogate goes something like this:

  • First, the intended parent(s) look for a surrogate. This may be through friends or family, or through an agency. Typically, they would meet a few times, and explore different candidates, before choosing to proceed.

  • The intended parent(s) and the surrogate enter into an agreement, and the rights and responsibilities of each party are written down. It helps to have an agency and legal representation at this stage of the process.

  • The surrogate undergoes treatment to become pregnant. This may be through intrauterine insemination (IUI), IVF, or another assisted reproductive technique. It may use eggs or sperm from one or both of the intended parents, or it may require a donor. In other cases, it may be a combination of both parental and donor egg or sperm.

  • The surrogate fulfills their obligation by safely carrying the pregnancy. The intended parent(s) may in some cases attend prenatal appointments and the birth.

  • After birth, the intended parent(s) take custody and become the child’s legal parents.

The specific steps involved in the process will vary depending on what type of surrogacy you choose, your relationship with the surrogate, your agreement, and where you and the surrogate live. Remember that just as with any pregnancy, surrogate pregnancies can miscarry, or develop complications. And, they can also result in more babies than expected — like twins or triplets!

Things to consider when choosing a surrogate

After you’ve made the decision to go the surrogacy path, there’s a lot to think about when choosing who will be your surrogate. It can be an emotional process, and having some questions and ideas about what’s important to you can help. Here are some  important factors you’ll want to ask about and consider when choosing a surrogate:

  • Physical and mental health: Most people look for someone who’s young, healthy, and can carry a healthy pregnancy. It’s a good idea to check age, medical history, medication use, lifestyle habits, and the social support network of potential surrogate candidates.

  • Previous healthy pregnancy: It’s a good idea to find a surrogate who has had a previous healthy pregnancy. This way you know they can carry a baby to term.

  • Expectations: You want to make sure the surrogate shares and is in agreement with your expectations and plans.

  • Relationship: You’ll have to consider how much of a relationship you want with the surrogate during the pregnancy. Make sure to communicate and be in agreement on that.

  • Connection: You may be able to find a surrogate who is a friend or family member, or you may work with a surrogacy agency.

It’s normal for this part of the surrogacy process to feel overwhelming and emotional, but it can also be exciting and hopeful. Remember, there are many resources to help and support you, including your surrogacy agency and online surrogate networks.

Is it legal to use a surrogate to have a child?

The use of surrogates has increased, but the regulations around it vary a lot between different countries as well as within U.S. states. In the United States, there’s no federal regulation, and surrogacy laws vary by state. In some places, surrogacy isn’t allowed at all (such as France and Michigan), and in other places there may be little regulation (such as Ukraine and California).

How much does surrogacy cost?

The cost of surrogacy can vary a lot. It depends on the type of surrogacy, like whether you’re opting for traditional surrogacy or the more common gestational surrogacy. The cost also depends on the type of fertility treatment needed for the surrogate to become pregnant. For example, gestational surrogacy with IVF will cost more than traditional surrogacy with artificial insemination.

Finally, where the surrogate lives will determine the cost of prenatal medical care and delivery.

The total cost for surrogacy in the U.S. can range from $100,000 to $200,000. This cost typically includes:

  • Compensation for the surrogate, typically between $50,000 and $100,000

  • Fertility treatment (several rounds may be necessary)

  • Other medical fees, including prenatal care, delivery, and any complications that may arise

  • Agency fees

  • Legal fees

  • Insurance

  • Other fees, including travel or supplies

Since the costs can vary widely, it’s a good idea to discuss the total cost with a surrogacy agency and/or lawyer.

The bottom line

There are many reasons why you may not be able to carry a pregnancy and birth a child. But, if having a child is something you wish, surrogacy may be an option for you. There are different types of surrogacy, and the process will vary depending on the type of surrogacy you choose, the surrogate, and the place where you and your surrogate live (in the U.S. or another part of the world).

And as you get started on this journey, there’s lots to think about — from choosing the right surrogate to work with, to the significant financial costs involved, not to mention becoming a parent.

When you decide to become a surrogate mother, you create ripples of hope and joy, enabling couples or individuals who face obstacles in building a family and realizing their dreams. Creative Love treats surrogate mothers as part of our extended family. We help facilitate the birth of surrogate babies and offer the highest compensation package in Florida. Reach out to us and explore the possibilities that await! Call us at 954.776.9878 or join our Instagram community here

Reference: [ https://www.goodrx.com/conditions/pregnancy/what-is-surrogacy ]