There are three main ways that people become parents. The most common is through natural childbirth, whereby the parents have intercourse, fertilizing the woman’s egg. They go through pregnancy and after nine months they are parents.
A second way that people become parents is through adoption, which has been around for a very long time, often when a relative dies or by visiting an orphanage.
A third way is through a surrogate mother. Genetic surrogacy has been around for a long time, and for that reason is also called “traditional surrogacy”. A man would have intercourse with another woman for the express purpose of creating a child or via IVF. The woman would carry the infant to term, then hand the child over to the couple upon birth.
Thanks to modern technology, gestational surrogacy is now possible, whereby the intended mother’s egg or another woman’s donated egg can be fertilized outside the womb and planted in a surrogate mother’s uterus. No need for intercourse with the surrogate mother, and no need for the surrogate to provide the egg and her own genetic material.
Normally, a couple prefer natural childbirth, but there are some good reasons why a couple would opt rather for a surrogacy arrangement.
The woman is infertile.
If the intended mother cannot produce an egg of her own that is capable of being fertilized, then the couple might opt for surrogacy to create a baby that at least carries the father’s DNA. In such an event, they could opt for either traditional surrogacy or gestational surrogacy with a donor egg.
The woman can’t hold the egg.
In some cases, the woman’s eggs are fine, but the uterus simply doesn’t hold the egg. There might be problems with a thin lining or mucus that is not receptive. In such cases, the couple would typically choose gestational surrogacy using the intended mother’s own eggs. The baby would be the biological child of both parents, but the fetus would develop in another woman’s womb.
Pregnancy would be too dangerous.
In some cases, doctors might warn a woman that it would be very dangerous to bear a child, perhaps due to an injury or a disease she has survived, or as the result of complications in a past pregnancy. In such cases, to protect the woman’s life, the couple might opt for a gestational surrogacy using the intended mother’s eggs. The child would be the biological product of both parents, but the risks of pregnancy would be transferred to a less fragile surrogate mother.
There is a record of failed pregnancies.
Or perhaps, there have been a number of failed pregnancies in the past. The woman might not be infertile, and she might be able to retain the fetus for a while, but there might simply be some reason why she is unable to deliver a live baby. The human reproductive system is complex, and it does not always work as it should. In such a case, the couple might seek out a gestational surrogacy using the intended mother’s eggs, hoping for a biological baby of their own delivered by a woman capable of doing so.Return to Blog