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Surrogate mother

A surrogate mother is the woman that carries and gives birth to a baby for the couple who want to have a child but it is impossible or dangerous for the woman to get pregnant.  The surrogate mother transfers the rights and obligations of parentage to the intended parents after giving birth to the child. The word surrogate, derives from the subrŏgare (to substitute), meaning appointed to act in the place of. A prospective parent is an individual or couple who are willing to raise the child after his/her birth.

More on surrogacy (traditional and gestational)

In traditional surrogacy (also known as the Straight method) the surrogate is pregnant with her own biological child but has the intention to quit from her rights after birth and wishes the child to be raised by others such as the biological father and possibly his spouse or partner, either male or female.

pregnant womanUnfortunately, for some women, it is impossible or dangerous to carry a child to term. A wide range of causes accounts for this, including failure of the embryo to implant, recurrent miscarriage, hysterectomy or a pelvic disorder. Some women have serious health problems such as dangerously high blood pressure, a heart condition or liver disease so that pregnancy would pose a serious health risk for them.

The child is conceived through artificial means, using fresh or frozen sperm in IUI (intrauterine insemination), or IVF (in vitro fertilization) or ICSI which are all performed in a fertility clinic.

Sperm from the male partner of the ‘prospective parents couple’ may be used, or alternatively, sperm from a sperm donor. Donor sperm will, for example, be used if the couple consists of two females or the prospective parent is a single woman.

In gestational surrogacy (known also as the Host method) the surrogate becomes pregnant via embryo transfer with a child of which she is not the biological mother. There can be legal arrangements so that the surrogate mother will transfer the rights of parentage to the biological mother or father, or to a parent who is not related to the child (e. g. because the child was conceived using egg donation, sperm donation or is the result of a donated embryo). The surrogate mother may be called the gestational carrier.

In an altruistic surrogacy, the surrogate doesn’t expect to receive any financial rewards for her pregnancy or the relinquishment of the child (however usually all expenses related to pregnancy and birth are paid by the prospective parents such as medical expenses, maternity clothing, and other related expenses).