What Is Surrogacy

Surrogacy is perhaps the most complex and difficult way to achieve parenthood. A surrogate mother is one who lends her uterus to another couple so that they can have a baby, the word "surrogate" meaning substitute or replacement.

Deciding to go in for surrogacy is a very hard decision for most couples, because of the many variable involved, and they have many concerns - social, legal, emotional and medical.

Women who agree to become surrogates may do so for compassionate reasons. These include a sister, mother or close friend of the couple. They may also do so for financial remuneration - and this could be a woman, with or without children, known or unknown to the couple, who rents her womb for a fee.

There are two main kinds of surrogacy:

  1. Traditional surrogacy, where the surrogate mother provides the egg. In this case, the surrogate is inseminated artificially by the husband''s sperm. In this case, the infertile woman has no genetic relationship to the baby. This is not allowed legally in India at present.
  2. Gestational surrogacy, where the infertile woman ( or an egg donor) provides the egg, which is then either transferred to the surrogate mother by GIFT along with her husband''s sperm; or fertilised in vitro by IVF with her husband''s sperm and an embryo transfer performed to the surrogate''s uterus, which then acts as an incubator for the next nine months.

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