Everything You Wanted to Know about Surrogacy but were Too Afraid to Ask


Even today, the mere mention of surrogacy is taboo in many societies. People raise their eyebrows whenever the term Surrogacy enters their auditory canal. We understand that too many controversies obscure your vision to make a firm decision on whether to go for surrogacy or not.

Don’t worry, after detailed research done for you, we have come up with an exhaustive guide covering everything about surrogacy.

What is Surrogacy?

Surrogacy is a reproductive procedure, often misconstrued as a rented womb in which a woman agrees to carry an embryo to the full term of pregnancy for another person (single man or woman) or couple (heterosexual/homosexual), who will become the parent of the newborn child.

surrogate woman

It may or may not involve a legal contract and monetary compensation. When surrogacy involves any monetary reward, it is termed Commercial Surrogacy and when this service is done with an intent to help childless parents, it is altruistic surrogacy. The legal issues and surrogacy cost varies across geographical boundaries.

Who Opts For Surrogacy?

Choosing a surrogate ship is a tough decision for any woman. Women opt for proxy motherhood when they are unable to carry children on their own.

There may be a variety of reasons for such a compelling decision-

  • An abnormal uterus or absence of uterus either by birth or by post-hysterectomy. Hysterectomy may be caused due to childbirth complications such as heavy bleeding or damaged uterus.
  • Some medical diseases like cervical cancer or endometrial cancer may also lead to the elimination of the uterus.
  • Implantation failure, history of miscarriages, and chronic heart or renal problems.
  • Desire to have a baby with a biological constraint of homosexual couples or single parents (mother/father).

Types of Surrogacy

Surrogacy depending on the genetic origin of the egg can be classified into two traditional and gestational.

  • What is Traditional surrogacy?

Also known as a natural, straight, or partial surrogate ship, traditional surrogacy implies the reproduction method in which the surrogate’s egg is fertilized by the intended father’s or donor’s egg.

Fertilization of an egg in a surrogate may be either through sex or by artificial methods. The relation of the child born to the intended parents depends on who donates the sperm. Like if the sperm of an intended father is used, the child is genetically related to the intended father and the surrogate, whereas if the donor sperm is used then the child is in no way related to the intended parents.

  • What Is Gestational Surrogacy?

Also popular as host or full proxy motherhood, a gestational surrogate ship happens when an embryo created by an in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure is inseminated inside the surrogate’s ovary. An embryo is created in three ways and the child so born using any of the methods is genetically unrelated to the surrogate-

  1. Embryo is the outcome of fertilization of the intended father’s sperm and intended mother’s eggs.
  2. Embryo is the outcome of fertilization of the intended father’s sperm and donor egg.
  3. Embryo is the outcome of fertilization of the intended mother’s egg and donor sperm.
  4. When the donor embryo is implanted in a surrogate. Donor embryo is often left over when others undergo IVF. In this method, the child born is unrelated to the intended parents.

What does surrogacy cost?

Surrogacy Costs

Each surrogacy is unique because of the different factors and the methods engaged. The cost also varies depending on the services involved.

To get a clear picture of surrogacy costs, let us understand a few factors that influence the costs. The cost of Gestational surrogacy, the most widely adopted method has a few deciding factors like agency cost, advertising cost, marketing costs, additional charges for counseling, education, and support, legal services,  medical expenses, surrogate compensation, and reimbursement. The average surrogacy cost ranges somewhere between $90,000 to $1,30,000.

What are fixed Surrogacy Costs?

The services of an agency are availed for background checks, screenings, support and education, promotion, marketing, and much more. If the intended parents choose to skip taking the services of any agency they can definitely cut these expenses, but they will miss out on reaping a few inherent benefits.

If intended parents can find a surrogate volunteer, there is no need for any advertising. But if that is not the case, you have to seek the help of advertising services to find a prospective surrogate. Agency spends a huge amount on advertising because that can only help them to expand the network and domain of their services.

When hunting for an agency, always filter the full-time agencies as their services are more professional and they have a better marketing team.

After finding a suitable match, the agency then undertakes screening of the intended parents and the gestational carrier, checks background, medical and psychological examinations, and various home assessments with an objective to ensure the safety of everyone working with the agency.

Agencies invest in hiring a team of professionals who guide both the surrogate and the intended parents successfully complete the emotional journey of nine months.

The surrogacy costs may also include additional services like an insurance for the surrogate where the intended parents are liable to service the premiums and any other policy-related costs.

What Costs are Variable Surrogacy Costs?

Three components in calculating a Surrogacy Cost are variable in nature-

  • Legal Services– Surrogate ship involves a legal contract between the intended parent and the surrogate volunteering her services. So both of them need an attorney to outline the conditions governing the surrogacy, the compensation to be paid, responsibilities of the parties involved.
  • Medical Expenses- Medical expenses form a big chunk of variable expenses because of the costs involved in IVF treatments and medications. These costs may vary depending on the attempts involved, pre-natal care costs, the need for health insurance, and if the surrogate is not covered by any.
  • Compensation and Reimbursement-  You have to suitably compensate the surrogate for the pregnancy-related expenses right from taking proper nutritious food, medicines, periodic tests, and examinations, creating a maternity wardrobe, supplements, invasive procedures involved, and more.

Also read about: Why to avoid Bananas During Pregnancy?

Key Takeaways

If you thinking of having a baby through a surrogate ship, you have to first understand all the inherent factors. Choose methods that give quick results and are also safe, whether you wish to outsource donor eggs/sperm or you want to be genetic parents. In addition, how much the complete process will cost you, the underlying risks for the child, birth complications, and so on.

Surrogacy is an emotional journey challenging to both the intended parents and the surrogate volunteering her services. It is not even legally acceptable in many countries, in some only altruistic surrogacy is accepted. We have done our job in discussing every aspect related to the surrogate ship and the cost involved, now it’s time for you shed your inhibitions and take a leap forward!

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