Surrogacy is one of the assisted reproductive technologies that allows women who for some reason cannot conceive, bear, or give birth to a child themselves to have children.
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In such a case, the help of a surrogate mother is required to assume the pregnancy and childbirth of a genetically alien child. After the delivery, the baby is given to the biological parents, and the surrogate mother often receives financial compensation for her assistance. Sometimes this role is performed by a relative or a family friend, but more often the services of unknown women, who will not communicate with the family afterwards, are used.
The best way to find a surrogate mother is to use the services of professionals. Self-searching excludes additional payments to agencies, but it is very risky: there are many swindlers who are ready to take advantage of the credulity of bio-parents and to “siphon off” money from them.
Ideally, one should apply to specialized surrogacy clinics, where they will choose a gestational courier according to your requirements, as well as provide full support of the pregnancy, legal execution of the contract, and assistance of a psychologist.
How does surrogacy work?
First, hormonal therapy is performed to synchronize the egg maturation cycles of the biological and surrogate mothers. This is necessary because the biological mother’s eggs will be used for the treatment and will be implanted into the surrogate.
After hormonal treatment to increase the number of mature eggs, several eggs are taken from the biological mother for artificial insemination (fertilization). For the same purpose, sperm is taken from the man. If the oocytes (gametes) of the biological parents for some reason are not suitable for the procedure or there is no possibility to remove them, donor sperm or an egg cell is used. According to Ukrainian legislation, a surrogate mother cannot be an oocyte donor at the same time, since in this case she would be forced to give up her own child.
After the oocytes are removed, the egg is fertilized, and it grows and develops for a few days under artificial conditions, under the supervision of doctors. Then, when the embryos (usually several eggs are used) are developing normally, they are implanted into the surrogate’s body. At this stage, it is possible to choose the best quality embryo out of all the embryos, as well as to check it for genetic diseases, if any, in the parents. The surrogate mother may receive one or several embryos of her choice, which is her choice only.
After that, an ordinary pregnancy begins. After delivery, the surrogate mother immediately gives the baby to the real parents, receives financial compensation, and starts taking lactation pills.