Surrogacy is an alternative process to having a child where a hopeful couple goes to another woman, and that woman agrees to become pregnant on their behalf. Nine months later, after the surrogate mother has carried the baby to term and given birth, she then unites that newborn with the hopeful couple, and a new life together as a family begins.
For some couples, this is the only way to make their dreams come true of having a newborn child of their own without using adoption. It’s often the solution pursued when medical circumstances prevent a conventional pregnancy. A woman with a heart condition, or who is past the age of bearing children safely, for example, puts herself at risk if she undertakes a pregnancy. A woman who has a hysterectomy has had her uterus surgically removed to prevent cancer, but this now prevents her from having a natural childbirth.
Surrogacy provides a solution to these obstacles, but unlike traditional childbirth, surrogacy is a team effort that can sometimes require cooperation for different groups to be successfully executed.
What The Surrogacy Agency Does
The core function of a surrogacy agency is to facilitate matching a potential surrogate mother candidate to a hopeful couple wishing to start a family. This is the most important step in the surrogacy process since no pregnancy is possible without a surrogate mother. However, as the surrogate mother is the cornerstone of the entire process, this also means that great care must be taken to select the right candidate, match her to the right couple, and ensure that everyone’s interests are fairly represented and protected during the pregnancy.
For the hopeful couple, the role of the surrogacy agency is to perform the difficult task of searching and “vetting” a suitable candidate. Ideally, a surrogate mother is not just someone in good health but someone who has also already given birth to children. While 21st-century pregnancies are much safer than in previous eras, there are still no guarantees or absolute certainties for a woman becoming pregnant for the very first time. However, a woman with previous experience with giving birth has a proven “track record” and, perhaps more importantly, is prepared and knows what to expect from the pregnancy.
For the surrogate mother, a surrogacy agency provides protection and support. As pregnancy progress, a surrogate mother becomes less able to perform normal daily functions, such as working full-time at a job and requires financial support to ensure she is eating properly and contributing to the baby’s health. A surrogacy agency acts as the mediator and protector of the surrogate mother’s health and welfare.
Where Other Suppliers Come In
However, while handling a very important aspect of the process, a surrogacy agency can’t do this alone. It’s not just the surrogate mother that plays a role. Depending on the circumstances behind a surrogacy, different vendors and suppliers are required to ensure a successful process. Some of these include:
In some cases, a hopeful couple will use a surrogacy agency outside their country of residence. This could be because surrogacy is banned in their country, as with Germany or France. Or it could be that only “altruistic surrogacies,” where a woman becomes a surrogate mother on a volunteer basis, is the only kind available, whereas a “compensated surrogacy,” which financially recognizes the surrogate mother’s role, allows for more choice and options. In either case, if a hopeful couple has to travel, then transport and accommodations need to be handled, which tourism-related suppliers can manage.
Sometimes, a surrogate pregnancy involves using existing biological samples, such as cryogenically preserved eggs or sperm. In these cases, highly specialized services are required to ensure the samples don’t just arrive physically safe but at a specific temperature to ensure they are still viable. Logistics suppliers are essential for this.
When surrogacy involves in vitro fertilization (IVF), this means that a donor egg and sperm are fertilized in a lab, sometimes screened for potential congenital issues, and then the most viable candidates without genetic conditions are then implanted in the surrogate mother. This requires professional labs to handle the fertilization and screening procedures before the surrogate mother can be implanted.
Choosing to have a surrogate baby born in another country means that the automatic conferral of citizenship for the newborn in the intended country of residence is no guarantee. International law services may be required to take appropriate measures after birth to ensure a newborn arriving at the country of residence is not declared “stateless” and not allowed entry into the country.
These services, suppliers, and many other vendors can all play an important role in coordinating a successful surrogate pregnancy. Working with surrogate agencies in this capacity can be a lucrative way to generate more revenue. Establishing these business relationships makes things easier to manage and more cost and time-efficient for everyone involved