While deciding to start a family is, for many couples, a simple decision to allow a spouse to become pregnant and commit more finances to future child upkeep, this option isn’t available for many others. Some couples have health considerations that may endanger both the woman and unborn child should a pregnancy be attempted. Others may no longer be medically capable of becoming pregnant due to life-saving surgical procedures, such as hysterectomies to remove the uterus in a fight against ovarian cancer.
Surrogacy, where another woman agrees to become pregnant on behalf of a hopeful couple, is one alternative to overcoming this obstacle. However, in the modern world, there are some situations where a surrogacy agency alone may not be sufficient to the task of bringing a surrogacy pregnancy to a successful conclusion.
Sometimes The Surrogate Candidate Is Just the Start
A surrogate agency still has one of the most important tasks in a surrogate pregnancy. Finding an appropriate surrogate mother is crucial to the success of any surrogate pregnancy. Without someone suitable, it is impossible to proceed, let alone succeed, so in this respect, surrogacy agencies still perform a foundation function that the rest of a surrogate pregnancy process relies on.
This still involves a quality screening and application process. It’s not just a matter of a potential candidate having a healthy uterus; other factors, such as lifestyle, are also critical. A woman in good health who insists on smoking and consuming alcohol during pregnancy, for example, may be medically fit, but her lifestyle choices create unnecessary medical risks. Surrogacy agencies need to protect both the hopeful family and the surrogate mother to ensure a safe, successful process for everyone. But now, other factors need to be considered.
The IVF Factor
In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is now a common request for hopeful families. Where traditional surrogacy uses the surrogate mother’s egg and the sperm of the donor, often the hopeful father in the couple, there are other, more elaborate alternatives to simple artificial insemination, and IVF is one of them. This technique fertilizes a donor egg and donor sperm in a lab. Once successful fertilization has been confirmed, the egg is then implanted into the uterus of a surrogate mother.
This is a popular request for hopeful families that want a “traditional birth” because the child is a true genetic mix of 50% from the hopeful mother and father. However, this is a procedure that is typically beyond the ability of a surrogacy agency to offer. That situation often requires hopeful families to try to source reliable services themselves, putting them at the same risks in this case as they avoided by going to a reputable surrogacy agency instead of trying to find a surrogate mother candidate on their own.
Providing More Efficiency & Safety
It is increasingly becoming more efficient and safer for all parties when agencies are aware of surrogacy technologies, protocols, and groups and form alliances with these groups to ensure a better experience. The vast majority of hopeful couples are entering into surrogacy for the first time, effectively “blind” and ignorant. This is why having an experienced surrogacy agency to screen for appropriate surrogate mothers is critical.
But now, being able to lead hopeful families through the entire process, not just ending it at pairing a surrogate mother to a hopeful family, leads to a safer, happier conclusion for everyone. Additional areas where cooperation can be vital are:
Some instances of IVF require an extra procedure to be taken. There will be circumstances where a woman would still like to have a child with her DNA, but surgery such as a hysterectomy will make that impossible. Her alternative is to have the remaining viable eggs harvested and stored until later when they will be used for IVF.
However, retrieving and transporting these stored eggs is an exacting, delicate process requiring specialized expertise. Only Surrogacy agencies with medical logistics experience should be involved in this process.
Some circumstances for surrogacy require travel to other countries. This is typically the case if a country of residence does not legally permit compensated surrogacies, where a surrogate mother receives financial recognition for her contribution to the process.
However, traveling to another country can mean legal complications for the child born there. A baby is not guaranteed automatic citizenship upon being brought back to the country of intended residence with parents. In the worst cases, without proper legal action, a child may not be allowed to enter a country and is deemed “stateless,” without citizenship or entry rights, meaning the parents cannot reenter the country unless they are willing to abandon the newborn.
The increasing complexities and options for surrogate pregnancies mean that sometimes there is more to a family’s safe beginning than just finding an appropriate surrogate mother candidate. Cooperation with other surrogacy groups contributes to the success of a safer, happier, legal surrogate pregnancy.