Many people around the world are thankful to have found someone they want to spend the rest of their lives with and eager to take that next step of starting a family. But unfortunately, the traditional method of naturally conceiving a child, and allowing the mother to carry that child for nine months, until it’s time to give birth, may not always be possible.
While such a situation presents serious obstacles, that doesn’t mean that those obstacles can’t be overcome. Surrogate motherhood is one such solution. It requires more time, planning and investment, but it can be done. So what reasons would a hopeful family need that would make a surrogate mother a viable alternative?
Love knows no boundaries, but there are still some unavoidable biological limitations. If a same-sex couple is male, this means that it’s physically impossible for either partner to accept a fertilized egg, and carry that child to term. In this case, if a couple wishes to have a child that has some actual genetic characteristics from the parents, there is simply no other choice. A surrogate mother is the only way that a male, same-sex couple can have a newborn child that still carries the DNA of the parents.
There are some cases, where a hopeful family may decide to start at a later stage in life. In some cases, some couples may wish to add an additional family member to an existing family dynamic. However, beyond a certain age, there are greater risks to both the mother and the developing child that may affect the health of both, or even the delivery process when the time comes to give birth. For families that still wish to have a new addition despite the age factor, surrogate mothers are recommended.
There are some rare cases in women, approximately 1 in 12000, where a woman is born without a uterus, or in some cases, due to medical reasons, has had to have the uterus surgically removed. In these instances, it is easy to see why a couple would consider surrogate motherhood, as there is still a very real desire to have children, but the woman in the hopeful family is not biologically capable.
In some cases, a woman may be dealing with some type of cancer that may affect the reproductive process, such as fallopian, uterine or ovarian cancer. These types of cancer have a direct impact on a woman’s ability to conceive and perhaps even successfully carry an infant to term.
In other cases, cancer may not directly affect a woman’s reproductive system. However, the cancer treatment itself may. Depending on the area of cancer treatment, different methods such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy have effects on the uterus that make it inadvisable for a woman to attempt getting pregnant.
Uterine Structural Problems
There may be medical situations where a woman’s uterus is diagnosed as having a “structural issue” due to genetics, or an illness. While the uterus is present and more or less functioning as intended, it may have vulnerabilities that put both the woman and potential child at risk as the pregnancy progresses. If these warnings are ignored, it can lead to serious medical complications, such as impacting the developing baby’s health or even leading to outright miscarriage. Women who ignore the medical advice to give special consideration in a uterine structural problem are taking a very large risk with the life of a child.
Believe it or not, a woman diagnosed with a heart condition can put herself and a child at risk by gambling on a pregnancy. A woman who is pregnant will experience increased demands on the heart as there’s a need for more blood, more oxygen and more delivery of nutrients for the growing baby. Depending on the type of condition a mother has, the strain of supporting a growing infant can lead to congested heart failure. In some instances, the heart condition may lead to factors that can put the child at risk of growing safely in the uterus.
Finally, there may be some hopeful families that have the financial means, but simply don’t have the time or desire to go through a standard birth that requires time off from work, a sizable commitment of energy and resources. There may even be a wish for a more controlled pregnancy process, where issues like a pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to ensure good health, picking the gender of the child in advance, and other characteristics are determined before birth. Then, after a carefully monitored period with a surrogate mother, the family can bring a new child into their lives without the major disruption that comes from pregnancy.
There are many reasons why families might want to consider coming to a surrogate motherhood clinic and for the many services and support provided.