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Over time surrogacy has contributed to a good percentage of in vitro fertilization (IVF). IVF’s popularity is attributed to the fact that it has a higher chance of success. Surrogacy is when someone carries a pregnancy on behalf of the biological mother. The professionals at IVF Phoenix™, an Arizonia Infertility Clinic explain that fertilization occurs outside the body through IVF, and the embryo is implanted in the surrogate’s uterus. 

Parenting Through Surrogacy: 4 Things To Know

Contrary to popular belief, the baby is not genetically related to the surrogate. The surrogacy process is ideal for couples having trouble conceiving, maybe due to health complications. Some single people who want to have kids without getting married may consider this process. Some don’t want to go through the whole pregnancy experience and choose to undergo surrogacy.  

Although surrogacy may seem the perfect solution, it is essential to note it can be draining both financially and emotionally. Before you go down that route, here are a few things you need to know and tips to guide you in your surrogacy journey.

Parenting Through Surrogacy: Before you go down that route, here are a few things you need to know and tips to guide you in your surrogacy journey.

Understand The Surrogacy Terms

There are some commonly used terms in surrogacy. It is best to familiarize yourself with following the terms, as you will hear them more frequently once you begin your surrogacy process.

Gestational Surrogacy:

Eggs from the intended or donor parents are used for fertilization and implanted in the surrogate. This way, there’s no biological relationship between the surrogate and the baby.

Traditional Surrogacy:

The surrogate’s eggs are used for fertilization, so in a way, the baby has biological ties with the surrogate.

Altruistic Surrogacy:

It is also known as compassionate surrogacy. The surrogate volunteers to carry the pregnancy without compensation from the baby’s parents. Most surrogates are usually compensated for agreeing to carry the pregnancy.

Surrogate:

A person who offers to carry the pregnancy, whether for free or compensation, is referred to as a surrogate or a carrier.

Intended Parents:

These are the people who engage a surrogate to carry their baby.

Parenting Through Surrogacy: Before you go down that route, here are a few things you need to know and tips to guide you in your surrogacy journey.

Seek Legal Advice

Understanding what the law states about surrogacy and surrogate families in your country is essential. Although the United States is one of the few that have fully embraced surrogacy, different states in the US have varying laws that govern surrogacy. Some states only permit certain surrogacy, like compassionate surrogacy, while others have no clear rules. To be safe, always consult a legal advisor before you decide on surrogacy.

Identify Your Surrogacy Team

Surrogacy is costly because it takes a whole team to achieve pregnancy. Before the embryo is implanted, you might have undergone a costly and rigorous process. Here are the professionals you will be working closely with during this time.

Endocrinologist:

The reproductive endocrinologist will take you through the screening and fertilization stages and ensure your carrier is pregnant. Choose someone you can comfortably work with.

Reproductive Legal Team:

Legal contracts will be between you, the surrogate, or the donor if you use one. Your lawyer must draft contracts that cease the surrogate’s rights to the baby after birth. Your rights to the baby should commence immediately after the baby is born. You are best placed with a reproductive lawyer familiar with these situations.

Fertility Insurance Personnel:

Sometimes, the carrier has insurance that can fully take care of her medical and birth needs. But if they don’t, you need to talk to an insurance expert for options on getting her insurance.

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Therapist:

Surrogacy can feel like an intrusion to you and your partner. You must talk to a therapist to ensure you are ready for the baby and the whole pregnancy as you go through this journey, emotionally and mentally.

Choose Between Agency Surrogacy And Independent Surrogacy

Surrogacy Agency:

Agencies help you source the surrogate and follow up on everything else on your behalf, especially the legal part of the process. You should also consider the fees you will incur in working with an agency. Lastly, ensure that you will be working with a surrogacy agency that has a good reputation.

Independent Surrogacy:

The surrogacy process alone can seem like the perfect idea because it may look cheaper. But it would be best if you remembered that since it is not familiar territory for you, some areas you may overlook may cost you even more in the long run. Some mishaps may require you to do more than one legal agreement, which is costly. Independent surrogacy is sometimes very risky unless you are dealing with a compassionate surrogacy like family or a friend.

Conclusion

Of all people involved in your surrogacy journey, the surrogate mother is the person you might interact with most. So, if you are dealing with a surrogate agency, find out about their screening criteria. Some agencies are intensive and include criminal searches, amongst other things, while others might do basic research on the surrogate. Talk to your agency extensively about your preferences. You should also put in mind that surrogacy is expensive. Have a clear plan on how to settle these costs. Prepare adequately both emotionally and financially for the arrival of the baby.

Alicia Trautwein is an Autism advocate, writer, motivational speaker, and dedicated mom of four. Alicia’s desire to advocate for Autism comes from her own autism diagnosis and that of her three children, niece, and brother. Her life’s mission is to educate on autism acceptance and change the world for future generations of autistic individuals.

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