The decision to have a child through surrogacy could at most times be confusing and emotionally stressful. The surrogacy process could be unclear and psychologically daunting mainly due to the lack of information. We hope to address each and every concern about surrogacy helping you understand every step forward, making sure that you face no surprises later. If you have any queries abut the surrogacy process, feel free to contact us for a free consultation.
If a woman is not able to carry a child due to any medical factor, then surrogacy could be her only option to have her own child. Gestational surrogacy helps those who are unable to have children on their own to become parents. It’s a process that requires medical and legal expertise.
What is Surrogacy?
A gestational surrogacy arrangement is an arrangement wherein a woman called the surrogate mother helps an infertile couple to have a family. Surrogacy is an arrangement in which a woman agrees to carry a pregnancy that is genetically unrelated to her and her husband, with the intention to carry it to term and hand over the child to the genetic parents. In this procedure, the surrogate mother would not generically related to the child.
The following is the usual process that is followed when working with GiftLife Egg Bank. We have tried to ensure that the process is as simple and transparent as possible to ensure that the intended parents and the surrogate mother have a clear understanding before they move forward.
Step 1] Counselling and Registration
You are welcome to take up counselling either directly at our office or through Skype conference call. You would be designated with a case manager who shall counsel you on the process and legalities of the surrogacy arrangements. You are free to address any of your concerns to your case manager, who shall explain the process to you.
After understanding the process, you would be required to complete an application specifying your requirements you expect from your prospective surrogate mother. In case you would want the surrogate mother to stay with you during the period of the surrogacy arrangement, you can specify that too. You can also specify location preferences, education of the surrogate mother or any other medical requirement.
Step 2] Shortlisting Surrogate Mothers
GiftLife has a database of candidates willing to be surrogate mothers. Based on the requirements, the Case Manager shall provide with profiles matching the required criterions. You can find the surrogate mother profiles online at our website: giftlife.in. The profiles of the candidates would contain all non-identifying information of the candidate such as age, maternity history, medical and fertility history, family medical history, personal character, compensation etc. To be eligible for being a surrogate mother, the candidate must have completed her family, meaning that she is not looking forward to have any children of her own. The compensation of the surrogate mother is decided by the surrogate and is found in her profile.
You can shortlist the candidates by going through the profiles and inform your case manager about your choice. The case manager shall assess the viability of the surrogate mother after taking into consideration several factors such as convenience for the surrogate mother, reliability, medical history etc. Alternatively, your case manager shall also recommend you with profile that may match your requirements. After perusal of the different profiles, you are free to choose two candidates for the medical screening.
Step 3] Surrogate Mother Medical Screening
After a surrogate mother has been chosen, the surrogate mother would be required to attend medical screening at any medical facility of the choice of the intended parents. The medical screening shall ensure that the surrogate mother is medically fit and is capable of carrying a pregnancy. Also, the medical screening of the surrogate mother ensures that she does not carry any transmittable diseases. If the surrogate mother is medically fit then the Intended Parents can meet the surrogate mother. If the surrogate mother is not medically fit, intended parents can choose a surrogate mother.
Step 4] Meeting with the surrogate mother candidate and her family
Your spouse and yourself would be required to meet the surrogate mother and her family to discuss about the surrogacy arrangement. The discussion is usually semi-formal meeting whereby the Intended Parents and the Surrogate Mother's Family can get to know about each other. The stages and quantum of payment of the compensation would also be discussed at this stage. The Intended Parents are free to interview the surrogate mother and can extinguish any concerns about the candidate or the process.
Step 5] Medical Counselling about the surrogacy process
After successful completion of meeting with the surrogate mother, the surrogate mother would be provided medical counselling by the Doctor of your choice, who would be handling the medical process. The surrogate mother has to be fully informed of any possible medical risk that she may encounter in the process. This would also be a forum where the surrogate mother can be informed as to how she should be conducting herself during the period of gestation.
Step 6] Legal Counselling Surrogacy agreement
The surrogacy agreement is the document that governs the rights and responsibility of the parties during the surrogacy arrangement. A legal consultant specialising in surrogacy arrangements shall draft the surrogacy agreement based on the earlier discussion between the surrogate mother and the intended parents. The document shall also be in the language that is normally understood by the surrogate mother. The surrogate mother shall be independently counselled by a lawyer, who ensure that she ensure that she understands her legal rights and responsibilities. Intended Parents and the Surrogate Mother's family would be required to enter into the surrogacy agreement. After the signing of the surrogacy agreement, a copy of the document can submitted to your medical service provider to take forth the surrogacy arrangement and to process the Embryo Transfer.
Step 7] Surrogacy Embryo Transfer
The Embryo Transfer is the medical process whereby the embryo created out of the gametes of the intended parents are implanted into the surrogate mother's womb. The further conduct of the parties shall take be in accordance with the surrogacy agreement.
The gametes (eggs and sperms) of the Intended father and the intended mother are used to create the embryos in the laboratory. If the Intended father or the Intended mother are unable to use their gametes, then donor gametes may be used to create the embryo. The Embryos are implanted into the wombs of the surrogate through a process called Embryo Transfer. The Surrogate Mother carries the child to the term of the pregnancy and shall hand over the custody of the child to the intended parents, after the child is born.