Surrogacy has become so popular due largely to the increasing infertility rates combined with an increasing number of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) population around the world.
Surrogacy is successful for those childless couples who are not in a position to carry a pregnancy themselves, due to infertility or any other ovulation disorder.
Infertility affects more than 7 million men and women in the United States, and about 12 percent of women of childbearing age are considered infertile. Most infertile people overcome their struggle with infertility with hospital treatment, including drug or hormone therapies or surgery, but for some no amount of medical treatment can help.
This is where surrogacy comes and works like a miracle.
What is Surrogacy?
Surrogacy can be defined as an arrangement whereby a woman willingly agrees to carry a pregnancy and give birth to a baby for another couple or person.
All surrogacy arrangements involve a woman, known as a surrogate, and an individual or couple, usually called the intended parents.
The word "surrogate" means a person that functions as a substitute or replacement for another person. A surrogate mother thus is a woman who rents out her womb to another couple so that they can have their own biological baby.
The surrogate mother becomes pregnant usually by artificial insemination, using the sperm of either the intended father or a sperm donor, or surgical implantation of a fertilized egg with the intention of giving the child she becomes pregnant with to someone else to raise.
There are two basic types of surrogacy options- Full surrogacy (also known as Host or Gestational surrogacy) and Partial surrogacy (also known Straight or Traditional surrogacy).
Gestational surrogacy - It is the most common of type of surrogacy. In this type of arrangements are involved the intended parents of the child and the surrogate mother who agrees to carry the embryo(s) made either from:
1. the egg(s) and sperm of the intended parents.
2. a donated egg fertilized with sperm from the intended father prior to implantation, via a process called in vitro fertilization or IVF.
3. an embryo created using donor eggs and donor sperm selected by the intended parents.
In this form of surrogacy, the surrogate mother is not biologically or genetically related in any way to the unborn child.
Traditional Surrogacy - With this type of arrangement, a surrogate woman acts as both egg donor and surrogate. In this surrogacy arrangement, a traditional surrogate agrees to donate her egg(s) to be artificially inseminated with the sperm of either the intended father or a sperm donor.
In traditional surrogacy process, the surrogate woman is impregnated by artificial insemination or intrauterine insemination (IUI), and is genetically linked to the child she carries because her own eggs are used in the process.
These two basic types of surrogacy are further categorized into two types - commercial and altruistic.
For commercial types of surrogacy, the surrogate mother is typically paid by the intended parents to compensate her for her role as a fetus carrier. In commercial surrogacy arrangements, the intended parents or individuals pay fee to the chosen surrogate in exchange of completing their dream of being parents. The money is paid to the surrogate in order to cover her medical expenses and any other pregnancy related expenses, including travel arrangements, as well as to compensate for her time and effort.