Medical Tourism Surrogacy In India

The term ‘surrogacy’ implies an arrangement where a childless couple or person takes help of a woman (surrogate) who carries and delivers a child for them. In this procedure, the fertilized egg is placed inside the womb of the surrogate, who carries the pregnancy to full term. A number of countries have legalized surrogacy, yet most have them have their own legal procedures. Several couples who want to be parents are opting for surrogacy services in India. There are a number of surrogacy laws to safeguard the rights of the expectant parents and the surrogate.

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Women who are unable to carry a child due to several causes like inability to healthy produce healthy eggs, absent or malformed uterus, a poor endometrium lining, repeated miscarriage, very high blood pressure, heart or liver disease etc. can opt for surrogacy. Surrogacy may also be considered by women who have failed IVF several times.

With rapid advancement in new fertility treatments, surrogacy has gained popularity and many childless couples world over are opting for it. However, couples who wish to take this route have to go through psychological counseling and medical screening, before the process is finalized. Apart from stringent criteria for expectant parents, there are strict criteria for women who offer to be surrogates as well. As the surrogate needs to be medically, psychologically, mentally and emotionally fit, her family background, education, habits, economic condition, medical tests and medical history are thoroughly analyzed.

Surrogacy utilizes the process of in-vitro fertilization i.e. the fertilized egg is placed in the uterus of the surrogate. Before this, the uterus of the surrogate has to be prepared for implantation using natural estrogen and progesterone. Her ovulation cycle may be monitored to determine the right time to transfer embryos and increase the chances of pregnancy.

There are two main types of surrogacy as follows –

1. Traditional surrogacy or straight surrogacy

In this type, the sperms of an expectant father are placed in the womb of the surrogate by artificial insemination The resulting child becomes genetically related to the father and the surrogate. If sperms of a donor are artificially inseminated into a surrogate using IVF, the resulting child becomes genetically related to the donor and the surrogate.


2. Gestational surrogacy or host surrogacy

In this type, an embryo that has been created by IVF using the sperm and egg of the expectant parents is inseminated into the surrogate. Hence, the resulting child becomes genetically related to the parents but not to the surrogate.

The other types of surrogacy are as follows –

·      Gestational surrogacy and egg donation: An embryo created from donor eggs and sperms of the father are inseminated into a surrogate. The resultant child becomes genetically related only to the father, but not to the surrogate.

·      Gestational surrogacy and donor sperm: An embryo created from donor sperms and eggs of a mother, is inseminated into a surrogate. The child becomes genetically related to the mother, but not to the surrogate.

·      Gestational surrogacy and donor embryo: In this case, a donor’s embryo is inseminated into a surrogate. People undergoing IVF often have healthy left-over embryos that are used for this purpose. In such a case, the resulting child is neither related to the intended parents nor to the surrogate.

The two main surrogacy arrangements are as follows –

·      Commercial Surrogacy: In this arrangement, the couple opting for surrogacy and the surrogate do not know each other. The surrogate is offered a remuneration for the time and effort she will be spending for this purpose.

·      Altruistic surrogacy: In this arrangement, parents, friends or relatives of the couple offer to be the surrogate. Therefore, there is no monetary compensation involved.

Surrogacy is a ray of hope for childless couples or single parents who wish to fulfill their dream of having a complete family.    

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