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Gestational surrogacy refers to an arrangement where a woman (the surrogate) agrees to carry and give birth to a child for another person or couple, called the intended parents. In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate is not genetically related to the child she carries. Instead, the embryo is created through in vitro fertilization (IVF) using the eggs and sperm of the intended parents or possibly donors.
Advantages of gestational surrogacy:
– There’s no genetic connection between the surrogate and the child, which can help clarify legal and emotional aspects of the relationship.
– It allows individuals and couples who might not be able to conceive or carry a pregnancy (due to medical, age-related, or other reasons) the opportunity to have a biologically related child.
It’s essential to recognize that surrogacy laws vary widely from one state to another. Some places have explicit regulations that facilitate or restrict surrogacy, while others may not have specific laws at all. As such, it’s crucial to consult legal experts when considering this path to parenthood.
1. Selection of the surrogate.
Intended parents choose a surrogate, often with the assistance of a surrogacy agency. The surrogate undergoes rigorous medical and psychological evaluations to ensure she is fit for the pregnancy.
2. Legal agreement.
Before any medical procedure begins, all parties involved usually sign a legal contract. This contract outlines the responsibilities, rights, and intentions of the intended parents and the surrogate, including compensation, the medical process, and potential risks.
3. Medical Process.
Once the legal aspects are sorted, the medical process of surrogacy begins.
– Egg Retrieval: Eggs are retrieved from the intended mother or an egg donor.
– Sperm Collection: Sperm is collected from the intended father or a sperm donor.
– In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): The egg and sperm are combined in a laboratory to create an embryo.
– Embryo Transfer: The resulting embryo(s) is transferred into the surrogate’s uterus.
4. Pregnancy & Birth.
If the embryo implants successfully, the surrogate will carry the pregnancy to term. Upon birth, the child is typically handed over to the intended parents.
5. Post-Birth Legalities.
Depending on the country or state’s laws, post-birth legal processes may be required to ensure that the intended parents are recognized as the legal parents of the child.
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