Imagine infertility. Imagine never being able to have your own child. Hoping month after month, dozens and dozens of pregnancy test kits, hundreds of dollars wasted. And all that heartache. Chances are that if you are reading this, you are only too familiar with the situation. An option today is surrogate motherhood.
One main advantage of surrogacy is that the child is usually related to one of the intended parents. But there are a disproportionate amount of unsuccessful cases with this type of surrogacy. Some of the ethical problems surrounding surrogacy include the rights of the natural mother -- should she be able to change her mind at the last minute, keeping the baby? Who is the arbiter of which woman is the ‘true’ mother of a surrogacy child? Do we define motherhood by the woman who gave birth to the child? Or the woman who rears the child, shaping and molding the character of the child into a well balanced individual? These are difficult ethical and moral questions which you must face up to, if you are considering surrogacy.
Surrogacy is generally defined as a woman who voluntarily agrees, usually for a fee, to bear a child for an infertile couple. But there are two types of surrogacy, in the first, the woman is artificially inseminated with the sperm of the intended father, or sperm donor. The surrogates own eggs are used, and therefore it follows that she will be the genetic or biological mother of the resulting child.
The second type of surrogacy is Gestational Surrogacy which deserves an article all on its own. For now, we will deal with the first type of surrogacy, which is by far the easier, physically, of the two to achieve successfully.
Host surrogacy can be a lifeline to infertile couples who are determined to have their own baby. But it can be fraught with complex ethical, social and emotional problems. This type of surrogacy is probably the hardest for the non-biological mother to accept mentally, as technically, her husband will be producing a child with another woman. It can be equally hard for the biological mother to give up the child, which after all, is genetically half hers.
Another consideration is the legality of any contract. It is strongly recommended that a contract be made between the parties, even if you are on the friendliest of terms. Surrogacy is legal in United Kingdom and reasonable expenses may be paid to the Surrogate Mother. Naturally, this varies according to the persons needs. Do bear in mind though, that arrangements are not legally enforceable.
Also, you should realize that it is illegal to advertise for a Surrogate in the United Kingdom, and this includes on the World Wide Web. If you are unlucky enough not to have a trusted friend or family member who is willing to carry your child for you, the best option is to join organizations (which can be found online), where you will find Surrogate Mothers, and Intending Parents, who are all seeking the right match.
If this is your chosen route for having a child, be cautious. The road is long, with many a winding turn. Check everything, and then check again. The internet is a fantastic resource for most things, and there are many websites you can explore on your quest for the perfect Surrogate. Do your homework, and then take the plunge. The money you will save in pregnancy tests over the years will probably pay for all your Surrogacy costs.
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