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What is Surrogate Pregnancy (Womb Hiring)?

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posted Oct 26, 2015 by anonymous

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2 Answers

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Surrogate pregnancy is one of the Artificial Reproductive Technologies (ART), where a woman agrees to give birth to a child for a couple who is unable to conceive by natural means or have failed attempts of other ARTs. Colloquially known as womb hiring, this method of pregnancy has given hope to many parents who wish to have their genetic relationship with the child, as against adoption, which shares no genetic match. A woman who gives birth through this mode is called as surrogate mother.
There are two kinds of surrogacy techniques:

  1. Traditional surrogacy: Also known as straight or partial surrogacy, this technique involves, artificially inseminating the woman with the donor’s (father) sperm, resulting in pregnancy. This is followed by delivery of the baby, which is raised by the parents. Since, it is the surrogate mother’s egg involved in fertilization; she becomes the biological mother of the baby. Thus, the baby shares a genetic link with the father of the intended couple.

  2. Gestational surrogacy: Also known as host surrogacy, this involves In-vitro Fertilization of the egg of the mother, by the sperm of the father and placing the embryo in the surrogate mother for further nurturing and growth in the womb. Since, the surrogate mother’s egg is not utilized in the process of fertilization; the child has no genetic link with the surrogate mother, who is called as ‘birth mother’ in this case. The couple, whose gametes are used, becomes the biological mother and father of the child.

answer Jan 19, 2016 by Dr Preetam
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Surrogacy is defined as the condition where a couple, who is unable to have children - due to fertility issues, age, etc. hire a womb or resort to another woman to carry the child for them. Surrogacy has been mentioned in the bible when Abraham and his wife Sarah were unable to conceive. Ancient India too has witnessed many queens and kings resorting to surrogacy for bearing the kin to the throne. The woman whose womb is colloquially hired or who eventually gives birth to the baby is known as the surrogate mother.

Contemporary surrogacy took form in the U.S when the first legal or official agreement had been formed for the same around the 70’s. The lawyer who had brokered this agreement then founded an Infertility Centre for surrogacy birth. It was during this period that the Louise Joy Brown, the first "test tube" baby gave way to the idea of gestational surrogacy.

So, basically in this kind of surrogacy, the sperm and egg are implanted into the surrogate mother's uterus. This is a form of surrogacy that most people prefer now, consider the biological compatibility. The other common process is the conventional form of pregnancy. Here the sperm is artificially inserted into the womb of the surrogate mother. But in this case, the genes of the surrogate mother are transferred to the child as it is her eggs that are fertilised with the fathers. Hence a genetic link is established and the surrogate becomes the biological mother of the child.

On the whole, legal contracts are made for considering the process of surrogacy. With mothers changing their mind and psychological stress, a contract perhaps is a safer legal way to ensure that you go home with a healthy baby.

answer May 2, 2016 by Kiran
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