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How Surrogacy Works: The Step-By-Step Process

Surrogacy offers a path to parenthood for individuals or couples who are unable to conceive or carry a pregnancy themselves. The process involves a woman, known as a surrogate, carrying a child on behalf of the intended parents. Understanding the step-by-step process of surrogacy is important for those considering this option. In this article, we will explore the surrogacy process in-depth, covering key steps from initial preparations to the child’s birth.

Surrogacy, a journey of love, hope, and collaboration, serves as a hope for many aspiring parents to realise their dreams of family. This article looks into the journey from initial decision-making to the successful moment of welcoming a new life. By detailing this process’s medical, legal, and emotional phases, this article aims to help prospective parents and surrogates. It seeks to provide them with essential knowledge, ensuring that they navigate every step with clarity, understanding, and utmost care for all involved.

1. Preparing for Surrogacy: 

Several steps must be taken to ensure readiness and preparation before embarking on the surrogacy journey. This section covers the following subsections:

a. Understanding Surrogacy Options: 

Intended parents must familiarise themselves with the different types of surrogacy, such as traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. They should explore each type’s legal and emotional implications and determine which option best aligns with their needs and preferences.

b. Finding a Surrogacy Professional: 

couple at surrogacy centre

Identifying a reputable surrogacy agency or professional is crucial. Intended parents should conduct thorough research and seek recommendations. They should also interview potential agencies or professionals to ensure they are experienced, trustworthy, and align with their values.

c. Legal Considerations: 

Consulting with a reproductive attorney specialising in surrogacy is essential. The lawyer will guide intended parents through the legal process, including drafting and reviewing surrogacy contracts, clarifying parental rights, and addressing any legal complexities.

2. Matching with a Surrogate: 

Once the initial preparations are complete, the process of matching with a surrogate begins. This section includes the following subsections:

a. Surrogate Screening and Evaluation:

The surrogacy professional will screen potential surrogates for medical and psychological suitability. This process may involve interviews, medical assessments, background checks, and reviews of the surrogate’s reproductive and obstetric history. Compatibility between the intended parents and the surrogate, including shared values and expectations, is also considered.

b. Surrogate Selection: 

Intended parents are typically presented with profiles of potential surrogates who have been pre-screened and meet their specified criteria. They can review these profiles, ask questions, and meet or interview the surrogates before deciding.

c. Building a Relationship: 

Establishing a strong relationship and open communication between the intended parents and the surrogate is important. Building trust, understanding each other’s expectations, and creating a supportive environment are essential for a successful surrogacy journey. This may involve regular meetings, discussing preferences, and jointly making decisions regarding medical procedures, prenatal care, and other aspects of the surrogacy process.

3. Medical Procedures and Pregnancy: 

This section focuses on the medical procedures involved in surrogacy and the progression of the pregnancy. This includes:

a. Fertility Treatments: 

If the chosen surrogacy method is gestational surrogacy, the intended mother or an egg donor undergoes ovarian stimulation to produce multiple eggs. The eggs are then fertilized with the intended father’s sperm or donor sperm through in vitro fertilization (IVF). The experts carefully evaluate the resulting embryos and then transfer one or more to the surrogate’s uterus.

b. Prenatal Care and Support: 

prenatal care for surogacy

Throughout the pregnancy, the surrogate receives complete prenatal care, including regular check-ups, ultrasounds, and medical guidance. The intended parents are typically involved in important milestones and medical appointments. They provide emotional support and establish a connection with the unborn child.

c. Legal Protection and Parental Rights: 

During pregnancy, the legal agreements established in the pre-surrogacy phase are crucial in protecting the intended parents’ parental rights. These agreements outline the responsibilities and expectations of all parties involved, including parental rights, financial arrangements, and potential contingencies. It is important to follow the legal requirements. Regular consultation with a reproductive attorney helps ensure compliance and address any legal issues that may arise.

4. Birth and Post-Birth Process: 

The final stages of the surrogacy journey involve the birth of the child and the transition to parenthood. This covers the following:

a. Delivery and Birth: 

When the surrogate reaches full term, she will give birth to the child. The intended parents may be present during the delivery and participate in the birth experience, depending on their mutual agreement and the laws and regulations. It is a highly emotional moment for all involved.

b. Parental Rights and Legal Documentation: 


Following birth, the legal documentation is finalised to ensure that the intended parents are recognised as the child’s legal parents. Depending on the jurisdiction’s requirements, this typically involves obtaining a birth certificate and completing the necessary legal procedures, such as adoption or parentage orders.

c. Bonding and Parenthood: 

With the legal processes completed, the intended parents embark on their journey of parenthood. They begin building a solid bond with their child, providing love, care, and support. This phase often involves adjusting to the challenges and joys of raising a child, just like any other new parents.

Understanding the step-by-step surrogacy process is crucial for individuals or couples considering this path to parenthood. From initial preparations to the child’s birth, each stage involves careful considerations, legal procedures, and emotional connections. By being well-informed, intended parents can confidently go through with the surrogacy journey. Additionally, they can benefit from the support of experienced professionals. They can go on knowing they have taken the necessary steps to bring their dream of becoming parents.

This article is approved by Dr. Smita Satpathy, Senior Consultant, Obstetrics & Gynecology, CARE Hospitals.

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