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Surrogacy is an arrangement in which a couple petitions a woman, called a surrogate, to conceive and carry out a pregnancy on their behalf. The surrogate does not need to be related to the couple.

Once the child is born, the surrogate gives it to the expecting couple and exits.

In countries where it is allowed, surrogacy is a tightly regulated process in which all parties are bound by legal contract.

How does it work?

Surrogates are recruited through an ART bank or independent agency. Once your surrogate has been selected and the contract is signed by all parties, the fertility doctor will match your period dates and start the IVF process.

Once that is complete and the embryos are ready to be transferred, the surrogate will be called upon and the one or two embryos will be placed in her womb.

Pregnancy confirmation will take two weeks after that.

What are the different kinds of surrogacy?

There are two types of surrogacy. In traditional surrogacy, sperm from the male donor is used to impregnate the surrogate’s own egg. The surrogate carries the child for nine months and then hands it over to the couple. This is done in a laboratory and no physical contact needs to occur. However, because of the possibility of emotional and legal complications, traditional surrogacy is not practised.

The widely practised kind of surrogacy involves taking gametes from the intending parents and the embryos formed from them are implanted into the surrogate. This medical manipulation makes sure that the child is a 100% combination from both parents. The surrogate is used as a pseudo carrier. This process is referred to as ‘gestational surrogacy’.

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