December 24, 2020
| read |
Hello there! By now you may have done a lot of research about Artificial Reproductive Techniques (ART) and have a good deal of knowledge about them. If yes, surrogacy must have definitely popped up in your research. Despite all the knowledge you have, there might still be some doubts. That comment your friend passed or a question a nosy neighbour asked might have raised these doubts. Don’t worry, we will walk you through some of those common doubts and questions you might have about surrogacy and also as a bonus, bust some myths along the way.
Is surrogacy legal in India?
Yes, gestational surrogacy is legal in India; commercial surrogacy, however, is banned. Gestational surrogacy refers to the process in which the surrogate carries an embryo which is conceived by the sperm and egg of the intended parents. There are also provisions to have a surrogate from a different state within the country.
Why choose surrogacy over adoption?
The waiting period for an adoption can range anywhere from 18 - 24 months. Despite the wait, there are chances of birth mothers changing their mind after delivery and keeping their babies. This might be devastating for the intended parents who have formed a bond with the baby and are waiting to take him/her home. The process of adoption is also expensive and time consuming with no guarantees. Thus, you must evaluate your needs based on circumstances, time and expenses and decide which of the two is a better fit for you.
Do we have to go through a screening process?
Yes. You, as a couple need to take psychological counselling to be sure about the process. You will be explained about the process and all the necessary implications to prepare you for it. Once the medical screening is done, you would need to sign a contract with the surrogate and her husband/guardian to make it legal. You should also ensure medical and social care for the surrogate.
How to choose a surrogate?
You have to ensure that the surrogate is within the age limit of 21-35. Ensure your agency does a background check to know her personal history, her family’s background and history and her health profile. It is necessary for her to have had a healthy pregnancy before. She and her husband (if she is married) should be screened for STDs and other infectious diseases like HIV, Hepatitis B&C. Other medical tests like pelvic sonography and uterine receptivity should be performed and if the results come out as expected, you can go ahead to sign your contract.
How much does it cost?
As of 2020, the surrogacy treatment in India might cost you anywhere between INR 9 – 15 lakhs, the average amount being INR 10 lakhs. This is usually the cost of the entire package which might involve fees, legal fees, surrogate work up, delivery charges, surrogate’s compensation, insemination and IVF costs and some more or less depending on your agency. The cost will definitely differ from state to state and agency to agency
How long would the process be?
After you select your agency, it might take around 15-20 days to select and evaluate your surrogate. Post that, the treatment might take around 15 days. Results can be observed 12-15 days after the treatment.
Myth: Intended parents cannot bond with the baby
You can start bonding with your baby right from the gestation period by talking to them in the womb. Also, once your tiny wonder makes their entrance, they will be handed over to you. It is you who will feed them, nurture them and constantly be there with them from that moment onwards. Hence, your bond with the baby would be an unbreakable one.
Myth: Surrogates are all about money
This isn’t true. In many cases surrogates do it to contribute to the happiness of a couple by giving them a baby. They mostly do it to spread positivity and give the gift of parenthood to couples who aren’t privileged to have a baby by themselves.
Myth: The surrogate might not / have trouble giving up the baby
There is no way a surrogate won’t hand over the baby to you as she is legally bound to give you the baby. It is highly unlikely that she will have trouble while doing so as she enters the contract fully aware that the baby isn’t hers. Besides, she already has her own baby. She knows that she is like a babysitter for you two until the baby is born.
Myth: The baby might look like the surrogate mother
As the genetic factors which make your baby (sperm and egg) are derived from you and your partner (intended parents), the surrogate’s DNA will not be passed on to the baby in gestational surrogacy. Thus, your baby will not have the physical or mental traits of the surrogate mother.
Myth: Surrogacy always results in multiple births
This is not a hard and fast rule. It depends on how many embryos are transferred into the surrogate’s womb. Usually, not more than two embryos are transferred to minimize the risks of multiple pregnancies. There are also chances of her carrying just one baby despite having multiple embryos transferred.
We hope this article has cleared a lot of doubts on your mind and provided you with information about surrogacy. Don’t forget to discuss with your doctor before choosing your agency. You are now one step closer to your dream of parenting.