Surrogacy

Surrogacyrefers to an arrangement whereby a woman carries a pregnancy for another woman/couple who is/are the intended parent(s) of the resulting child. The woman carrying the pregnancy may be genetically linked to the resulting child (traditional surrogacy) or not genetically linked (gestational surrogacy).

 

Types of surrogacy

In gestational surrogacy, the pregnancy results from the transfer of an embryo created by in vitro fertilization (IVF) and the resulting child is genetically unrelated to the surrogate. Gestational surrogates are also referred to as gestational carriers. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is impregnated naturally or artificially, but the resulting child is genetically related to the surrogate. CFC only offers gestational surrogacy as it is more commonly sought after and less legally complex than traditional surrogacy.

 

Gestational surrogacy (GS)

The surrogate is implanted with an embryo created by IVF using the egg and sperm of the intended parents. The resulting child is genetically related to the intended parents, and genetically unrelated to the surrogate.

 

Gestational surrogacy and egg donation (GS/ED)

The surrogate is implanted with an embryo created by IVF using the intended father’s sperm and donor eggs. The resulting child is genetically related to the intended father and genetically unrelated to the surrogate.

 

Gestational surrogacy and donor sperm (GS/DS)

The surrogate is implanted with an embryo created by IVF using the intended mother’s eggs and donor sperm. The resulting child is genetically related to the intended mother and genetically unrelated to the surrogate.

 

Gestational surrogacy and donor embryo (GS/DE)

A donor embryo is implanted in a surrogate. Such embryos are usually donated by other couples who have gone through IVF themselves and have surplus embryos left over. The resulting child is genetically unrelated to the intended parent(s) and genetically unrelated to the surrogate.

 

Traditional surrogacy (TS)

This involves naturally or artificially inseminating a surrogate with the intended father’s sperm via IUI, IVF or home insemination. With this method, the resulting child is genetically related to the intended father and genetically related to the surrogate. CFC does not offer this type of Surrogacy.

 

Traditional surrogacy and donor sperm (TS/DS)

The surrogate is artificially inseminated with donor sperm via IUI, IVF or home insemination. The resulting child is genetically unrelated to the intended parent(s) and genetically related to the surrogate.

 

Who might require Surrogacy?

 

Intended parents may seek a surrogacy arrangement when medical issues make pregnancy impossible or when it is considered too risky for the mother’s health. Examples of situations when a woman might require surrogacy include:

 

Legal issues

 

The legal aspects of surrogacy tend to hinge on a few central questions:

UK law stipulates that the woman giving birth to a child is that child’s legal mother, and the only way for another woman to be recognized as the mother is through adoption (usually requiring the birth mother’s formal abandonment of parental rights).

If a surrogate changes her mind and decides to keep the child, the intended mother has no claim to the child even if it is her genetic offspring, and the couple cannot get back any money they may have paid or reimbursed to the surrogate.

If the intended parents change their mind and do not want the child after all, the surrogate cannot get any reimbursement for expenses, or any promised payment, and she will be left with legal custody of the child.

 

Ethical issues

 

Ethical issues that have been raised with regards to surrogacy include:

 

Religious issues

 

Different religions take different approaches to surrogacy, often related to their stances on assisted reproductive technology in general.

 

Catholicism

Paragraph 2376 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that: “Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral.”

 

Judaism

Jewish law states that the parents of the child are the man who gives sperm and the woman who gives the egg cell. More recently, Jewish religious establishments have accepted surrogacy only if it is full gestational surrogacy with both intended parents’ gametes included and fertilization done via IVF.

 

Psychological concerns

 

Surrogate

 

Child

 

CFC provides robust counselling and psychological support all through the process of surrogacy for the surrogate and intending parents.

 

To find out more about Surrogacy please ring our enquiries line on 01625 264 110.