Having another woman to carry a pregnancy for one who can’t opens up a minefield of potential problems for both the surrogate and the intended parents.
A gestational surrogacy arrangement, in which one woman carries a pregnancy for another woman after implanting that woman’s fertilized embryo achieved with her eggs and her partner’s sperm, is sometimes recommended for intended parents. Some countries, such as Australia, don’t allow commercial surrogacy, which involves payment to the woman carrying the child.
This leads some couples to seek out and pay for surrogates overseas, such as in Thailand. Unfortunately, stories like the Gammy baby incident, where an infant was left behind by its Australian parents in Thailand, gives commercial surrogacy a bad rap. This blog addresses some of the common issues often faced by couples making a surrogacy decision and recommends adequate protection of all involved parties.
Why would anyone need gestational surrogacy?
Gestational surrogacy could be recommended in a variety of scenarios. The most common ones include women with a serious medical condition posing a grave risk of carrying a pregnancy, or women without a uterus either after a hysterectomy or as a result of congenital anomaly. Gestational carriers are also sometimes considered after unexplained previous failures of in vitro fertilization (IVF).
The decision to consider and use a gestational carrier should only be made in consultation with a fertility provider. Most often women who serve as gestational carries have completed their own childbearing and have had healthy pregnancies. However, this arrangement is a potential minefield for both intended parents and carriers alike, unless appropriate safeguards are in place.
Commercial surrogacy is the way to go
While altruistic gestational surrogacy is possible and is sometimes available, most cases of surrogacy involve compensation. It is highly recommended that all particulars of surrogacy arrangements are properly agreed upon in a legal contract. The vast majority of patients utilizing surrogates have had a positive experience, and that is most assured with commercial arrangements and/or using reputable agencies.
We are fortunate to live in the state of Colorado where the legal conditions and courts are generally favorable in ensuring that all parties participating in a surrogacy arrangement are properly protected. At Advanced Reproductive Medicine, we strongly believe in a patient’s autonomy and the right to be adequately informed of his or her rights and options. Our best outcomes come from couples and carriers utilizing a commercial surrogacy agreement.
To sum it up, when indicated, commercial surrogacy is best for all parties and adequate legal protection of all parties is essential.