Nature has bestowed the beautiful capacity to procreate a life within women and every woman cherishes the experience of motherhood. Unfortunately, some women due to certain physiological conditions cannot give birth to their own off-spring. The desire for motherhood leads them to search for alternative solutions, and surrogacy presents itself as the most viable alternative.
According to the Artificial Reproductive Technique (ART) Guidelines, Surrogacy is an "arrangement in which a woman agrees to a pregnancy, achieved through assisted reproductive technology, in which neither of the gametes belong to her or her husband, with the intention of carrying it to term and handing over the child to the person or couple for whom she is acting as surrogate".
The Pregnancy is carried out by another women, a surrogate, who acts as a gestational carrier.
If the Intended Mother is able to contribute her eggs (but unable to carry her own pregnancy), then the eggs are removed from the infertile woman, fertilized with her partner's sperm, and transferred into the gestational carrier's (surrogate) uterus by Embryo Transfer Procedure. The gestational carrier will not be genetically related to the child. The child will be genetically related to the Intended parents (biological parents). This is called IVF or Gestational Surrogacy.
If the Woman is infertile, has poor quality eggs and hence is not able to contribute to creating an embryo by IVF, the embryo is created by taking the eggs from an egg donor and fertilizing with the Intended Father’s eggs. This embryo is transferred to the surrogate. The surrogate will not be biologically related to the child, neither will be the Intended Mother. The child will however be biologically related to the Intended father.
As per the ART guidelines laid down by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), any women between the ages of 25 to 35 can be a surrogate if she has at least two biological children by marriage and has the consent of her husband or guardian. The surrogate cannot undergo more than two gestational pregnancies by surrogacy.
The surrogate selection process is extensive and surrogates are screened to see if they meet all the selection criteria laid down by the ICMR guidelines. These selection criteria includes a gamut of tests aimed to screen for HIV, Syphilis, Infections, blood tests, and investigations that test uterine conditions like ultrasound, HSG, Hysteroscopy (advanced test) and general physical health of both the surrogate and her husband.
In the past, surrogacy arrangements were generally confined to kith and kin of close relatives, family, or friends, usually as an altruistic deed. This is still an option. However if the Intended parents arrange a known surrogate, then they are responsible for all the legal arrangements, surrogate’s accommodation and welfare during the pregnancy. The clinic takes no part in this proceedings beyond required treatment procedure and surrogate evaluations.
All parties benefit from psychological and legal counselling before commissioning surrogacy. The surrogacy process involves extensive psychological and legal counseling for both intended parents and the surrogate. All the risks and implications related to this procedure is informed. The surrogacy is carried out only after both the parties agree to the terms and conditions and sign the legal agreements. The Intended parents also enter into an agreement with clinic that covers the terms and conditions of treatment and surrogate’s care and management from the start of the treatment till end of the surrogacy arrangement.
The signing of the agreements is a most important step in the Surrogacy Process. The surrogacy process cannot be initiated until all parties have consented, signed the agreements, and the Intended parent(s) have made the necessary advance payments to commission the surrogacy.
A crucial step before signing the agreements is surrogate selection. The Intended parents will have to bear all the costs involved in the surrogate screening for each new surrogate.
We offer detailed cost counseling’s to couples who want to commission surrogacy. Since Surrogacy is a complicated and time consuming process, we recommend couples to have direct consultation with us to understand the steps, and costs involved.
In general the surrogacy costs include the following procedures: