Bad luck happens to good people every day, and one such piece of bad luck may lead to people needing to explore surrogate parenting. Infertility strikes without consideration of a person’s income or education level and may have no discernible cause or cure. Just as when anyone is having a baby, there will be several things to think about when exploring this option.
The first thing you must consider is who will be carrying your child to birth. Surrogate parenting is a very real option as long as you can find a woman who is willing to do this for you. As of now, there isn’t a database available for you to find such a person, so that makes it even harder. Would you be willing to get stretch marks and hemorrhoids to carry someone else’s child? It takes a very special person to be able to do this for another.
Second, you will want to consider the surrogate’s health. If she isn’t currently taking good care of herself, then there is no reason to think that she would change while pregnant. This puts your child at risk of birth defects as a result of poor nutrition or perhaps drug or alcohol use. You want the best possible environment for your growing baby.
Will you provide all genetic material for the pregnancy? If this is possible, rendering both mother and father biological parents of the child, then it raises the question of how eggs will be harvested, since this is a complex medical procedure.
Alternatively a donor egg may be used, and this is likely to be the choice if the mother-to-be is herself completely infertile. Donor sperm may also be chosen, and both egg and sperm are from screened donors. You even have the option of choosing which sperm to use.
Another reason for considering a donor would be that you carry a genetic mutation that has previously caused problems in a pregnancy, or caused disability in one of your children. In this case, a surrogate pregnancy with donor genetic material will sidestep the risk.
Just as there may be problems in finding a donor, egg and sperm, there may be problems in finding a hospital that is willing to work with you. You also have to consider the bonding process that will be missed by the child being carried by another mother, and this can mean that more work is needed after the birth.
There also remains the question as to whether the birth mother will retain any rights to the child. If the surrogate is a friend or family member, they will perhaps have to see the child regularly as they grow. Will they be able to cope with this stress? Will you?
Naturally, a surrogate pregnancy will raise more issues than a natural pregnancy, but with sufficient preparation, it will be possible to keep everyone happy and have a good result at the end. Surrogate parenting is a very real solution for those who want to have a baby but are unable to on their own.