Why choose surrogacy?
Starting a family can be a wonderful time in one’s life; however there are many who, for one reason or another, they are unable to conceive. For those people who want a child but are unable to give birth, surrogacy is a very viable alternative.
Below are some conditions that warrant the use of surrogacy as an alternative to family building.
- Recurrent pregnancy loss
- Health condition which makes pregnancy and birth dangerous.
- Absence or malformation of the womb
- Repeated in vitro fertilization (IVF) implantation failures.
- You are in a same-sex partnership (Stonewall 2011).
What are the considerations before moving forward with surrogacy?
The relationship between intendent parents and surrogate mother is the foundation of the surrogacy experience. Developing a clear understanding of the expectations with the potential surrogate is important and it will help to create mutual respect and understanding.
Before moving forward it´s important that intendent parents and surrogate agree on the following topics:
- Time frame for completing surrogacy
- Number of cycles
- Number of embryos to be transferred
- Selective fetal reduction in the event of high order multiples
- Prenatal testing for chromosomal abnormalities
- Termination/continuation of pregnancy if there is an abnormality with the baby
- Expenses and Life insurance policy for the surrogate mother
- Desired amount of contact during the pregnancy and after the birth
- Obstetrical care during pregnancy (Midwife or Obstetrician)
- Hospital Birth or Home Birth
Surrogacy offers a route for gay and lesbian couples to parenthood where at least one of the partners can have a true genetic link to the child or children.
For the fathers who choose to use gestational surrogacy to build their family, they will need to enlist the help of both an egg donor and a surrogate mother. The egg donor can be someone you know or you may decide to use an anonymous donor. Both an egg donor agreement (either if is known or anonymous) and a surrogacy agreement should be prepared. Also they will need to decide who will provide the sperm. In some situations, both men in the couple will donate sperm so as to create a variety of possibilities, including having twins such that each man in the couple is the biological parent of one twin.
Once the baby is born, the fathers will need to bring an application for a declaration of parentage to have their name appear on their child’s birth registration. This process of becoming a child’s legal parent following surrogacy varies according to provincial legislation.
Also, some lesbian couples find gestational surrogacy attractive because it permits one woman to contribute her egg and the other to carry the baby. They may turn to either a sperm bank for an anonymous sperm donor, or a friend for a known sperm donor. When the sperm donor is known, it is common for the couple, and the donor, to enter into a sperm donor agreement. Regardless of whether known or anonymously donated sperm is used, the carrying mother is at a legal advantage over the non-carrying mother, as the carrying mother automatically is the legal parent of the child while her partner, or even wife, is not. Equal legal parentage for both mothers regardless of the source of the semen, or legal parentage for known sperm donation can be achieved through a second parent adoption process or adeclaration of parentage process. There are pros and cons to each process that ought to be considered with your lawyer.