It Takes Three: Gestational Surrogacy
Gestational surrogacy is when a woman, referred to as a surrogate, is pregnant with and gives birth to a baby that is not genetically related to her. A gestational surrogacy usually takes place when a couple is unable to get pregnant and or carry a baby. In most cases it is because a woman has an unhealthy or nonexistent uterus. Gestational surrogacy is also some times used by gay couples who want to start a family. The pregnancy is created with a medical procedure called in vitro fertilization where fertilized eggs are transferred into the surrogate’s uterus using a needle. The entire gestational surrogacy process is usually handled by a surrogacy agency. They handle everything from finding a surrogate to the in vitro fertilization process. However, couples and surrogates are usually represented by independent lawyers as a lot of legal work is involved in a gestational surrogacy.
Gestational surrogacy is a long and consuming process both emotionally and physically, it requires the complete dedication of all involved parties. There are many legal negotiations and the process isn’t cheap, but intended parents are willing to go through the process in order to have a child that is genetically related to them. The process of a gestational surrogacy begins when intended parents, the couple who will be having a baby through a surrogate, meets with a surrogacy agency. The intended parents must first meet with their attorney, representatives from the surrogacy agency and mental health care professionals. They will then determine weather the couple is right for surrogacy or not. The couple must also pass a psychological examination and a sexually transmitted disease test.
The Surrogate must also go through a series of tests in order to be considered by an agency. She is submitted to medical and psychological evaluations and her insurance policy is reviewed by an attorney to see is she has surrogate coverage. The agency also does a background check and inspects her criminal and driving records. (Colenso) The surrogate has to be tested for communicable diseases as it is extremely important that she does not pass anything to the fetus. ("Gestational Carrier Program.") Surrogates should be between the ages of twenty-one and forty-two, and have carried at least one child before. Surrogates are not allowed to use tobacco, drink alcohol or use any type of illegal drugs. ("New Hope Surrogacy.")
After the intended parents have been approved by their surrogacy agency they will begin looking for a surrogate. The agency will try their best to find the perfect match for the intended parents. The intended parents will then meet with their attorney to plan the financial aspect of the pregnancy. An escrow account will be set up for the surrogates compensation and expenses. The next step is to draw up the legal agreements. The couple and the surrogate must agree on a contract and a finalization of parental rights,...