Surrogacy is when a woman carries a baby to term that is not intended to be her own. A woman who cannot have children may seek a willing surrogate into whom she might have her own eggs and her partner’s sperm implanted. Essentially, a surrogate functions as an incubator.
Types of Surrogacy
With traditional surrogacy, the surrogate woman’s eggs are used, which means that she is the biological mother of the baby. The surrogate is inseminated with the sperm of a male partner (the baby’s intended father).
In gestational surrogacy, the intended mother’s eggs are placed in a petri dish, fertilized with either the sperm of the intended father or donor sperm, and placed into the surrogate’s uterus via in vitro fertilization. Through this method, the surrogate has no genetic link to the baby.
Traditional surrogacy is often used by same-sex couples who wish to have a child but, for obvious reasons, do not have both sperm and eggs needed for fertilization. In this instance, the surrogate’s own eggs may be used — but this can present a complex legal question: is she or is she not the baby’s mother?
There have been several high profile traditional surrogacy cases where, following (or even before) the baby’s delivery, the surrogate changed her mind about giving the baby to the intended parents.
If a legal battle ensues, since she is the baby’s genetic mother, it presents a moral quandary for a court: no matter the paper trail of legal agreements between herself and the intended parents, the fact remains that she is biologically the baby’s parent.
This is why we strongly advised against traditional surrogacy. Gestational surrogacy has come to stay. It is painful that in Nigeria especially, surrogacy is still seen by some people as taboo.
Surrogacy brings joy, hope and life. The question of who should embrace Surrogacy should also be answered. Those who have had several fibroid surgeries, those who always have miscarriages each time they are pregnant, those with medical issues that pregnancy could complicate etc.
Whether a woman carries her child or have another carry for her, it doesn’t change the fact that motherhood is motherhood. There is nothing like pregnanthood. A mother is a mother whether she carries the pregnancy or not.