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Published in: Health & Medicine
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  1. 1. Surrogacy or Surrogate mea ns substitute. In medical parlance, the term surrogacy means using of a substitute mother in the place of the natural mother. In traditional surrogacy (also known as the Straight method) the surrogate is pregnant with her own biological child, but this child was conceived with the intention of relinquishing the child to be raised by others such as the biological father and possibly his spouse or partner. The child may be conceived via sexual intercourse (NI), home artiificial insemination using fresh or frozen sperm or impregnated via IUI (intrauterine insemination), or ICI ( intracervical insemination) which is performed at a fertility clinic. Sperm from the male partner of the 'commissioning couple' may be used, or alternatively, sperm from a sperm donor can be used. Donor sperm will, for example, be used if the 'commissioning couple' are both female or where the child is commissioned by a single woman.
  2. 2. Compensated surrogacy Also variously called "Commercial surrogacy", "paid surrogacy", "wombs for rent", "outsourced pregnancies" or "baby farms", compensated surrogacy refer to a form of surrogate pregnancy in which a gestational carrier is paid to carry a child to maturity in her womb and is usually resorted to by well off infertile couples who can afford the cost involved. This procedure is legal in several countries including in India where due to excellent medical infrastructure, high international demand and ready availability of poor surrogates it is reaching industry proportions.
  3. 3. Through the use of fertility drugs and careful monitoring, these embryos can grow to full term babies, which are then given back to the persons who commissioned the process, which are not necessarily those who originally donated the eggs and sperm for the event. So, is surrogacy right? We have entered a new age. Now it is scientifically possible for a baby to be created in a petri dish from the sperm of a man and the eggs of a woman, and the resulting embryos can be transferred into a second woman to gestate.
  4. 4. Considerations in Surrogacy Legal Issues There is no legal standard for surrogacy from state to state, or from country to country. However, it is almost always certain that any dispute will be heard in the jurisdiction where birth occurs. Moral and Ethical Issues Some of the reasons all states haven't found it easy to pass surrogacy legislation are related to moral and ethical issues of embryo creation, fees that some see as baby-buying (or baby-selling), and others.
  5. 5. Mother-child relationship A study by the Family and Child Psychology Research Centre at City University, London, UK in 2002 concluded that surrogate mothers rarely had difficulty relinquishing rights to a surrogate child and that the intended mothers showed greater warmth to the child than mothers conceiving naturally. Anthropological studies of surrogates have shown that surrogates engage in various distancing techniques throughout the surrogate pregnancy so as to ensure that they do not become emotionally attached to the baby. Many surrogates intentionally try to foster the development of emotional attachment between the intended mother and the surrogate child. Assessing such studies from a social constructionist perspective reveals that the expectation that surrogates are somehow "different" from the majority of women and that they necessarily suffer as a consequence of relinquishing the child have little basis in reality and are instead based on cultural conventions and gendered assumptions. Many surrogates form close and intimate relationships with the intended parents. When the greatness of their efforts is acknowledged, they recall their surrogacy experience in the years to come as the most meaningful experience of their lives.
  6. 6. The Price Tag Surrogacy isn't inexpensive. Except in the case where a sister or friend agrees to act as a surrogate without a fee, total costs and expenses may include the surrogate's fee and possible expenses, lawyers' fees, fertility specialists' fees, and fees connected with an adoption, if that is required. Cost estimatesfor traditional surrogacy range between $40,000 and $65,000 and for gestational surrogacy, between $75,000 and $100,000. Change of Mind As in traditional adoption, surrogates can have a change of mind and decide they do not want to relinquish the baby. Depending on state law, whether there's an agreement, and how it's interpreted by the court, the outcome isn't necessarily certain.
  7. 7. The entire idea of a child created in a test tube and carried by an unrelated woman is enough to drive fear into the hearts of many while questioning the ethics of surrogacy. The very thought conjures up visions of science fiction movies gone bad, or thoughts of the privileged few genetically creating the perfect child. Is surrogacy right? Ethical Issues of Surrogacy: Science Babies
  8. 8. ETHICAL QUESTIONS, What are the pros and cons of using unused embryos for medical research? Is there anything wrong with disposal of unused embryos …leaving them on the counter to unthaw and degenerate? What if the surrogate decides to maintain her privacy? What if the surrogate and the spouse violate the abstention clause? What if the surrogate decides to keep the baby? What if the surrogate with genetic ties demands to visit her child? Is there anything wrong with a surrogate giving her unused embryos to someone else? Who should make a decision to unthaw frozen embryos? Is handing over a child after delivery for a fee “baby-selling”? Do women participate in surrogacy to save their marriage? Is it wrong for a surrogate to abort?