Yes, surrogacy is a preferred method of giving childless couples a chance in having their own families. In a society where a higher percentage of people view childless marriages as incomplete, couples without children voluntarily seek ways in which to remedy this situation. Couples experiencing medical problems and people who are not able to go through an adoption due to their age or marital status are a few of the reasons why surrogacy is preferred. When adopting is no longer an option, surrogacy is one way of how childless couples can experience parenthood. Surrogacy has become an option for many childless parents in today’s world, it may not be the best solution, but it is a preferred method despite its disadvantages. Hence, in advocating for surrogacy as a solution to parenthood, couples must review the pros and cons of the approach before initializing the process.
Surrogacy is a not something that one can decide just to wake up and do; it is a process that involves personal sacrifice, support of the family and extensive research is required before childless couples decide on surrogacy as the way to experience parenthood. If the process is not well planned or any step is forgotten, then surrogacy may end up being a wrong solution. If the laws that govern the operation are recognized ; followed, it can be a perfect chance for childless couples to experience parenthood.
The cost of surrogacy is expensive, the legal and moral issues that surround it may defer childless couples to choose another alternative instead as a means to parenthood. A degree of trust is required and should cultivate between the surrogate and the intended parents, but sometimes this fails. Lack of knowledge on how the surrogacy process works will make many couples shy away from it.
The surrogate should also be prepared to discuss the implications of surrogacy for herself as well. For most surrogate mothers, the feeling of giving another person a chance to experience parenthood is fulfilling (Bognar). Some people view surrogacy as a gift and feel that it is extraordinary to carry a child intended for someone else, while others see it as a womb for rent and look at it in dismay. There is fair compensation provided to the surrogate for her services, and this economically empowers her. Just like a regular pregnancy, surrogacy is physically and emotionally demanding and requires her to commit her time significantly to ensure she carries the child to term and has a thriving delivery.
Surrogacy is one form of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) that is prevalent across the globe but somewhat controversial as it involves the services of a third party, the surrogate mother. Involuntarily childless couples experiencing fertility problems, gay or lesbian partners who want to have biological children will opt for this form of ART, as it ensures one of the partner’s eggs or sperms provided will be for the conception.
There are two main types of surrogacy that couples can use in the journey to parenthood. Each of these methods has different implications in the genetic association of the arising child with the parents and the surrogate. Traditional surrogacy, also known as partial, straight or genetic surrogacy (Imrie and Jadva 425), the proxy is the biological mother of the child. Gestational surrogacy also called host or full surrogacy; the surrogate has no genetic connection with the resulting baby. Gestational surrogacy is preferred by most couples to traditional surrogacy as they deem it less complicated legally.
The implication of each type of surrogacy needs to be carefully evaluated by couples considering surrogacy as an ART. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate’s eggs will be used, which means the resulting child is genetically related to the surrogate mother. If the sperm used belongs to the intended father, then the resulting child is genetically connected to the deliberate father and the surrogate mother. If the sperm belongs to a donor, the resulting offspring isn’t genetically related to the intended parents but the surrogate only (Hinson and ReVeal). In some cases, parents using donor sperms are required to undertake an adoption process so that they acquire legal rights to the resulting child. An airtight surrogacy contract needs to be in place that ensures all parties involved understand the extent of their roles in the surrogacy process. Few regions have laws on traditional surrogacy, and in most cases, the goodwill of the parties involved should prevail.
Gestational surrogacy is more prevalent and less legally complicated, so if the surrogate does decide to change her mind, it will not be so easy for her to obtain custody. Through in vitro fertilization (IVF), an embryo is created in the laboratory and implanted in the surrogate or a gestational carrier. Four typical forms of gestational surrogacy are employed, and in all types, the (surrogate) will be genetically unrelated to the resulting child;
In method number one, the intended father’s sperm and mother’s eggs are implanted into the surrogate, creating the embryo with the resulting child being genetically related to both parents.
In the second method, a donor’s egg and not the surrogates’ are used together with the intended father’s sperm. The embryo created results in a baby that is genetically related to the intended father.
In method number three, the use of the intended mother’s egg and donor sperm is involved. The embryo created results in a child that is genetically related to the proposed mother.
In the last method, a donor embryo implantation takes place. The embryo created from the donated egg and sperm is entirely unrelated to the intended parents, and thus there is no genetic connection between the child born and its intended parent or parents.
When adopting surrogacy as a gateway to parenthood, several factors have to be considered to ensure that this process benefits all parties involved. Notably, a controversial process, the issue of surrogacy raises complex morals, social and legal questions. Laws explicitly dealing with surrogacy are absent in most countries areas, and in some countries, surrogacy is not legal and is completely banned. In other jurisdictions, commercial surrogacy is against the law while altruistic surrogacy is permitted. In general, no international law governs the process of surrogacy, and thus countries exercise their statutes. In dealing with surrogacy legally, rules in place or to be adopted must deal with the enforceability of surrogacy contracts. There should be a distinction between commercial and altruistic surrogacy if the legal agreements that bind parties in the surrogacy process are void, and the issues arising from gestational and traditional surrogacy in jurisdictions that have requirements for the intended parents to be recognized as the lawful parents are through pre-birth or post-birth orders.
Possible generalization of laws may occur. Historically, people have always assumed that the woman giving birth is the child’s legal mother, and another woman can only acquire constitutional rights to the said child through adoption if the birth mother formally gives up her parental rights. In areas where the law doesn’t recognize surrogacy as a route to parenthood, the genetic parents have to privately adopt their child from the surrogate to acquire legal rights over the child. In regions where surrogacy is expressly prohibited, parties found to engage in it risk financial and legal consequences sometimes with dire outcomes like denying the genetic mother the right to adopt her child even though that will leave the child with no legal mother (Baudouin).
In some jurisdictions, commercial surrogacy is illegal while altruistic is not. Others that have not banned surrogacy may sometimes view surrogacy contracts as void and thus not enforceable. That can lead to a situation where there’s no legal recourse if one party in the agreement decides to forfeit their roles, such as if the birth mother chooses to keep the child irrespective of genetic differences. The financial compensation or any other resources the intended parents may have afforded to the surrogate cannot be taken back or reimbursed. Some genetic parents may decide not to take their child after all, and the proxy is in a precarious situation where she is stuck with the legal custody of the child and no payouts for her role in the process.
In some areas, the intended mother has a birth order (Bognar) through which the court recognizes her as the legal parent without going through the process of abandonment and adoption. Consent of all parties involved is required, and in most areas, only post-birth orders are given out due to reluctance in forcing the surrogate to abandon her parental rights because she may have a change of heart after birth. Jurisdictions that offer pre-birth orders will most likely provide binding surrogacy agreements and require the birth mother not be genetically related to the child. They also foist other demands such as the intended parents are in a heterosexual relationship and preferably married to one another.
Parents who choose surrogacy can either decide to use close friends as their surrogate mothers or use agencies. Surrogacy agencies are usually used as a last resort when the couple identifies gestational surrogacy as their route to parenthood. When deciding on which agency to use, the couple should find out more about their agency of choice and how they carry out the surrogacy process. Determination of fees and the screening process for suitable surrogates should be a top priority. The agency provides an appropriate proxy (surrogate) and acts as the go-between handling all the costs and payments required and is responsible for interpreting the legal rights of both surrogates and the intended parents.
In choosing a surrogate, age, physical and mental health is of paramount importance. Preferable surrogates should be at least twenty-one years of age and above, one who has already given birth to a healthy child and fully understands the perils of pregnancy, childbirth and the inherent bond between a mother and a baby. A surrogate should be willing to undergo a psychological test by a mental health specialist to ascertain if she will have problems in relinquishing the baby after delivery (Landes and Posner 328). A suitable proxy (surrogate) should also be competent enough to understand the surrogacy process and can sign an agreement on her role and responsibility in the process. When an acceptable surrogate mother is selected, she will need to undergo a screening procedure to determine if she’s healthy enough to carry the pregnancy to full term. Some of the tests she should undertake are syphilis, gonorrhea, Chlamydia, HIV, cytomegalovirus, and Hepatitis B and C. Tests to check if she has immunity to measles, rubella (German measles) and chickenpox… Once she is found to be in good health, the procedure will then take place.
Surrogacy is a long process that involves patience, dedications and the willingness to follow the laws involved entirely which then proves it to be a positive process. There are many known cases where surrogacy has been seen to work correctly. However, when followed by details, it is evident that a lot of personal effort and humanity is involved. Therefore, surrogacy is a preferred method if both parties are willing to undergo the process to ensure that it is successful. There are many advantages of surrogacy. With the primary being that it provides an opportunity and hope for childless couples who want to have a child or children in their preferred method of choice.
The method can either be traditional or gestational. Some women enjoy being pregnant and surrogacy offers these women a chance to experience pregnancy again without expanding their own family (Concieveabilities). For same-sex couples, surrogacy provides LGBT couples an opportunity to have a biologically related child, through use of donor egg or sperm ensuring a genetic link is possible, the same thing also applies with infertile women. Advancement in technology has made it possible for the surrogacy process to be incredibly successful. The chance gives them a feeling of fulfillment as opposed to another method such as adoption where there is no genetic relationship between the parents and the child. In this case, surrogacy is a positive approach to be undertaken.
Another reason to adopt surrogacy is that it promotes a sense of connection between the parties involved. The development of a bond is also born, and while some surrogate mothers enjoy making other families happy with the birth of a new child, others may exclusively do it for the financial compensation and do not wish to have any relationship ties during or after the process. Surprisingly, there are quite a few who women who prefer that, but in many cases where surrogacy has applied, the surrogate mother is usually happy to be fully committed to be involved and giving childless couples a chance of parenthood.
The intended parents usually have the willingness to raise a child. On the other hand, the surrogate mother is willing to bear the child. Based on the agreement between both parties involved, all are content with the decision made and agree that the process is substantially ethical and satisfying. Also, technology has made the process accommodating since it provides a lot of options that give many childless parents a chance despite their age and sexuality, which are factors considered through other methods such as adoption.
Even though surrogacy is supported substantially in the text, it still has disadvantages which are not significant as compared to the advantages. Besides, the majority of the drawbacks that come with surrogacy are mostly avoidable. An example is a case where the surrogate mother breaks the agreement and decides to keep the child such as in traditional surrogacy. The situation can be avoided by using gestational surrogacy or using agencies that ensure the whole process is legally successful. Surrogate mothers are mostly financially compensated, and this usually helps in the physical and emotional burden that they experience. Sometimes, the society will view the surrogates as perpetrating “sale of self” therefore raising moral issues (Phillips 73). The view is changing with time since the majority of people are embracing surrogacy as a method that helps couples have a chance to be parents.
To conclude the discussion, surrogacy is a preferred method of experiencing parenthood because it gives childless couples a chance to have a genetic connection to the child. Also, the parents develop a link to the surrogate mother who offers an opportunity to be part of the child life from conception. Even though surrogacy is a costly method, it is proven to have better results compared to other ways that offer parenthood opportunities to childless individuals. Also, its advantages always dominate other alternatives such as adoption. Thus in a world where technology is rapidly growing, and many people are embracing surrogacy, it is the best option to consider when childless couples are deciding on ways to have a chance to become parents.
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