How does IVF Surrogacy Work
IVF surrogacy is one of the best and only options for families who have been struggling to overcome infertility for years. The success rates of this ART are pretty high and promising. In our agency "Parens Fertility," surrogacy is one of the most popular services, it needs to be explained in more detail.
To get a full and clear-cut understanding of what surrogacy is, we need to consider the two variations of surrogacy – gestational and traditional – as well as how they differ and what drawbacks and advantages each of them present.
What is the difference between gestational and traditional surrogacy?
In traditional surrogacy, the woman carrying the baby is the child's biological mother, and her egg is fertilized – either naturally or artificially with the sperm of a donor or intended father. Since in this case, the woman is biologically related to the baby, it involves more legal issues and complications for parents-to-be, because after the child is born, they need, for example, to adopt it or to gain parental or caregiver rights in another way through agreements and court decisions. What is more, in some cases, a surrogate mother may want to take an active part in the baby's life or even change her mind about giving away her child.
Gestational surrogacy differs from the traditional one in the aspect of motherhood. In this type of surrogacy, either the biological mother or a donor provides her eggs for fertilization with the father's or donor's sperm in a laboratory; after that, the embryo is transferred to the surrogate who carries the baby. Since the surrogate mother is not genetically related to the kid in any way, she has no legal right to claim her parental rights or change her mind about giving away the baby.
It should be noted that in Ukraine, like in the prevailing majority of other countries, the legislation explicitly stipulates the requirements for couples/ persons who want to use surrogacy services. Such requirements include the following:
- Medical indications for using surrogacy;
- A set of documents (application from the couple or a person, who wants to use this type of services, application from surrogate mother and permission from her husband (if the one is married), and a written agreement between these two parties)
- One of the parents-to-be should be genetically related to the baby;
- The surrogate mother should not be genetically related to the child (though close relatives such as sisters and cousins of the intended parents may perform surrogate functions.
How does the surrogacy process with IVF look like?
When fertility treatment turns out to be inefficient, and a number of IVF-attempts fail, doctors may recommend a couple to resort to surrogacy services.
Firstly, the agency finds a woman to become a surrogate mother (and egg or sperm donor if necessary), who should meet a set of requirements such as a medical certificate for eligibility to be a surrogate, set of lab tests, medical examination results, at least one healthy child of her own. After that, the agency settles the legal issues – collects all the necessary documents, and prepares the contracts. Ukrainian legislation clearly states the requirements both for the parents-to-be and surrogates that should be observed in all cases.
After signing a contract and undergoing all the medical examinations and lab tests, the menstrual cycles of both women are synchronized with medication. After the eggs mature, doctors retrieve them from the biological mother or donor and fertilize them with the male sperm in a lab. Usually, more than one egg is obtained, and doctors create multiple embryos and cultivate them in special advantageous conditions for a few days. They choose the healthiest one and transfer it to the surrogate's womb, where it develops for the next nine months if pregnancy occurs.
Who can resort to surrogacy services?
Surrogacy is an assisted reproductive technology applied only in extraordinary and exceptional cases when all the other options were proved to be ineffective or failed.
In accordance with the Ukrainian legislation, both couples and individuals may use surrogate services under conditions that they meet the relevant requirements hindering pregnancy, such as the absence of uterus, deformations of cervix or uterus, endometrium changes that are impossible to treat, health conditions that endanger mother or fetus, number of IVF-attempts (more than 4) using embryos of high quality with no success.
The surrogacy process may seem to be a complicated and demanding procedure (and it is!), but the chance to feel the joy of parenting a child does worth all the efforts. The experts and doctors from "Parens Fertility" won't leave you alone in this endeavor and provide you all the support and assistance your family may need in this effort-intensive process, so you won't need to worry about the success of this procedure too much. Don't hesitate to contact our manager to get more information on our surrogacy services and fertility treatment options we offer.