Surrogacy is subject that is widely discussed amoung issue-less couples all over the world. Hon. Supreme Court of India has made certain observations about Surrogacy. Following is an extract from the judgment delivered by his Lordship Dr. Arjith Pasayath of the Supreme court of India very recently.
“ Surrogacy is a well known method of reproduction whereby a woman agrees to become pregnant for the purpose of gestating and giving birth to a child she will not raise but hand over to a contracted party. She may be the child’s genetic mother (the more traditional form for surrogacy) or she may be, as a gestational carrier, carry the pregnancy to delivery after having been implanted with an embryo. In some cases surrogacy is the only available option for parents who wish to have child that is biologically related to them. The word “surrogate”, from Latin “subrogate”, means ‘appointed to act in the place”. The intended parent(s) is the individual or couple who intends to rear the child after its birth.
“ 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; by the biological father and possibly his spouse or partner, either male or female. The child may be conceived via home artificial insemination using fresh of frozen sperm or impregnated via IUI (intrauterine insemination), or ICI (intracervical insemination )which is performed at a fertility clinic’.
“ In “gestational surrogacy” (also known as the Host method) the surrogate becomes pregnant via embryo transfer with a child of which she is not the biological mother . She may have made an arrangement to relinquish it to the biological mother or father to raise, or to a parent who is themselves unrelated to the child (e. g. because the child was conceived using egg donation, germ donation or is the result of a donated embryo). The surrogate mother may be called the gestational carrier.
“Altruistic surrogacy” is a situation where the surrogate receives no financial reward for her pregnancy or the relinquishment of the child (although usually all expenses related to the pregnancy and birth are paid by the intended parents such as medical expenses, maternity clothing, and other related expenses).
“Commercial surrogacy” is a form of surrogacy 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 or people who save and borrow in order to complete their dream of being parents. This medical procedure is legal in several countries including India where due to excellent medical infrastructure, high international demand and ready availability of poor surrogates it is reaching industry proportions. Commercial surrogacy is sometimes referred to by the emotionally charged and potentially offensive terms “wombs for rent”, “outsourced pregnancies” or “baby farms”.
“ Intended parents may arrange a surrogate pregnancy because a woman who intends to parent is infertile in such a way that she cannot carry a pregnancy to term. Examples include a woman who has had a hysterectomy, has a uterine malformation, has had recurrent pregnancy loss or has a health condition that makes it dangerous for her to be pregnant. A female intending parent may also be fertile and healthy, but unwilling to undergo pregnancy.
“Alternatively, the intended parent may be a single male or a male homosexual couple.
“ Surrogates may be relatives, friends, or previous strangers. Many surrogate arrangements are made through agencies that help match up intended parents with women who want to be surrogates for a fee. The agencies often help manage the complex medical and legal aspects involved. Surrogacy arrangements can also be made independently. In compensated surrogacy the amount a surrogate receives varies widely from almost nothing above expenses to over $ 30,000. Careful screening is needed to assure their health as the gestational carrier incurs potential obstetrical risks.”