Before getting into the why & how, let’s understand what surrogacy means.
“Surrogacy is an arrangement where a woman carries & delivers a child for another person or couple. Surrogacy can be of the following 4 types:
Traditional Surrogacy: In this case, the surrogate mother is also the genetic mother of the child. In a traditional surrogacy the woman conceives via home artificial insemination using fresh or frozen sperms or impregnated via IUI (intrauterine insemination), or ICI (intracervical insemination) performed at a health clinic.
Gestational Surrogacy: In this case, the mother is genetically not related to the child. A gestational surrogacy requires the implantation of a previously created embryo, and for this reason the process always takes place in a clinical setting.
As is evident, surrogacy involves a lot of ethical as well as emotional issues. This is a sensitive treatment as a third party apart from the couple is involved here. There are a whole lot of legality issues involved as well. Still, surrogacy is a breakthrough and boon for childless couples both in India & abroad. Factors like flexibility, relative affordability and minimal regulation make India a preferred destination for surrogacy treatments. The availability of surrogate mothers is easier & higher in India. The following factors contribute to making India a hot destination for surrogate treatments:
– Meticulous & stringent criteria for choosing surrogate mothers
– Surrogates are aged between 21-35, married with previous history of normal delivery & healthy babies
– Detailed personal, medical & family history background check is done.
– History of blood transfusion & any form of addiction is also checked for
– The surrogates obstetric history is also thoroughly checked to ensure that their has been no past history of repeated miscarriage, or any kind of post natal and prenatal complications in previous deliveries.
– The surrogate & her partner are screened for infectious diseases, sexually transmitted diseases, hepatitis etc.
– Thalassemia screening is also done. Detailed pelvic sonography is done and other tests for uterine receptivity are performed to ensure maximum chances of success.
– A detailed financial and legal agreement is then drawn up between the surrogate and the commissioning couple.
In India, a surrogate is considered as a high risk pregnancy that is cared for by 2 consultant gynecologist at the hospital. India boasts of a success rate of 45% in case of fresh embryos. In case of frozen embryos the success rate is about 25%. Such a high success rate and low medical costs are the prime reasons for India being the preferred destination for surrogate treatment that couples world over choose.