Surrogate Parenting - A Good Idea?
edited: Monday, July 14, 2003
By Anastacia Lee
Posted: Monday, July 14, 2003
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With so many couples out there who cannot carry a child of their own, many of them are turning to surrogacy. What does it mean to be a surrogate parent and is it a good choice?
Could you conceive a child, carry it for nine months and then just give the child up? I’m not talking about adoption; I’m talking about being a surrogate parent. Fathers can also be surrogate by donating their sperm, of course.
What is surrogacy? It is, as defined by Merriam-Websters Dictionary, the practice of being a surrogate mother or father. In layman's terms it means conceiving and carrying a child to full term for someone who is unable to carry a child of their own and then give them full rights to the child at birth.
This practice isn’t that uncommon and there was actually a pretty well known case back in 1980. It was the case of Baby M., where the egg donor and surrogate mother actually decided to not give the baby to the intended parents. This of course became a huge issue and the intended parents never did raise the child that was meant to be theirs.
Of course, this isn’t the typical happening of surrogacy. It is usually a beautiful and loving process that leaves both parties with a good feeling. Surrogacy gives the couple wanting a child the option to have a part in the process throughout the pregnancy. If the mother cannot carry for whatever the reason, she can still have her eggs extracted and placed into the surrogate mother as well as the fathers’ donation. Adoption may be another alternative for those who cannot find someone that they trust to carry their child but for those who can and who would like to take a bigger part in the birth, this seems to be the way to go.
According to OPTS (The Organization of Parents Through Surrogacy), this method has become pretty widespread in recent years and they estimate that there are now as many as 1,000 surrogate births a year. They also say that while there are no accurate records, they believe that there have been approximately 10,000 births such as these since 1976.
Since the birth parents have so many rights, it is easy to see why this form of birth is more appealing to those wanting a child. They can use their own “properties” and therefore are the true biological parents. This way they feel more comfortable in knowing that there will not be many problems when the baby is born.
When looking for someone to carry your baby for you, the best idea is to find someone with whom you are close. You want to find someone who you can trust to take care of themselves during the pregnancy so that the baby will be healthy. There are women out there who are willing to have babies for couples but are usually charging quite the high price and then of course the hospital fees and any other costs that come along with it. One would pay these costs no matter who was carrying for them, but most people I know wouldn’t charge their own sisters a large sum of money to have the baby that they can’t have naturally.
Are there problems when the baby is finally born as far as becoming attached during the pregnancy? Surely it’s hard to let go after carrying this beautiful creation within you for nine months, but you must remember that it's for a good cause.
The topic of Health discussed here is only the opinion of the author. Please consult a professional before taking the advice of the author.