Surrogacy: The dos and don'ts

  • By Dr. T Deepa Porkodi

The surrogate woman is impregnated by artificial insemination, intra-uterine insemination or intra-cervical insemination, using fresh or frozen sperm.

Surrogate pregnancy can also be achieved by implanting a developed embryo into the uterus of the surrogate, via in vitro fertilization, the process no being called Gestational Surrogacy.

Surrogacy is gaining popularity and social acceptance steadily, as it is indeed a boon for unlucky couples who wish to have a child of their own.

The Dos of Surrogacy:

  1. Choose the surrogate carefully. Look for someone who is healthy, in mind and body.
  2. Make absolutely sure she doesn't drink or smoke and that she isn’t addicted to drugs.
  3. Find a surrogate who is trustworthy and genuine.
  4. Make sure that during the entire 9 months of pregnancy, the surrogate is treated with utmost care; her pregnancy is classified as high risk pregnancy and due care must be given to her. For the first 6 months, doctor appointments should be scheduled, every 4 weeks. The next two months, she must visit the doctor every 2 weeks; and in the last month, the visits must be weekly.
  5. Detailed information about diet and nutrition during pregnancy is always given to the couple and the surrogate. The medicinal supplements are also advised. These must be followed.
  6. All routine blood tests and the tests for VDRL, HBsAG, HIV, must be conducted, as per the normal pregnancy guidelines.
  7. Gynecological and obstetric check-ups, including regular scans, must be done to detect any abnormality at the earliest.
  8. Two doses of Tetanus toxide injection must be administered during pregnancy.
  9. Ultrasound scans, during the specified weeks, should be done without fail.

Care must be taken that the delivery happens in a place that is well-equipped, with all facilities to handle any unforeseen complications.

The Don’ts of Surrogacy:

  1. Do not choose a surrogate under the age of 21.
  2. Do not use a contract downloaded from the internet. Undergo proper legal guidance and draw up a customized contract with your lawyers.
  3. Do not forget to pay the bills that the surrogate will incur due to the pregnancy. Do so in a timely manner.
  4. Don’t forget the psychological evaluation of the surrogate mother.
  5. Try choosing a woman who has given birth to at least one child of her own.
  6. Insemination should be strictly under medical supervision. Do not ‘do it’ at home!