What are some truth about surrogacy? Surrogacy is a form of assisted reproduction available to couples who want to start a family of their own but are unable to do so. The troubles that arise from a married woman who also wants to be called a mother cannot be overemphasized; ranging from the shame of seeing her fellow women carrying their own children to the names people throw at her even from relatives. It’s really heartbreaking.
Therefore, In an attempt to seek solutions why she hasn’t put to birth talk less of conceiving, she goes to many places; from spiritualist to herbalist and the likes. There is a 50% chance that she might get solutions there but in this age where science is ruling the world, it would be more helpful to consult a doctor instead. I mean a surrogacy specialist.
Now, what do we really mean when we say Surrogacy?
When a married man and a woman on their own, cannot start their family (give birth to children), a method of reproduction is used to assist these intending parents which is called Surrogacy.
Without a surrogate mother, who will carry and care for the babies until birth, then surrogacy wouldn’t be possible. Do we know that there are 2 types of surrogate mothers?
Yes! There are 2 types; The traditional and the gestational surrogate.
The traditional surrogate is a woman who gets artificially inseminated with the father’s sperm. After birth, the child is given to the parents to raise. The traditional surrogate is actually the biological mother, since it was her egg that was used.
While The gestational surrogate is a woman in whose uterus, an embryo is placed. The embryo is placed after the egg and sperm has been fertilized by a technique known as IVF (In Vitro Fertilization). The egg used in this case, is the egg of the mother (biological mother) not the surrogate mother (birth mother).
If gay couples were to opt for surrogacy, they would obviously need a traditional surrogate. In the case of traditional surrogacy, a donor sperm can also be used.
In this part of the world; Africa, we love spiritualizing everything. Some women infertility could be a ‘spiritual’ problem; it should be noted that it’s not in all cases.
Before any woman thinks of surrogacy as the next option, probably after trying other options that there are, some reasons for such decision could be due to:
1. Complications arising from the uterus, medically.
2. Heart diseases, which makes it risky or impossible to be pregnant.
3. Hysterectomy (surgery to remove the uterus) because of cancer of the uterus, cervix or ovaries etc…
4. Age barrier.
5. Problems with previous pregnancy.
Let’s now dig into the TRUTH of Surrogacy!
While some people say certain things right about surrogacy,.others, say the opposite. The truth always stands and it’s not from hearsay (s) but from credible sources.
After researching from credible sources and carefully studying what medical professionals have to say about hearsay (s), the rights and wrongs have been properly distinguished. Now, we can be properly guided to the truth!
You definitely want to know the truth, right? Of course, yes. Relax as the truth unfolds.
There will be trouble bonding with your child born through surrogacy. (This is wrong)
Bonding with the child doesn’t begin when the child is still in the surrogate’s womb rather it begins when the child is born. Once the child is born, he/she is given to the intended parents, immediately.
The bond is secured forever by those who nurture the child as they watch he/she grow.
Any woman can be a surrogate. (Really? This is so wrong)
Not every woman out there is qualified to be a surrogate. Before any woman becomes a surrogate, she would have to be properly screened at a trusted surrogacy agency where services like legal surrogacy, gender and genotype selection, IVF and egg freezing (a technique used in freezing a woman’s egg in case the pregnancy is postponed) are rendered.
In addition; the overall state of a potential surrogate; physical health, fertility related health, mental health, criminal background, financial stability, lifestyle, motivations and travel history has to be properly examined.
Also; a surrogate has to be at least 21 years and 40 years old at most. She must have at least a child; this is to ensure the woman understands the medical risk of being pregnant and what it means to be a mother.
Intending parents don’t want to get pregnant because of their wealth. (The level of ignorance in this is saddening. This is really so wrong)
Surrogacy is often the last resort for a woman who has tried so many times and so hard to conceive and carry her own child regardless of the amount of money she has.
The truth in saying people opt for surrogacy for reasons like not wanting any
change in their body shape is little, not common or not true at all. Research has found that most women who want to get pregnant do not care at all about their weight gain, you know why? because it’s temporary. Having a family is the most important part of their lives.
In order to strike out the title of being a childless woman or a witch who eats her unborn child, surrogacy is most likely the last bus stop for her. Now, you see, it’s never for vanity.
The truth is that surrogacy does require a significant financial investment because of the processes and number of persons involved in it, but it is certainly not reserved for the rich and famous.
Surrogacy can be emotionally challenging and in other areas too but at the end, it outweighs the joy of a woman carrying her child after several years of trying to have just one.
Finally, the truth about surrogacy is about a woman who understands the shame of not bearing a child for years and wants to assist another woman so that her shame is turned to joy and she can enjoy parenthood.
Writer: Eberechukwu John
University of Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria.