Choosing surrogacy often comes after other options to parenting have failed or are simply not available. A surrogate mother carries the child on behalf of the parent or parents. Often surrogacy is chosen over adoption because the parent(s) can have a genetic link to the child. Options include egg and sperm from the couple, donor sperm and egg from mother, donor egg and sperm from the father.

What is a surrogate mother?

A surrogate mother is a woman who carries a baby for a couple. Traditionally, surrogate mothers are artificially inseminated with the intended father’s sperm. The child is the biological child of the surrogate mother. Growing in popularity is the gestational surrogate who serves only to grow the baby in her womb. The child is biologically that of the couple.

In terms of the law, gestational surrogates are a simpler option because the child isn’t biologically tied to the surrogate.

Why choose a surrogate?

The most common reasons couples choose surrogacy as an option to becoming parents are:

• Absence of a womb

• Recurring loss of pregnancy

• Repeated implantation (IVF) failures

How do you find a surrogate?

There are a variety of resources available to people seeking a surrogate.

Asking friends or family is an option though it can be stressful and legally complicated because of the potential biological ties.

Surrogate agencies are more common especially for gestational surrogates. The agency aids the parent(s) in finding a suitable surrogate, and manages the contractual and financial transactions.

While there are some regulations regarding surrogacy, it’s important to have a trusted legal advisor handle your case. At Stuart & Blackwell, we help you understand your surrogacy options so you can make a decision that is right for your family.