Hey Readers! My today’s article is about the best feeling in the world. Pregnancy! Though I wish all the ladies are or will be able to enjoy this feeling, but sometimes & somehow, some ladies do not get this chance, and the reasons could be like, pregnancy is medically impossible, or it presents an unacceptable danger to the mother’s health. In such cases, People or Intended Parents may seek a Surrogacy arrangement.

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Many of you must have heard about the term ‘Surrogacy,’ and I hope that is why you are here. Also, you are absolutely at the right place because I am going to share thick and thin information about it including its meaning, cost, laws in India, and many more and this is why this article will be a lengthy one but definitely not boring one.

So, let’s get started with the surrogacy meaning or what exactly it is?

What exactly does Surrogacy Means?

Surrogacy, the fertility treatment or an Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) in which a woman (A Surrogate Mother) agrees to become pregnant, carries and delivers a pregnancy for another person or a couple to start or grow their family when they can’t do so on their own due to many possible reasons;

  • missing or abnormal uterus
  • multiple unexplained pregnancy miscarriages,
  • failed in-vitro fertilization attempts,
  • medically impossible
  • carries an unacceptable risk to the health condition of the Intended Mother

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As part of the surrogacy agreement, the surrogate mother abandons all her parental rights also agrees to give the baby to the commissioning Parents immediately upon delivery.

Now the question must be coming into your mind, how it happens as well as how it is possible? Don’t worry; I will be sharing that information too very soon. Before that, you should understand why Surrogacy is the good option of becoming parents?

Surrogacy Meaning in Hindi

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नि:संतान लोगों के लिए एक बेहतरीन चिकित्‍सा विकल्‍प है सरोगेसी, जिसके माध्यम से कोई भी संतान की खुशी हासिल कर सकता है। इसकी जरूरत तब पड़ती है जब किसी स्त्री को या तो गर्भाशय का संक्रमण हो या फिर वह किसी अन्य कारण (जिसमें बांझपन भी शामिल है) से गर्भ धारण करने में सक्षम नहीं होती है।

सरोगेसी में एक अन्य महिला और दंपति के मध्य एक एग्रीमेंट होता है, जो दंपति अपना खुद का बच्चा चाहता है। अर्थात इसमें बच्चे के जन्म होने तक एक अन्य महिला के कोख को रेंट पर लिया जाता है।

जिन लोगो को संतान नहीं हो पाती है उनके लिए सरोगेसी एक अच्छा विकल्प है। यह एक ऐसी तकनीक है जिसके जरिये आप संतान का सुख प्राप्त कर सकते है।

Why Choose Surrogacy?

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We know, when a couple is unable to conceive a child of their own, they always have the option of adopting a child. But many of the intended parents do not really wish to adopt a child because surrogacy has significant benefit over other options like parents can;

  • take control of their own reproductive options,
  • create families that share genetic bonds.
  • also, children born through this process are the natural, genetic offspring of their parents.

And, another reason is that the adoption requires long, exhaustive bureaucratic processes and often take years of waiting, whereas surrogacy on average requires about 14 months to complete.

Types of Surrogacy

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Now you know that what Surrogacy is also who the surrogate mother is? It is the time to tell you that there are different types of Surrogacy and each of its kind will explain to you what kind of relationship you will want to have with the surrogate mother.

I’ve explained some types of surrogacy below, but firstly, I will share about the two main types based on Genetic Relationship.

1. Genetic Relationship: Traditional vs. Gestational Surrogacy

Traditional Surrogacy

Traditional Surrogacy is also known as genetic, partial, natural or straight surrogacy. In this process, the surrogate mother is inseminated with the intended father’s sperm either through sexual intercourse or by (IUI) Intrauterine Insemination (the injection of sperm into the woman’s uterus) and then she carries the baby to term.

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In such a case, the surrogate will waive all of her own parental rights; however, the child will be genetically related to both the surrogate mother, who provides the egg and the intended father.

Alternatively, the surrogate mother can be inseminated with the anonymous donor’s sperm as well, however, in such cases, the child will not be genetically related to either commissioning parent but is genetically related to the surrogate. And, if the donor’s sperm is used, the adoption process may be required to have legal rights for the resulting child, in some jurisdictions.

Gestational Surrogacy

Gestational Surrogacy involves In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) technology which is a fertilization process where an egg and sperm are combined outside the body, i.e., in Vitro (in Glass). Simply, the egg is removed from the intended mother’s ovaries and fertilized with the intended father’s sperm in a lab and when the embryo develops (usually it takes 2 to 6 days), it is transferred to a surrogate who carries the baby to term. In such a case, the child is genetically related to the intended parents.

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In some cases, an egg donor or sperm donor may be used, but then the child will be genetically related to the woman who donated the egg or the sperm donor, but not the surrogate.

Gestational Surrogacy is costly as compared to the traditional one as it involves an additional process of obtaining eggs and sperm from the intended parents whereas traditional surrogacy only involves the sperm of intended father. The couples who are not financially strong can go with traditional surrogacy.

2. Payment for a Surrogate: Commercial vs. Altruistic Surrogacy

Commercial Surrogacy

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Commercial or Compensated Surrogacy provides financial benefits to one or more parties like surrogate & surrogacy agent (if any). In other words, in commercial surrogacy, the commissioning parents compensate the surrogate beyond the reimbursement of medical expenses. Surrogate mothers receive medical, nutritional and overall health care through surrogacy agreements with the future parents.

Commercial surrogacy is legal in Ukraine, the US, Greece, and some eastern European countries; however, some nations do not allow commercial surrogacy on ethical grounds.

Keep reading to know about the commercial surrogacy laws in India.

Altruistic Surrogacy

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When a surrogate agrees to carry the pregnancy without any compensation other than the basic expense related to the pregnancy, it is an Altruistic Surrogacy. In most altruistic surrogacy agreements, the surrogate is a close relation to the expected parents (family member/close friend).

In countries like Australia and Canada, this is the only type of surrogacy that is legal.

3. Where you complete it: Domestic vs. International Surrogacy

Domestic Surrogacy

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Domestic Surrogacy, basically, it is not a type of surrogacy; it is just that if your country allows it and properly regulates its laws, you can go for it as it will be cheaper and safer and you will be in regular contact with the surrogate until the baby is born.

If you go for a domestic surrogacy, you can also eliminate the legal processes that occur with bringing a baby abroad back into your own country.

International Surrogacy

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The parents who live in a country where surrogacy is illegal or have strict laws regulating this process can go for surrogacy in other countries where it is legal after exploring different countries’ laws regarding surrogacy.

The surrogate for international intended parents will receive compensation according to the exchange rates and different standards of living.

4. Who You Work with: Agency vs. Independent Surrogacy

Surrogacy Agency

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If the intended parents are not able to find the perfect surrogate, they can go for a professional service that arranges and oversees whole surrogacy procedures. And, this process involves surrogacy agencies.

Surrogacy agency will provide full services to the intended parents, including:

  • appointing and reviewing potential surrogates,
  • organizing clinical processes,
  • deciding on compensation to the surrogates,
  • monitoring the surrogate during the whole process,
  • arranging legal services for the surrogacy process,
  • as well as providing support and guidance to the desired parents.

Independent Surrogacy

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Independent Surrogacy is when the parents enter into the agreement with the surrogate without any agents or mediator. It only involves surrogacy lawyers and fertility clinic that handle the medical and legal aspects of the surrogacy.

Independent Surrogacy usually involves surrogates they already know like close family members or relatives or friends and is significantly less expensive as it does not involves the surrogacy agencies.

Surrogacy Process ‘or’ How Surrogacy Works?

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After knowing the different types of surrogacy, you may be having many questions on its process or how it works? So, I am going to answer this question of yours with this following step-by-step guide of the complete surrogacy journey.

There are basically eight steps in the process:

1. Decide if Surrogacy is the Right Choice

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If you have had repeated unsuccessful pregnancies and years of failed fertility treatments, and you are not very comfortable with adopting a child because of its long and complicated procedure, or you want you own genetic child, surrogacy may be the right option for you.

Therefore, firstly you should decide and make up your mind that it is the right and the perfect choice for you.

2. Where to have your surrogacy process.

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Once you have decided that you want your child through surrogacy process, now you need to explore various countries’ laws including legislation of your own country and decide where and in which country you want this to happen.

3. Consider Surrogacy options

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After deciding the country, it’s time to decide its type. Whether it is traditional or Gestational and whether you wish to go through an agency or independent surrogates.

If you decide to go through the agency, you should find reliable surrogacy agents and a potential surrogate mother.

4. Finding a Surrogate

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Choosing a surrogate is an important and new step toward building or expanding your family. When choosing your options for a surrogate, consider:

  • If she can pass medical screenings.
  • If she has had a kid of her own or been a surrogate before.
  • Whether she is healthy – physically, mentally and in terms of lifestyle.
  • Whether she is financially self-supporting.
  • Her life is stable or not like she is not going through any stress issues
  • If she is emotionally willing to commit to the process.
  • If her state of residence is surrogate-friendly.

5. Review your Process, Timeline, and Budget.

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Now is the time to review everything like clinical procedures, emergency medical costs, surrogate compensation, the timeframe for the entire process depending upon the type of surrogacy and signing off the agreement between desired parents and surrogates.

6. Safety Legal Requirements

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After reviewing everything, surrogate and future parents will need to make the process official by drafting a legal contract. They will meet their respective lawyers who will review and approve the legal aspects of the surrogacy process and complete the contract.

7. Begin the Process

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After signing off the contract, it is time to begin medical procedures to prepare for the embryo transfer. The surrogate will undergo fertility treatments before the embryo transfer and during the pregnancy.

Once a pregnancy is confirmed and that too a healthy one and the baby’s heartbeat is detected, the surrogate will begin receiving compensation and a monthly allowance. She will also begin taking regular tests, receiving prenatal care that will continue throughout the pregnancy.

Read out my another article on 15 superfoods to eat during pregnancy and share it with the surrogate to have a healthy and cute baby.

8. Welcome the New Baby!

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After waiting for long, there will be a life-changing moment for both surrogate and parents when the parents will be receiving the selfless gift from the surrogate, i.e., their own baby.

After that, the surrogate and the new parents will forever be in a relationship throughout the life of the child. And surrogate may continue to provide any other support after the surrogacy.

Is Surrogacy Legal in India or What are the Surrogacy laws in India?

India was considered the hub for commercial surrogacy and it was legal in India since 2002. Also, our country has been a favorite nation for those wanting a surrogate child. The cheap availability of the service allowed an overuse of the practice with commissioning parents arriving from various other countries as well.

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Though it was legal, some unethical practices were happening across the country resulting in exploitation of surrogate mothers and abandonment of children born out of surrogacy.

Some of the Unethical practices include:

  • Surrogacy process was being misused by some wealthy clients (Foreigners and Indians) seeking to jump adoption queues.
  • Surrogate women were not being given proper health care and were being used like baby making machines.
  • Pregnant women often stayed in shelter homes that provided them with less security and assistance than required.
  • Some were abandoning the child born out of surrogacy.

And, this led to the introduction of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 in the Parliament, to control surrogacy services in the nation, to prevent the potential exploitation of surrogate mothers and to protect the rights of children born through surrogacy. Let’s read about the bill next.

Surrogacy Bill in India (2016 & 2018)

The surrogacy bill to completely ban the commercial surrogacy was first introduced in Lok Sabha on November 21, 2016, and then it was referred to Parliamentary on Health and family welfare and has finally passed on December 19, 2018, in Lok Sabha.

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The main aim of the bill is to protect women from exploitation. The bill asserts some rules to control surrogacy in the nation and has completely banned the commercial surrogacy. It only allows for altruistic surrogacy to Indian married couple who cannot bear children.

10 Main highlights from the bill:

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  1. The surrogate mother must be a ‘close relative’ of the commissioning couple.
  2. The Bill allows only Indian citizens to avail surrogacy; foreigners, persons of Indian origin and NRIs are not allowed to commission surrogacy in India.
  3. Single Parents, Homosexuals, and couples who already have children are also prohibited for surrogacy.
  4. The bill provides for the formation of the State Surrogacy Boards, a National Surrogacy Board, and appointment of appropriate authorities for the regulation of the practice of surrogacy.
  5. The commissioning couple and the surrogate should possess a certificate of eligibility issued by an appropriate authority.
  6. The intended couple need a certificate of essentiality issued by an appropriate authority.
  7. The bill is implemented to all the states except Jammu and Kashmir.
  8. According to the bill, the age of surrogate should be between 25 and 35 years, and one woman can only be a surrogate once in her lifetime.
  9. The intending couple shall be married for at least five (5) years, and the age of intended mother should be between 23 to 50 years father’s age should be between 26 to 55 years.
  10. The bill also contains the provision of imprisonment and penalty if the person violates the law.

For more information and for more highlights, please click here.

Surrogacy Cost in India

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The approximate Cost of Surrogacy in India varies between Rs. 1,005,400 to Rs. 1,638,500, however, the exact cost is unspecified because it is different in all cities and clinics and depends upon the various factors:

  • The cost of IUI and IVF treatment
  • Type of Surrogacy, i.e., Gestational or Traditional
  • Reputation and experience of the Doctor
  • Egg Donor Required or Not
  • Sperm Donor Required or Not
  • Clinic Infrastructure
  • Clinic fees, attorney fees, etc.
  • Cost of Legal procedure

Generally, in metropolitan cities and IVF Clinics in metro cities have a higher cost of surrogacy services. The 2nd tier cities have an insignificantly lower cost of surrogacy.

Few points to consider and follow when doing surrogacy in India:

  • Know and verify additional cost or extra fee
  • Always ask for the breakdown of the full price list
  • Work with reputed IVF Clinics/ Fertility specialist
  • Setting the right expectations

For more details on its cost, you can visit the link https://www.elawoman.com/ftc/surrogacy-cost-india

Surrogacy Centres in Delhi

You must be thinking why am I only writing about centers in Delhi so let me answer it, because Delhi, being the capital of India offers notable advantages like:

  • Delhi claims the best healthcare infrastructure in India.
  • Metro in Delhi offers the best and easy mode of transportation.
  • Most cost effective combined with the latest and advanced medical infrastructure.
  • Much less overcrowded as compared to other metro cities.
  • Much cleaner and greener as compared to other cities.
  • World Class infrastructure.

Now, go through the list of 5 famous and the best surrogacy centers in Delhi below.

1. Shantah Fertility Centre

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Shantah Fertility Centre is in Vasant Vihar area of Delhi. They provide services like Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA), Microsurgical Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (MESA), Surrogacy, DNA Fragmentation, Embryo Freezing, Clinical Embryology, and Laparoscopy.

They have maintained a world-class infrastructure and facilities and treats patients with love and determination. The clinic was founded in 2014 & is headed by Dr. Anubha Singh. It is one of the most highly rated Centres in Delhi NCR, & has now been selected as a part of Ela Prime Chain of Centres across South East Asia.

2. Dynamic Fertility and IVF Center

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Dynamic Fertility and IVF Center is situated in South Extension, They provides a wide range of following services namely Obstetrics & Gynecology, Surgical Sperm Retrieval – Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA) / Percutaneous Sperm Aspiration (PESA) / Microsurgical Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (MESA), High-Risk Pregnancy Care and Management, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), Ovarian Stimulation, Surrogacy, Infertility Assessment & Treatment, Blood Test, In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

It can be considered as the best choice to have a fertility treatment due to its comprehensive knowledge and exposure to the field. Dr. Nalini Gupta is heading this clinic as an Infertility Specialist.

3. International Fertility Centre

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International Fertility Centre is a Multi-Specialty and IVF Clinic is in Green Park area of Delhi. The services provided by the clinic are In-Vitro Fertilization, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), Embryo Donation Program, Egg Donation, Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE), Blastocyst, Intra Cytoplasmic Injection (ICSI), Hysteroscopy, Surrogacy, Assisted Hatching, and Laparoscopy. The center has a cutting-edge IVF laboratory with other latest technologies.

They have an extensive network where they have more than 10 IVF centers in India, Nepal, and Afghanistan. It was founded in India in 2012 and is headed by Dr. Rita Bakshi as an IVF and IUI specialist.

4. Aveya IVF and Fertility Centre

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Aveya IVF and Surrogacy Center is in Rajouri Garden area of Delhi and serves as one of the best IVF and Fertility Centers as they have got the highest number of successful IVF and Surrogacy rates. They provide treatments for Blastocysts Culture and Transfer, In-Vitro Fertilization, Laparoscopy & Hysteroscopy, and Laser Assisted Hatching.

The staff at Aveya IVF explain the treatment and also the steps involved in it thereby giving all the solutions for the basic and advanced problems. The clinic consists of three main doctors apart from the supporting staff; Dr. Markus Nitchzke (German IVF Specialist), Dr. Akanksha Mishra (Sr. Embryologist), and Dr. Nisha Bhatnagar (IVF Specialist in India).

5. SCI Surrogacy Centre India

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SCI Surrogacy Centre India is based in Kailash Colony, Delhi. Their specialty includes Embryo Biopsy for PGS/PGD, Ovarian Induction, Obstetrics / Antenatal Care, Pre and Post Delivery Care, Surrogacy, Blastocyst Culture, Infertility Evaluation and Treatment, High- Risk Pregnancy Care, In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), Ovarian induction Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and Male Infertility.

If we look at the surrogacy success rate, then they have delivered more than 1200 babies to infertile parents in India and Abroad. The staff supports as well as guides the patients at every step and gives them a detailed explanation of the problem. Dr. Shivani Sachdev Gour heads the clinic.

To know more centers, their consultation fees, surrogacy fees and to book an appointment in any of these centers, please click here.

Takeaway

We all know that infertility is considered a curse in our Indian society, which actually is not. In such a case, Surrogacy is not less than a boon for infertile couples because it gives such couples a chance to get their own biological child.

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And, now that you know the A to Z of surrogacy, it helps you make an informed decision, and on the other hand, it determines if this process is the best option you have.

There has been a lot of negative statements, communications and general outlook toward surrogacy, and the major reason behind this is lack of knowledge or half knowledge.

With the help of surrogacy thousand couples around the world have realized their dream of parenthood and I wish you all the best so you can also enjoy your parenthood.

Happy parenting! 🙂 🙂