What is Surrogacy?
Surrogacy is a method where the fertilized egg and sperm is placed inside the womb of another lady who will carry the pregnancy to term. We can only transfer fertilized eggs (embryos) into the womb of a surrogate (gestational surrogacy). Traditional surrogacy, insertion of husband’s sperms into the surrogate, is not allowed.
Who needs Surrogacy?
- Absent uterus (after hysterectomy/congenital absence of uterus)
- Defective uterus (eg, unicornuate uterus)
- Poor endometrium lining
- Women with repeated IVF failures
- Recurrent abortions not amenable to treatment
- Severe medical conditions incompatible with pregnancy
- Single parent
Process of Surrogacy:
Once the surrogate is selected, the egg provider, either the female partner or an egg donor is simultaneously matched. The surrogate’s endometrial lining is prepared and the egg provider is given injections for egg stimulation, usually at the same time. The eggs are collected after about 10-14 days of stimulation. They are fertilized with the husband’s sperms. The fertilized eggs (embryos) are transferred into the surrogate 3-5 days later. The pregnancy test is done 2 weeks after that. Excess embryos are frozen and transferred later if necessary.
Legal aspects of Surrogacy:
The intending parents can either bring their own surrogate or the clinic through an agency can provide one. The Indian government guidelines on IVF surrogacy make it a legal process and the names of the intending parents go into the birth certificate. Commercial surrogacy is allowed. However, both husband and wife must have Indian citizenship. There is yet no ban on single parent surrogacy for Indian citizens.
Selection criteria for a surrogate mother:
- Fit and healthy
- Preferably less than 30 years
- Happy and pleasing personality
- Already delivered at least one child
- All blood investigations (Thyroid, Thalassemia, German measles etc. all normal)
- Day 15-18 endometrial tluckness > 9mm
She and her family understand the procedure and happily willing to carry the pregnancy for 9 months.
Process of Surrogacy at AFGC:
We do not encourage keeping our surrogate in surrogate homes as most of our surrogates are young ladies with small children. We want our surrogates to be happy during pregnancy with their family rather than be in solitary confinement for nine months. The surrogate care taker visits them frequently to ensure proper care is taken and the doctor sees her every 2-3 weeks to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Clinic coordinators give frequent visits to surrogates houses to ensure the same. Antenatal visits and ultrasounds are more frequent than normal pregnancy to ensure smooth and healthy pregnancy. Dr. Kaberi Banerjee personally chooses the surrogates and follow them throughout the pregnancy. However, if any medical issue arises we admit the surrogates. In case in any indented parent specifically wants a surrogate to stay at a home, we have provisions for the same.