Many people around the world go through a typical cycle of social growth where a deep relationship is formed with someone else, and then thoughts turn to spending a lifetime together and starting a family. Sadly, the typical route to starting a family isn’t always easy, or even available, to everyone. Some people have big obstacles in their way that make natural childbirth either impossible or a big risk that would endanger the mother, the child, or both.
In some cases, such as same-sex male couples, neither partner has a uterus in which a baby can gestate, so natural pregnancy is biologically impossible. In other cases, the woman in a relationship may have a medical consideration, such as a heart condition, where the strain of pregnancy may be too demanding to risk natural conception, pregnancy, and labor.
That doesn’t mean in these situations that it’s impossible to start a family, but it does mean that different alternatives have to be explored. Adoption is one natural alternative to consider, but surrogacy, with the assistance of an experienced surrogacy clinic, is another.
How Surrogacy Works
Surrogacy is the process of finding a woman medically evaluated to be a good candidate for safely getting pregnant and deliver a healthy baby and then entering into an agreement with her to bear a child on behalf of a hopeful family. Surrogacy is an age-old method that goes back even to Biblical times, with figures like Abraham undertaking surrogacy with his servant Hagar, so that he and his wife Sarah could have a family.
For centuries, the only way that surrogate motherhood could work was if the father of the couple, hoping to have a family, had sexual intercourse with the surrogate mother. In the 21st century, this kind of awkward transaction is no longer required, and artificial insemination is one option for surrogate motherhood.
What Is A Surrogacy Clinic?
A surrogacy clinic is a specialized organization that focuses on helping to manage the surrogacy process to make it easier and safer for everyone involved, both the hopeful couple and the surrogate mother that is agreeing to undertake a considerable task.
Under ordinary circumstances, a couple attempting to find a surrogate mother on their own has to spend a huge amount of time to do so. Finding candidates is easy, but finding a suitable candidate is a whole other order of magnitude in difficulty. A surrogate mother needs to have certain physical, lifestyle and experiential qualifications to be considered a suitable candidate. This means that a couple must do all the verifying, searching for references, and getting up to speed on these qualifications on their own, and then manage a very elaborate screening process to find people who qualify.
One of the first things that a surrogacy clinic does is take away much of the logistical burden that comes with trying to locate surrogate mothers that are not just willing, but medically and psychologically suited to the task. This means that a hopeful couple can look at a pool of already qualified and vetted candidates and spend that time making the right choice, as opposed to trying to fill the pool with choices to begin with.
Taking The Next Step
Surrogacy clinics can also be an important partner in the next phase of surrogate motherhood, the actual pregnancy itself. Again, without any experience in this, a couple must look for and screen available medical facilities for the type of surrogacy that is required. Artificial insemination, for example, has now sufficiently advanced that it can be done at home, but this is not recommended, especially for people interested in the highest chance of success.
On the other hand, a gestational pregnancy, in which an egg is fertilized by sperm in a lab-supervised setting, then implanted into a uterus, is an extremely complex medical technique. A surrogacy clinic already knows what is involved in the different types of surrogate pregnancies, which facilities are best equipped to handle these tasks, and how to ensure that both the hopeful couple and the surrogate mother are adequately prepared for both the fertilization, and any special needs that may arise later, during the pregnancy.
In some cases, a valuable service that surrogacy clinics can provide is ensuring the safe, legal, and citizenship status of a newborn baby. If, for example, a couple has left their country of residence to undertake surrogacy in another country, such as Georgia, there may be extra legal considerations that need to be addressed.
Children born outside the country of returning parents are not always guaranteed citizenship. In some cases, the sudden arrival of a family with a new baby when the mother that departed the country wasn’t pregnant can result in a child having no citizenship status at all, and thus regarded as “stateless.”
A good surrogacy clinic that has experience in dealing with international couples often has the legal mechanisms in place to prepare a returning family for these possibilities. This ensures that, upon return, a family stays together, and the newborn is granted all rights and privileges of citizenship in the intended country of residence.