Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Surrogacy

Surrogacy is a practice that enables individuals and couples, including those who may have faced challenges conceiving naturally, such as same-sex couples and women unable to carry pregnancies, to fulfill their dreams of becoming parents. However, it is not without its controversies. Critics argue that surrogacy can lead to the commodification of women’s bodies, raising concerns about the exploitation of economically disadvantaged women in developing countries who may serve as surrogates. Additionally, the complex web of varying laws and regulations surrounding surrogacy across different countries can create hurdles and confusion for intended parents seeking to embark on this journey.


What is the Process of Surrogacy?

Today, many hopeful parents find themselves facing challenges in conceiving or carrying a child naturally, a situation that was quite different from what we experienced in years past. Fortunately, there are now viable solutions available to help these individuals and couples achieve their dream of parenthood, and one such solution is surrogacy.

Surrogacy involves a process where one woman’s uterus is used to implant, carry, and ultimately deliver the embryo of a child for another individual or couple. This woman, who carries the child, is known as a surrogate mother.

Here’s how the surrogacy process typically unfolds:

  1. Intended parents often start by completing a surrogate mother application. This application collects important information about their lifestyle, medical history, and work background, which serves as a foundation for finding the right match with prospective surrogate mothers.
  2. Once the application is accepted, a surrogacy coordinator will reach out to gather more details about the surrogate mother and her family. During this stage, the coordinator also provides information about various surrogacy programs and options.
  3. Following a successful match with a suitable surrogate, discussions turn to financial considerations and essential medical information.
  4. Once all the necessary preparations are in place, and the surrogate mother has been selected, introductions are made between the intended parents and the surrogate. These introductions mark the beginning of an exciting journey towards welcoming a child into their lives.
  5. Surrogacy offers a ray of hope for those facing challenges with natural conception and pregnancy, allowing them to realize their dream of becoming parents.

What are the two main types of surrogacy?

Surrogacy can be categorized into two main types, each with its own distinct characteristics and considerations:

  1. Traditional Surrogacy: In this type of surrogacy, the surrogate mother is genetically related to the child she carries. This occurs when her own egg is fertilized with the intended father’s sperm or donor sperm through artificial insemination. As a result, the surrogate not only carries the pregnancy but also shares a genetic connection with the child.
  2. Gestational Surrogacy: In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate mother carries an embryo that is not genetically related to her. The embryo is typically created using the eggs and sperm of the intended parents or donors through in vitro fertilization (IVF). The surrogate’s role is to carry and nurture the pregnancy until birth, but she does not share a genetic connection with the child.

Both types of surrogacy involve complex legal agreements and medical procedures to ensure the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved are clearly defined and upheld. These agreements cover various aspects, including custody, financial arrangements, and the surrogate’s role throughout the pregnancy and delivery. Additionally, medical evaluations and fertility treatments are necessary steps in the surrogacy process to optimize the chances of a successful pregnancy.

How is a surrogate baby made?

In the process of surrogacy, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is a common technique used to achieve pregnancy. Here’s how it typically works:

  1. Egg Retrieval: Eggs are retrieved from the intended mother or an egg donor through a medical procedure known as egg retrieval or egg aspiration. This is done under anesthesia.
  2. Sperm Collection: Sperm is collected from the intended father or a sperm donor, if needed.
  3. Fertilization: The retrieved eggs are fertilized with the collected sperm in a laboratory setting, resulting in the creation of embryos.
  4. Embryo Selection: The developed embryos are closely monitored, and the healthiest and most viable ones are selected for the surrogacy procedure.
  5. Embryo Transfer: The selected embryo is transferred into the uterus of the surrogate mother. This is typically done using a thin catheter.
  6. Pregnancy: If the embryo successfully implants in the surrogate’s uterus, pregnancy can occur. The surrogate mother will then carry and nurture the pregnancy until childbirth.

In vitro fertilization and surrogacy have provided hope and an opportunity for many couples struggling with infertility to have biological children. It allows individuals who may not be able to carry a pregnancy to have a child with their own genetic material, either through the intended mother’s eggs or with the help of donors.

Does a surrogate baby have the mother’s DNA?

Given that the embryo is created using the biological parents’ eggs and sperm and subsequently placed into the surrogate mother’s womb, the child does not inherit any DNA from the surrogate mother. However, it’s worth noting that epigenetic factors might influence the baby’s gene expression. This is a reasonable consideration. In gestational surrogacy, there is no transfer of DNA during pregnancy. Instead, the embryo is produced using the eggs and sperm of the intended parents or donors and is then implanted into the surrogate mother’s uterus. Consequently, the baby’s DNA is entirely inherited from either the donors or the intended parents.

Are surrogate babies breastfed?

Do surrogates breastfeed? In short, no, surrogates typically do not breastfeed. While it’s not illegal and there are no restrictions preventing surrogates from breastfeeding, it’s not a common practice. Surrogates usually do not wish to breastfeed because the child is not biologically theirs, and they have no intention of parenting the child. The intended parents usually prefer not to establish this kind of bonding, so what often occurs is that surrogates use a breast pump to express milk and colostrum. This process, known as induced lactation, involves hormone therapy and pumping to stimulate milk production. It allows intended parents to bond with their baby through feeding, even if they did not carry the child themselves.

Will a surrogate carry twins?

Yes, that is indeed the answer. The occurrence of twins during the surrogacy process is certainly possible, whether it arises from a natural split in the uterus leading to identical twins or the transfer of two separate embryos that successfully implant. However, there are several factors to consider. Intended parents should have a prior discussion with both their surrogate and fertility specialist regarding the possibility of twins. This is important because a twin pregnancy can impact the pregnancy itself, the delivery process, as well as financial and emotional aspects. In the case of a twin pregnancy, having a strong support system in place can be advantageous for both the surrogate and the intended parents.

Why do celebrities have babies via surrogate?

Celebrities opt for surrogacy for a variety of reasons, which may include concerns about privacy, medical considerations, or a simple preference for this method of expanding their families. Surrogacy offers them the opportunity to continue their professional commitments without interruption, accommodating their demanding schedules. For instance, Amber Heard, a well-known celebrity, recently welcomed her first child via surrogacy, adding a daughter to her family. Many other celebrities have also embarked on this surrogacy journey. Notable figures such as Karan Johar, who is now a parent to twins through surrogacy, along with Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, and Tusshar Kapoor, have embraced surrogacy as a viable option. This choice has gained popularity among individuals or couples facing fertility challenges or difficulty conceiving naturally.

Does the surrogate mother have the same blood type?

Aside from that, the blood type of the surrogate mother is inconsequential in the surrogacy journey and pregnancy. It’s entirely possible for the surrogate mother to have a different blood type than that of the baby or the intended parents. This distinction arises from the fact that blood type is not an inherited genetic trait transmitted from the surrogate mother to the infant. Instead, the baby’s blood type is determined by the genetic makeup of its biological parents.

What does “intended mother” mean?

An intended mother is a woman who has the desire to have a child through assisted reproductive technology, such as in vitro fertilization, either using her own eggs or donor eggs. This includes both heterosexual couples facing infertility issues and individual intended mothers who may have medical conditions preventing them from carrying a child themselves. We firmly believe that everyone should have the opportunity to build the family they dream of, and we are committed to working closely with you to make that dream a reality. Our rigorous screening process ensures that we match you with a surrogate who meets our strict gestational carrier criteria, providing you with the assurance that she is a suitable fit and will meet your expectations. Our dedicated professional team is here to offer personalized support and guidance, helping you navigate the adoption or surrogacy journey with confidence and peace of mind. We are committed to assisting you in creating your family through a safe, legal, and ethical process.

How many times can you be a surrogate?

A woman can choose to serve as a surrogate multiple times, but it is crucial to consider the potential impact on her health and overall well-being. To allow their bodies sufficient time for recovery, it is recommended that surrogates wait a minimum of 6 months between pregnancies.

How Much Does A Surrogate Make Per Baby?

The compensation for surrogacy can vary depending on factors such as the location, the agency involved, and the unique circumstances of the case. However, surrogates typically receive compensation ranging from $30,000 to $50,000 per child.

Can surrogacy fail?

Indeed, various factors, including unsuccessful implantation, miscarriage, or health complications during pregnancy, can result in the failure of a surrogacy arrangement. On average, surrogacy has a live birth success rate of 75% per embryo transfer. We contend that the surrogate may experience a sense of loss due to the absence of the expected “good news,” even though the intended parents may have previously endured losses during their fertility treatments. Recognizing the emotional challenges that surrogacy can pose to all parties involved and providing appropriate support is essential throughout the process. Additionally, it is crucial to consider legal and ethical aspects to ensure a fair and secure experience for everyone.

How old can a person be before becoming a surrogate?

In many countries, the minimum age for becoming a surrogate is 21 years old. However, specific clinics or agencies may have their own unique requirements and guidelines in place.

How much do they pay surrogate mothers in Nigeria?

A willing surrogate mother who has successfully delivered two babies for the intended parents revealed that she received a compensation ranging from ₦600,000 to ₦800,000. However, the compensation offered to surrogate mothers in Nigeria can vary based on factors such as location, experience, and the specifics of the contract. It’s essential to seek legal advice before finalizing any surrogacy arrangement.

How much does egg donation cost in Nigeria?

In Nigeria, the cost of egg donation can vary depending on the clinic and location. It’s essential to conduct thorough research, compare prices, and consult with a legal expert before beginning any fertility treatments. Typically, clinics offer compensation ranging from 80,000 to 150,000 naira per cycle of egg donation. When making a decision, it’s important to assess the success rates of different clinics and consider the potential emotional and physical toll of the treatments. Additionally, it’s advisable to check with your healthcare provider, as some insurance plans may cover certain reproductive procedures.

Where can I sell my eggs in Nigeria?

It’s important to emphasize that the sale of human eggs is illegal in Nigeria and can lead to serious legal consequences. Instead, individuals may explore alternative options such as donating eggs for scientific research or helping infertile couples through reputable reproductive clinics. Some clinics, like Garki Hospital Abuja and Nordica Fertility Centers in Asaba, Ikoyi, and Lagos, offer comprehensive services, including egg donation programs that allow individuals to assist those dealing with infertility. Prior to making a decision, thorough research and consideration of all available options are essential.

What are the side effects of egg donation?

Throughout an egg donation cycle, there exists a very slight possibility of experiencing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). OHSS generally occurs after the egg retrieval process and is characterized by abdominal discomfort, bloating, ovarian enlargement, and weight gain. In severe cases of OHSS, hospitalization and medical intervention may be required. However, diligent monitoring and adjustments to drug dosages during the cycle can help minimize the risk of developing OHSS.

Can you mix two sperms together?

No, it is not possible to mix two sperms together, as each sperm carries the genetic material of a single individual.

How many sperm do you need to have twins?

One fertilized egg (ovum) splitting into two children with the same genetic makeup results in identical or monozygotic twins. On the other hand, two eggs (ova) being fertilized by two separate sperm result in fraternal or dizygotic twins, who are two genetically distinct individuals. Fraternal twins can be of different sexes and have separate placentas, while identical twins are always of the same sex and share the same placenta. Fraternal twins occur in approximately 12 out of every 1,000 births, whereas the occurrence of identical twins is random and happens in about 3 out of every 1,000 births.

How long does it take for sperm to reach the egg?

After entering the reproductive system, it might take approximately 30 to 45 minutes for the sperm to reach the egg. Healthy sperm with proper motility are crucial for reaching and fertilizing the egg. These healthy sperm can remain viable within a woman’s body for up to 2 to 5 days. However, factors like smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, and certain medications can negatively affect sperm health. Therefore, adopting a healthy lifestyle and avoiding harmful substances can increase the chances of successful fertilization.

Is surrogacy a sin in the Bible?

While the Bible doesn’t directly mention surrogacy, some Christians believe it contradicts God’s intended path for procreation, leading them to view it as a sin. However, contrasting perspectives argue that surrogacy can provide a means for infertile couples to have children and realize their dream of starting a family.


In conclusion, the surrogacy debate is intricate and multifaceted, featuring compelling arguments from various perspectives. It’s crucial for individuals and policymakers to thoroughly assess the ethical, legal, and emotional dimensions of surrogacy before forming opinions or making decisions. This wraps up our discussion on surrogacy, and I hope it provides valuable insights for anyone considering or involved in the surrogacy process. Approaching surrogacy with sensitivity, respect, and a commitment to ethical practices is paramount.

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