Surrogate Mothers: A New Path to Parenthood

Surrogate Mothers: A New Path to ParenthoodColombian actress Sofía Vergara is a rising star and doesn’t want anything to get in the way of her success. However, on the personal front, Vergara and her fiancé want a baby! And yet Vergara, who already has a 21-year old son, won’t let a pregnancy interfere with her work on the popular sit-com Modern Family. According to the New York Post, for her, as for many others, surrogacy is the way to go. It seems like the baby would be biologically conceived by Vergara and fiancé Loeb, although the Colombian actress has chosen to have a close friend carry the pregnancy.

Vergara joins a long list of celebrities who have used surrogate mothers to have children. This list includes singers Miguel Bosé and Ricky Martin and actresses Sarah Jessica Parker and Nicole Kidman.

Surrogate mothers are legal in the European Union and, within the United States, they are becoming less of a peculiarity among the rich and famous who, for personal or professional reasons, choose this method as opposed to traditional pregnancy or adoption. 

WHAT IS SURROGATE MATERNITY?
Surrogate maternity occurs when a woman carries a pregnancy and gives birth to a baby that belongs either genetically and/or legally to other parents. There are two ways to get the surrogate mother pregnant: in vitro fertilization (IVF) or artificial insemination, depending on the case.

Surrogacy costs vary greatly from case to case and there are a number of procedures and services which contribute to the final cost of surrogacy.

Read Related: Facing My Infertility: A Journey to Parenthood

DIFFERENT KINDS OF SURROGACY 

  • Traditional Surrogacy: The surrogate mother contributes her own egg, but the sperm comes from the father-to-be or from a donor. The baby is conceived by means of artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization.

  • Gestational Surrogacy: When the egg and the spermatozoon are contributed by the couple that requested the surrogacy. The intended parents create embryos that are transferred to the surrogate mother and the surrogate mother gestates the child but, in this case, the pregnant woman does not have any genetic relation with baby and is known as the “carrying mother” or gestational carrier. This pregnancy is reached by means of in vitro fertilization exclusively.

  • Altruistic Surrogacy: When the woman who carries the pregnancy does it without expecting a financial gain. That is to say, she does not receive payment for her services (carrying a baby). The biological parents are responsible for all of the medical and legal expenses, and they may compensate the mother for other aspects directly related to the pregnancy, like maternity clothes.

  • Lucrative Surrogacy: When the surrogate mother offers to carry the pregnancy in exchange for a sum of money. In this case, the mothers usually operate through an agency specialized in surrogate maternity. The amount received varies according to the negotiated contract and usually includes additional payments for multiples or high risk pregnancies.

Surrogate maternity is currently just another possibility to fulfill the yearning to be parents. Whether for physical, psychological, or purely superficial reasons, using a surrogate mother is becoming a more popular practice for many.

What about you? Are you into the idea of a surrogate pregnancy or does it sound awkward, uncomfortable, or immoral to you?