There are many reasons why a couple might choose to take the route of having a baby through a surrogate mother. Here are just six of the most common:
Same-Sex Couples: Gay couples, most commonly men, will sometimes use donated eggs and the services of a surrogate mother to create a family. At ConceiveAbilities, in addition to long-standing medical acceptance, we are delighted to report that this practice is rapidly gaining in widespread public acceptance. For more information on the subject, please read our take on same sex parenting.
Age: Many clinics that conduct In Vitro Fertilization have a specific age requirement when working with their female clients. For women who fall outside of that age range, but still desire to have a genetically-related child, working with a surrogate is a great answer.
Personal Decision: As modern family advocates, we believe everyone has the right to build families in the way that supports their personal choices. For some women, surrogacy is not a medical choice, but a social choice.
Lack of a Uterus: Some woman that wish to start a family may not have a uterus. This can be the result of a rare genetic malformation affecting as many as one in twelve thousand women, or the woman may have had her uterus removed. This is sometimes a necessary step in treating such medical conditions including certain forms of cancer. The lack of a uterus precludes any possibility of the woman bearing a child herself.
Uterine Structural Problem: A woman might have an inherent condition or uterine defect that makes conception of a child difficult, or which makes it unlikely that a child will be carried to term. Sometimes, a malformation of the uterus can have little impact on conception, however, there are those for whom it can make it impossible for the woman to actually carry her child to term properly.
Other Medical Conditions: Some medical conditions, while they don't directly affect a woman's physical ability to bear children, can have an impact upon her ability to carry a healthy child to term while maintaining her own health. Conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease, or severe diabetes can turn a pregnancy into a life-threatening event for mother and child alike, as might a history of certain types of cancer. Also, certain medicines that a mother may need to take to treat a specific health problem or physical condition, while not related to the pregnancy, may put an unborn child's health at risk.
Naturally, there are many other reasons for opting to have a child via a surrogate mother, but these six reasons alone represent tens of thousands of individuals in dozens of countries around the world. We are thrilled for every hopeful parent who can see their dream of building a family become reality by means of surrogacy.
If you or someone close to you might benefit from the use of a surrogate mother in starting a family, consider giving this a read. Our Matching Matters program has helped to connect hopeful parents with surrogate mothers since 1996, in countries spread across every permanently inhabited continent.
All Things Conceivable is a blog dedicated to sharing the knowledge and expert opinions of the dedicated team at ConceiveAbilities, a Chicago-based egg donation and surrogacy agency.