Dr. Tomer Singer, with Shady Grove Fertility New York and an award-winning physician, explains why people need to use a surrogate. Whether they have had a medical issue, like a hysterectomy or cancer, have had multiple miscarriages or are a same sex couple, surrogacy allows all people who want to become parents build a family.
As with the advancement of any progressive social ideal, the stories of every day families are the best way to spread the word. Some fantastic surrogate-assisted families from California to Boston recently shared their stories with VeryWell Family, including our very own Crystal Patel.
Why is surrogacy becoming so popular?
There are many reasons why hopeful parents might choose to take the route of having a baby through a surrogate mother; here are just six of the most common:
Age: Women's fertility and ability to have a successful pregnancy declines with age. The good news is that a surrogate, in addition to having had a successful prior delivery of her own child, will be the right age to carry a successful pregnancy to term. The age range requirement when accepting surrogates or gestational carriers is generally from 21-39 years old.
Lack of a Uterus: The woman in a couple wishing 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 certain forms of cancer. The lack of a uterus precludes any possibility of the woman bearing a child herself.
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, we are delighted to report that this practice is rapidly gaining in widespread public acceptance, as well as being long validated by the medical community. For more information on the subject, please check out our information on same sex parenting.
Uterine Structural Problem: Less severe than the above, a woman might have an inherent condition or uterine defect that makes conception of a child difficult. Alternatively, a malformation of the uterus can have little impact on conception but can make it impossible for the woman to carry her child to term safely.
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 – particularly while maintaining her own health at the same time. 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 being taken to treat an unrelated health problem or physical condition may put an unborn child's health at risk.
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.
Naturally, there are many other reasons for deciding to have a child by working with a surrogate mother, but these six options alone represent the reasons for tens of thousands of couples in dozens of countries around the world – people who could see their dream of a biological child made reality by means of surrogacy.
And, are you a woman who enjoyed a healthy and successful pregnancy? Do you have friends or family who have suffered from infertility or need assistance from someone else to build their family? Have you ever considered the role you could play in helping someone else build their family - as a surrogate? Talk to us to learn more about the surrogacy process to help someone else's dream come true.