Surrogacy: What Is It And How Does It Works?

role of surrogate gestational surrogacy

Surrogacy, the meaning and the religious concept of surrogacy

Before we start diving into what surrogacy really is, this article is written in two phases, Phase I and II.

Phase I is basically everything you need to know about surrogacy in Nigeria as a country and even over the world.

Phase II is an optional thought where religious and basic controversies are dealt with.

PHASE I

I have heard this word in most movies and I wonder, is it laziness that causes couples to go for this option or damaged womb? I believe you too have a lot of questions when it comes to surrogacy and surrogate. Well, I might have some answers to your questions.

Surrogacy is defined as the practice where a woman (a surrogate) carries a child for another person(s), intending parents due to a prior arrangement that the child would be handed over to the commissioning parent at birth, I.e Couples transfers pregnancy to a surrogate who helps carry pregnancy up until birth.

Does the word ‘transfer’ in the illustration truly apply in surrogacy? let’s continue.

Surrogacy is an option for couples who probably have medical issues or don’t want stress, how do I mean?

Some women may have medical problems with their uterus due to abortion or some other medical issues like having a hysterectomy I.e removal of the uterus. Other conditions that make pregnancy impossible or risky for you, such as severe heart disease e.t.c, then it’s strictly advisable to go for this option.

Some career women or celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Sarah Jessica Parker, Neil Patrick Harris, and Jimmy Fallon (surrogacy isn’t a bad thing though) might not want to lose their brand so they probably hire a surrogate to do the 9-months job for them but is the risk worth it?

Surrogacy is basically of two major types: traditional and gestational surrogacy.

Traditional surrogacy: This is where artificial insemination comes in, where the egg of the surrogate mother is fertilized by the sperm of the father (to be). The surrogate mother then goes on to carry the pregnancy until birth.

The surrogate mother is genetically tied to the baby. I wrote earlier that, surrogacy is ‘transfer’, this is just to prove that surrogacy is not about the transfer of pregnancy.

Gestational Surrogacy: A technique called In-Vitro fertilization (IVF) makes it so possible to gather eggs from the mother and fertilize it will the father’s sperm then place the embryo in the uterus of a surrogate mother. The surrogate now carries the pregnancy to birth but they are not genetically tied to the child because it’s not the surrogate mother’s egg that was used.

You may want to think about surrogacy if you tried but couldn’t get pregnant with a variety of assisted reproduction techniques, such as IVF. Surrogates have also made parenthood an option for people who might not be able to adopt a child, perhaps because of their age or marital status. Gestational carriers are now more common than traditional surrogates. Why? Since a traditional surrogate donates her own egg, she is technically also the biological mother of the child.

While this can definitely work out just fine, it can create complex legal and emotional issues. In fact, several states actually have laws against traditional surrogacy for these reasons. When choosing a surrogate, a person of age 22 and above, must have given birth to at least one healthy baby before, must be placed under mental screening, sign a contract agreement containing the terms and conditions before agreeing.

A gay couples might also choose an egg donor, fertilize that donated egg, and then have the embryo implanted in a gestational surrogate to carry until birth. There also exist some privately organized agencies that engage in consensually organized conduct of surrogacy in the country, they do this by serving as the middle ground between the surrogate mother and the commissioning parent.

Surrogacy can help fill in some of those details for the 12 to 15 percent of couples experiencing infertility issues — as well as for others who want to have biological children and are in other situations.

The concept of surrogacy, although yet to be legally provided for under the Nigerian laws, remains practiced within our shores. We already had an African Journal for Infertility and Assisted Conception of a “35-year-old married graduate trader with primary infertility of 7-year duration due to Mullerian dysgenesis” in south-eastern Nigeria.

PHASE II

Going religious now, is surrogacy a sin?

There has been a lot of controversies about whether it’s a sin or not, but if we try to carefully separate the types of surrogacy we are talking about then it’s will make a lot of sense and probably add to our basic knowledge of the truth.

As written earlier, surrogacy is of two major types; Traditional and gestational surrogacy.

Traditional being that, there is artificial insemination of sperm into the surrogate mother for the sperm to fertilize her egg and she genetically becomes the child’s mother. A lot of questions and issues arise from these kind of surrogacy especially for a developing country like Nigeria where legality isn’t fully enforced.

Please do note that because it’s a sin, it’s doesn’t necessarily have to be bad (topic for another day).

Does traditional surrogacy now means adultery, I’d say yes because if you look at it from a literal sense, there is now a third party in the marriage which is clearly bridging marriage vows in a way. The husband sleeping with the surrogacy mother is for him to eject sperm into her and the artificial insemination of sperm still amounts or results in the same thing. Artificial Intelligence won’t teach us to decide otherwise in this case.

Deuteronomy 5:18 You shall not commit adultery.

Exodus 20:14 You shall not commit adultery.

Now, these are biblical references to point to us that we are not to commit adultery right?

But when then is surrogacy, not a sin?

I spoke with one of my very good friends about the Islamic ideology concerning artificial insemination, she said one of the articles she read from an Islamic scholar says that AIH(artificial insemination by husband) is allowed but AID(artificial insemination by donor) isn’t allowed but the husband legally owns the child. Another question now arises from her statement that what if the infertility is from the husband, what do we do. She said the majority of the Islamic scholars still stand with AIH not AID (we all are learning here).

We all understand that gestational insemination is a transfer of the pregnancy from the genetic mother to someone else to help carry the child till birth through the help of IVF.

Now we have a basic understanding that, if the child is genetically attached to any donor whether male or female, it is adultery (many will have a contrary opinions about this).

Thank God for IVF, many women who cannot get pregnant due to one issue or the other can proceed to look for a donor and fertilize their eggs through their husband’s sperm and get babies (not that easy though).

The big question left unanswered here is, what then happens if infertility comes from the malefactor, do we keep trying and pray for a miracle, or what exactly?

Many developed countries either adopt babies or gay couples just look for donors and IVF does the rest.

The big question that is still left unanswered in religious beliefs is on infertility from the husband part, what then do we do?

Mind you, I am not trying to write down religion, I personally believe in miracles and I have read heard, and seen a lot of testimonials from people that God still exists if you don’t believe better believe it now GOD IS ALIVE.

The solution is to believe in God, a miracle happens.

Akinseinde Oluwasetemipe

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