What is surrogacy?
Surrogacy is a form of assisted reproductive technology where a woman (the surrogate) offers to carry a baby through pregnancy on behalf of another person or couple and then return the baby to the intended parent(s) once it is born.
Surrogacy is a highly complex process, and there are many important steps to ensure that both parties make the best decisions – including extensive counselling, psychiatric assessment and independent legal advice. At Elrapha hospital surrogacy program can support you throughout this journey.
In surrogacy, an embryo is created using an egg and sperm produced by the intended parent(s) (or donors), and is transferred into the surrogate’s uterus. The surrogate has no genetic link to the child. Her eggs cannot be used to conceive the child.
Who is eligible for surrogacy?
A person is eligible to commission a surrogate if:
- as a woman she is unlikely to become pregnant, be able to carry a pregnancy or give birth due to a medical condition; or
- as a couple, multiple transfers of a genetically normal embryo have been unsuccessful; or
- the intending parent is a single male or in a same sex male relationship
Who can be a surrogate?
To reduce the risks of surrogacy to both the intending parents and the proposed surrogate, we have a number of conditions that have to be fulfilled before we offer this treatment. The surrogate must satisfy all of the following requirements:
- She must be older than 25, and younger than the age of natural menopause (52 years of age). This may be increased slightly to 55 in the unique situation of a gestational surrogate who is the mother or mother-in-law of the intended parent
- Must have already given birth to a child of her own
- Have no history of pregnancy-related illnesses or complications
- Have an established relationship with the intending parents for a period of no less than 6 months by the time of embryo transfer
- Neither the surrogate nor intending parents suffer from any significant psychiatric disorder that would impair decision-making or the care of the child
- The surrogate must not use her own eggs although a third party donor is permissible
How do you find a surrogate?
As an intending parent, you have to find your own surrogate. It is illegal to advertise for someone to act as a surrogate, and you cannot pay someone to act as your surrogate. It is also illegal for a woman to advertise that she is willing to act as a surrogate mother.
The surrogacy process explained
- Medical review – the intending couple (or individual) and surrogate attend a consultation with our fertility specialist.
- Independent assessment – the surrogate and the intending couple may need to have an independent obstetric and psychiatric assessment.
- Counselling – for the intending couple, the surrogate and her partner, including any genetic issues.
- Independent legal advice – we need to see a written certificate confirming both parties have been advised on their rights and obligations.
- Elrapha Hospital Ethics Committee – reviews all relevant information and approves.
- IVF treatment cycle – if the intending parent is using her own eggs, they will be collected after an IVF treatment cycle and fertilised with her partner’s sperm. The embryo will then be inseminated into the surrogate.
- Ongoing pregnancy care – Once pregnancy is confirmed, the clinic counsellor will continue to discuss and confirm plans for delivery.
- Birth – the baby is deemed to be the child of the birth mother until the intending parents’ parentage order legally takes effect, under the Surrogacy Bill 2010.
What are the costs associated with surrogacy?
Treatment costs associated with surrogacy will vary, depending on the individual arrangement. We will discuss these with you during your first medical consultation.
To get the process started…
If you are considering surrogacy please call our experienced donor team on (+234)909 9888 9015 to discuss how our surrogacy program can assist you or book an appointment with a fertility specialist.
The risk of surrogacy can range from mild to severe discomfort and sometimes life-threating. Problems during the period of pregnancy may include the physical and mental conditions which can affect the health of the surrogate mother or the baby. There are some problems which do not progress, however, if they occur they may harm the surrogate mother or the baby. The following are some health conditions which a woman may experience during pregnancy such as Depression, High Blood Pressure, Infections, Nausea etc. but they are not limited. There can be more issues so before going for surrogacy you need to discuss with your doctor about the risks.