SURROGACY EXPLAINED: HOW TO BIRTH YOUR BABY AS AN LGBTQ PARENT


Source: Ket Subiyanto Pexel


LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) people only have limited options for becoming parents. Options like adoption, foster care, co-parenting, children from former relationships, and surrogacy.


WHAT IS SURROGACY?

Surrogacy is an arrangement or agreement often backed up by legal agreement whereby a woman agrees to bear a child for another person or couple who wants to have children but can't do it naturally.


SOME TERMS ASSOCIATED WITH SURROGACY

  • Surrogate: This is a woman who bears a child on behalf of another person or couple, typically via insemination (artificial or natural) or IVF (in vitro fertilization).

  • Intended parent: This person cannot bear a baby and hires a surrogate instead.

  • Egg or Sperm donor: This is the person who donates an egg or his sperm that would be fertilized or fertilized as the case may be.


Surrogacy is not so much an easy process; it involves a lot of physical procedures and legal procedures depending on the country you may live in, as different rules apply to different citizens. For instance, some countries term surrogacy as criminal if money exchanges hands and some countries see this as an acceptable practice. There are majorly two types of surrogacy, namely;

  1. Traditional surrogacy is also known as partial, natural, or straight surrogacy. This method of surrogacy is easier and more complex physically and legally. In this method, the surrogate is inseminated naturally (through sex) or artificially by using the sperm of the donor. When the donor sperm is used, the resulting child would not be genetically related to the intended parents. Still, when the sperm of the intended father is used, only the intended father and surrogate would be genetically related to the child.

  2. Gestational surrogacy: Also known as host or full surrogacy. This method differs from the methods mentioned above; the resulting child would not be genetically related to the parents. IT is the most commonly used surrogacy method because it is less complex than the other available method. Here, an embryo is created by in vitro fertilization (IVF) technology using the intended mother’s egg and intended father’s sperm and then implanted in the surrogate mother's womb.


NB: The embryo could also be created using the intended mother's egg and donor sperm or an intended father's sperm and a donor’s egg.


Birthing your baby as an LGBTQ couple should no longer be an issue that you have to worry about because, as I mentioned earlier, from the limited options available to LGBTQ couples who want to become parents, surrogacy is an answer.


Surrogacy gives same-sex couples who want children with whom they would share a biological connection an opportunity to do so and do it without any hassle.


There are some steps involved in the process of surrogacy for LGBTQ couples;


  1. They decide who would be genetically related to the child: For a lesbian couple, they would have to choose who would be donating their eggs to be fertilized, while gay couples would decide whose sperm would be used to fertilize the donor sperm.

  2. They choose who would be the donor: The same-sex couple will have to choose who they want their donor to be. They could decide to ask someone they know or use an anonymous person as their egg or sperm donor, as the case may be.

  3. They decide the surrogate use: Some couples would feel comfortable using a person they know- a friend or relative as their surrogate. In contrast, others would feel more comfortable hiring a surrogate from a surrogate agency.


Making these decisions successfully is the first step toward becoming parents In the LGBTQ community.


At any rate, what you should know is that; although there are few options open to LGBTQ couples to choose from when they want to step into the role of parents, the only option most suitable when these couples want to choose if they are going for biological connection with a child is "Surrogacy."


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