Center for Surrogate Parenting, LLC.

Blog

4 Ways Surrogacy Has Evolved Over Time

4 Ways Surrogacy Has Evolved in the Past 40 Years
Surrogacy has been around for thousands of years, with examples of women carrying babies for couples as far back as biblical times. The surrogacy that we know now has been evolving since the 70s. Here are some notable points within the history of surrogacy that have taken place shortly before and throughout the time CSP has been practicing surrogacy.

First Test-Tube Baby

In 1978, a couple years before our founding director started his surrogacy practice, baby Louise made history being the first test-tube baby born (this is essentially IVF as we know it now). This procedure and piece of history was instrumental in paving the way for surrogacy today despite the fact that baby Louise was not born via a surrogate mother.
Lesley Brown, Louise’s mother, was the first woman, after 80 attempts on various other women, to have a successful IVF. Doctors found success after implanting the embryo at day 2.5 instead of the standard 4 or 5 days that they had been trying.

First Pregnancy with Donated Eggs

In 1983, a woman who was in menopause made history as she was able to become pregnant using donated eggs.

The Case of Baby M

In 1996 surrogate mother, Mary Beth Whitehead gave birth to Melissa Stern. Upon giving birth, Mary Beth decided she did not want to give the baby to the intended parents, but wanted to keep her instead. A 2-year legal battle ensued between Mary Beth Whitehead and biological parents Bill and Betsy Stern. Eventually, the Sterns received custody with Mary Beth receiving visitation rights. This high-profile case prompted legislation concerning surrogacy.

Surrogate Grandmother

In 2001, surrogate mother Viv, then the oldest recorded surrogate, gave birth to her grandson. This grandmother surrogate situation repeated in 2007 by Ann Stopler and twice in 2008 by Jaci Dalenberg and an unnamed grandmother in Japan.
These and other changes have led to the way we engage in surrogacy today. For more information about surrogacy practices and other interesting facts, consult our guide to surrogacy.