The benefits of ethical surrogacy
Infertility affects millions of couples around the world, and it certainly isn’t a new phenomenon. In Egypt, researchers discovered documents dating back to 1900 B.C. describing treatments of gynecologic disorders. Reproductive medicine has come a long way since then. In 1978, the first baby was born from in vitro fertilization (IVF). More than 5 million babies have been born from IVF and reproductive technologies since 1978. During that time, there has been a great deal of legislative, ethical and media focus on reproductive medicine. This include ethical surrogacy.
Standards for reproductive medicine
Many years before the first IVF baby’s birth, experts created an organization to support reproductive technologies and shape public policy and legislation on these topics. This organization is the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). Members of the organization must uphold high ethical principles. The group’s membership includes not only obstetricians and gynecologists, but urologists, embryologists, mental health professionals, researchers and many other professionals.
Importance of ethical surrogacy
Surrogacy is a complex medical and legal issue. A surrogacy contract protects the rights of the parents, the surrogate mother and the child. At CSP, our goal is to ensure all parties meet those legal requirements and we practice ethical surrogacy. The ethical standards from ASRM provide an excellent framework that we use as a guide throughout the surrogacy process.
Ethical surrogacy and legal factors
The role of the surrogacy agency is to help manage the process, complete all screening, provide matching services and set up the financial compensation and trust process. The agency also safeguards the confidentiality of all parties, confirms that parental rights are legally established and ensure ethical surrogacy.
Here are some of the ethical guidelines from ASRM that our team follows at CSP:
The surrogate has the right to:
- Know all risks associated with the surrogacy process and pregnancy
- Earn reasonable compensation
- Receive psychological evaluation and counseling
- Access independent legal counsel with experience in surrogacy and reproductive law
The parents have the right to:
- Be the legal and psychosocial parents of the child
- Learn of any complications with the surrogate mother at any point during the surrogacy process
- Full disclosure of the surrogate mother’s medical information
- Legal documentation signed by the surrogate that she has fully disclosed all information
- Representation of an attorney experienced in third-party reproduction
Other ethical and legal concerns
Each surrogacy is unique. The surrogate and parents meet and interact during the pregnancy as well as afterward. It is a fulfilling and emotional process from the first meeting until the time the surrogate places the child into the loving arms of its parents after the birth.
To make the surrogacy as enjoyable and smooth as possible, CSP has policies that all parties must understand and adhere to. Due to the uniqueness of each surrogacy situation, there could be additional considerations as well. This list highlights some of the considerations that we will discuss during counseling and legal sessions:
- Respecting confidentiality and the privacy of the parents, surrogate mother and child
- Reviewing the separate legal process that exists for finalizing parental rights for same-sex parents
- Discussing the number of embryos to be transferred (no more than two, but usually only one)
- Setting up a financial trust account for the surrogate mother
- Creating a clear understanding and documented plan for surrogacy
- Providing additional compensation for specific requests of the surrogate
Professionalism is key to a successful partnership with a surrogacy agency. The agency you pick should always address your questions and concerns. You should also feel comfortable with the decisions and agreement you sign. Our experienced team has worked with and supported thousands of successful surrogate pregnancies. Contact us to learn more about ethical surrogacy.