Cases, when a married couple cannot experience the happiness of parenthood for various reasons, without resorting to medical help, unfortunately, are not uncommon. According to the research, about 10% of modern couples suffer from infertility of a different genesis. To date, there are technologies that allow childless spouses to become happy parents. However, mankind faces the problem of infertility, probably, its entire history. What is the origin of the modern surrogacy motherhood?
The earliest "official" references to the birth of a child by a woman for a family, where the wife could not conceive and endure the heir, are found in the Bible. The first surrogate mother was Egyptian slave Hagar, who gave birth to Ishmael from Abraham, instead of his wife Sarah, who suffered from infertility (Genesis 16). Another surrogate mother, described in the Old Testament, was the maid Rachel, the second wife of Jacob, Valley. (Genesis, 30). She gave birth to Jacob`s two sons. Ancient Jews often resorted to the help of slaves, who gave birth to children from husbands of barren women. However, the first person to take the child was the legitimate wife of the father of the child, demonstrating her uncontested right for a newborn.
The men of Ancient Rome borrowed their wives to married couples in which, for whatever reason, the wife could not have a child. A baby, born by a "hired" mother, legally was the child of spouses. The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt often married their sisters, and in order to avoid incest, they resorted to service of their slaves for the birth of a legitimate heir to the throne and the continuation of the dynasty. In Mesopotamia, in the Sumerian Code of Law of King Hammurabi, a barren wife was obliged to give her husband a slave for the birth of a son.
Because of the reproductive technologies absense, in those days the fertilization of a surrogate mother occurred in a natural way.
The founders of modern in-vitro fertilization are considered to be two British scientists - gynecologist Patrick Steppe and biologist Robert Edwards. For over 10 years, they attempted to transfer the human embryo, which appeared through artificial insemination of the egg. The researchers conducted more than 600 unsuccessful operations, and finally, in November 1977, the embryo became accustomed, and on July 25, 1978, in the small English city of Oldhem, the first girl from the test tube was born.
The first surrogate motherhood agency in the world was founded by the Michigan family lawyer, Noel Kin, in 1976. At first, the agency's programs were traditional - the egg of the surrogate mother, fertilized with the sperm of the biological father, was implanted. Thanks to Keane's work for 12 years, 302 babies were born. In April 1986, in the city of Ann Arbor (Michigan), a girl was born in the program of complete (gestational) surrogacy motherhood. The baby was carried by a surrogate mother, and it was conceived using the egg of the biological mother and the sperm of her father.