Surrogacy motherhood is one of the most common assisted reproductive technologies, the essence of which is that a woman voluntarily carries and gives birth to a baby supposed to be brought up by biological parents. Such a woman is called a surrogate mother. Legally, the parents of this baby will be genetic parents. A surrogate is only a gestational carrier.
Nowadays, there are two types of surrogacy motherhood which are accepted and implemented: traditional and gestational. Let us see what they are characterized by, consider their similarities and differences.
Since ancient times people have experienced situations when, for one or another reason, a spouse cannot conceive, carry or give birth to an heir. In such cases, they turned to the services of other women (most often slaves or maids). They hatched an agreement and gave birth for a childless couple whose father was the spouse of a woman who had fertility problems. The earliest descriptions of surrogacy are found in the Old Testament (Genesis, 16 and 30). To the help of surrogate mothers are widely resorted to in ancient Egypt. This was due to the fact that representatives of the dynasties of the Egyptian pharaohs often married their sisters, and, in order to avoid incest, they gave birth to heirs to the throne with the help of slaves. Men in ancient Rome sent their wives to serve to the childless families. According to the laws of the state, an infant born from a “hired” mother legally belonged to a family and was passed on to biological parents.
In those days, the conception of a baby by a surrogate mother and biological father occurred naturally. In modern conditions, traditional surrogacy supposes that gametes (germ cells) of the surrogate mother and the genetic father are used for conception in vitro. Conception is performed by intrauterine dissemination (sperm is inserted using special instruments into the uterus) or by in vitro fertilization (oocytes are fertilized in vitro under laboratory conditions and then the embryo is implanted into the uterus of a surrogate). With this kind of surrogacy motherhood, the surrogate mother is in fact an egg donor.
According to the laws of most countries of the world, in which surrogacy is legalized, this type is prohibited and equals to human trafficking. This is due to the fact that, as an oocyte donor, the surrogate mother is biologically related to the baby and is its genetic mother.
This type is characterized by the fact that the genetic mother's oocyte is fertilized by the biological father's spermatozoa resulting in an embryo transfer to a third party in the process - a surrogate. Such method excludes any genetic connection between a surrogate mother and an unborn child.
Such conception is carried out according to the IVF method. To do this, the biological mother's egg cell in vitro is fertilized with the father's sperm. Under the supervision of specialists for three to five days the embryo develops in a laboratory. At this time, genetic and chromosome screenings are conducted. After the expiration of a certain period of time, genetically healthy and high-quality embryos are implanted into the uterus of a surrogate mother. As soon as the embryo is firmly implanted, a pregnancy begins, which differs little from a normal one.