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SURROGATE MOTHERHOOD

Surrogate motherhood is one of the methods of assisted reproductive technologies that is applied to treat difficult cases of female infertility.

A woman’s egg (of the genetic mother or donor) is fertilized by a sperm of the genetic father or semen donor. The embryos are incubated and then transferred to the surrogate mother’s uterine cavity and she will carry a baby.

Pregnancy progresses naturally, which is why the labor shall not differ in any way from the usual childbirth process.

Requirements for a surrogate mother

A surrogate mother can be a woman of a full legal age, under the condition of having own healthy child, and that she does it voluntarily as well as having filed a written application according to order # 787 of Health Ministry of Ukraine, and having no medical contraindications. In addition, if a potential surrogate mother is married, a written husband’s consent to the IVF program is necessary, which can be executed in a medical center.

A surrogate mother and biological parents shall enter into an agreement that shall stipulate all details of the forthcoming carrying of and giving birth to a child. Accordingly, all parties to such an agreement can be assured of being supported at any stage of the program.

A married couple shall discuss the matters of compensation and assistance during the pregnancy with the surrogate mother individually.

Programs

A surrogate mother can be a woman of a full legal age, under the condition of having own healthy child, and that she does it voluntarily as well as having filed a written application according to order # 787 of Health Ministry of Ukraine, and having no medical contraindications. If a potential surrogate mother is married, a written husband’s consent to the IVF program is necessary, which can be executed in a medical center.

Surrogate motherhood is the only chance of those women who have no uterus or suffer from serious diseases to have a genetically related child.

A surrogate mother shall carry a child she has no genetic relation to for the period of 9 months. Genetically and legally, a newborn is considered a child of a married couple whose embryo was transferred to the surrogate mother’s uterus.

Examination of a surrogate mother

A surrogate mother has to undergo a number of mandatory tests, namely:

  • Blood typing and Rh factor (these values shall be valid during the whole life of a woman if indicated in her passport);
  • Complete blood count;
  • Coagulogram;
  • blood tests for RW, HIV, hepatitis B, C (valid for 3 months);
  • blood tests (IgM, IgG) for toxoplasmosis, chlamydia, cytomegalovirus and rubella;
  • bacterioscopic analysis of discharges (vaginal, urethral and from cervical canal);
  • cervical smears cytology;
  • complete pelvic examination;
  • pelvic organs ultrasound;
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH), prolactin (PRL), follitropin (FSH), lutropin (LH), progesterone (P) and estradiol (E2) blood tests;
  • Other tests required (according to the indications).

In addition, quite often it is required that the surrogate mother would have higher education, be intelligent and well bred. If a potential surrogate mother is married, then a husband’s written consent is required to the IVF program, which can be executed and signed in the medical center. When a suitable candidate is found, an individual surrogate motherhood program shall be elaborated.

Following are terms and conditions for surrogate motherhood:

  • Medical indications for surrogate motherhood (absence of the uterus, deformed cavity or cervix, severe somatic diseases where carrying of a pregnancy shall pose a threat to the patient’s health or life, failed repeated attempts of ART (r and more times);
  • Documents required for the surrogate motherhood program;
  • Spouses (or one of the future parents), the program is implemented for, should have a genetic connection to the baby;
  • A surrogate mother should have no direct genetic connection to the baby. Carrying of a pregnancy by close relatives (mother, sister, cousin, etc.) of the future parents is allowed;

The surrogate motherhood program includes:

  • Synchronization of surrogate mother and patient’s cycles;
  • Controlled stimulation of patient’s ovaries;
  • Ultrasonic monitoring of follicular growth and surrogate mother and patient’s endometrial development;
  • Follicular puncture and follicular fluid aspiration in order to retrieve patient’s eggs, including anesthetics;
  • Oocytes fertilization;
  • Embryo transfer to the surrogate mother’s uterine cavity;
  • Surrogate mother’s pregnancy diagnostics, including determination of blood chorionic gonadotropin level and transvaginal ultrasound;

There is also a surrogate motherhood program with egg donation. It includes all stages of the surrogate motherhood program and selection of egg donor for the families, where a woman may not produce own eggs, as well as in cases of repeated failed attempts of artificial insemination with low quality embryos. Egg donation is anonymous.

List of documents required for the surrogate motherhood from a surrogate mother:

  • Application from a surrogate mother;
  • Surrogate mother’s passport copy;
  • Surrogate mother’s marriage or divorce certificate copy (does not apply to single women);
  • Copy of a birth certificate of a child or children;
  • Consent of surrogate mother’s spouse to her participation in surrogate motherhood program (does not apply to single women);

List of documents, required from the spouses for the surrogate motherhood program:

  • Application from a patient/patients for the ART;
  • Copies of passports;
  • Marriage certificate copy;
  • Copy of a written joint agreement entered by and between a surrogate mother and a woman (man) or spouses, certified by a notary.

Treatment procedure

Search and selection of a surrogate mother.

Examination of a surrogate mother.

Execution of an agreement.

Fulfillment of the IVF program, embryo transfer into the surrogate mother’s uterus, prescription of supportive medications.

Pregnancy diagnostics (HCG test)

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