A surrogate mother in Greece, is the woman who is pregnant with the child and intends to relinquish it after birth. The word surrogate, from Latin subrŏgare (to substitute), means appointed to act in the place of. The intended parent(s) is the individual or couple who intends to rear the child after its birth. The first recorded “case” in human history can be found in the Bible, where Sarah, unable to give birth, proposed to her husband Abraham, her servant Hagar to carry their child.
In traditional surrogacy (also known as the Straight method) the surrogate is pregnant with her own biological child, but this child was conceived with the intention of relinquishing the child to be raised by others such as the biological father and possibly his spouse or partner, either male or female.
The child may be conceived via home artificial insemination using fresh or frozen sperm or impregnated via IUI (intrauterine insemination), or IVF (in vitro fertilization) or ICSI which is performed in a fertility clinic, such as Crete Fertility Centre. Sperm from the male partner of the ‘commissioning couple’ may be used, or alternatively, sperm from a sperm donor can be used. Donor sperm will, for example, be used if the ‘commissioning couple’ is both female and where the child is commissioned by a single woman.
Unfortunately, some women are unable to carry a child to term. A variety of causes account for this, including failure of the embryo to implant, repeated miscarriage, hysterectomy or a pelvic disorder. Some women experience problems such as dangerously high blood pressure, a heart condition or liver disease, so that pregnancy would entail a serious health risk for them.
In gestational surrogacy (aka the Host method) the surrogate becomes pregnant via embryo transfer with a child of which she is not the biological mother. She may have made an arrangement to relinquish it to the biological mother or father to raise, or to a parent who is unrelated to the child (e.g. because the child was conceived using egg donation, sperm donation or is the result of a donated embryo). The surrogate mother may be called the gestational carrier.
Altruistic surrogacy is a situation where the surrogate receives no financial reward for her pregnancy or the relinquishment of the child (although usually all expenses related to the pregnancy and birth are aid by the intended parents such as medical expenses, maternity clothing, and other related expenses).
At Crete Fertility Centre we offer extensive counselling, on the issue of Surrogacy, covering all possible aspects, starting from the emotional and psychological implications, down to indicated tests that surrogates should receive and insemination methods suggested for conception.