The first surrogate baby carried by a surrogate mother was born in London in 1985. Over the past 30+ years, reproductive programs involving surrogate mothers have become a medical routine. Nevertheless, in the world in general and in our country, there are still some myths that cast the technology in a negative light. They are all based on misconceptions and banal ignorance, but the harm is enormous. Most importantly, they prevent many couples from participating in a surrogacy program and taking a chance to become parents. Here are the most widespread myths, of course, with an exposé.
Myth 1: A surrogate mother gives her child to strangers.
A surrogate mother is not a parent; scientifically, she is called a gestational courier. An embryo obtained by in vitro fertilization of the egg of the biological mother with the sperm of the biological father is inserted into the uterine cavity of the surrogate. The born baby will be their child, just as if it had been born the traditional way. There is no genetic relationship between the surrogate and the child.
Myth 2: During pregnancy, the substitute mother’s genes are passed on to the child.
It is fair to say that this myth is not common, but it still needs to be debunked. Those who talk about gene transfer during pregnancy have completely forgotten their high school biology textbook. The human genotype is formed now of egg and sperm fusion from maternal and paternal genes. After that, no additional genes can be built into it.
Myth 4: A surrogate’s pregnancy occurs after IVF, so delivery is by cesarean section only.
There is no IVF among the indications for a cesarean section. Besides, a surrogate mother is in good reproductive health, as she undergoes careful selection and medical examination. In most cases, surrogate mothers give birth naturally. Of course, a cesarean section cannot be ruled out, but it cannot be ruled out in a normal pregnancy either. So, the likelihood of a cesarean section is equal to the general population.
Surrogacy has psychological and legal nuances that distinguish it from conventional surrogacy. The correctly drawn up agreement allows taking them into consideration and making the process as comfortable as possible both for the biological parents and the woman helping them. Otherwise, there is no difference from a natural pregnancy. If a biological mother could have carried the baby herself, the child would have been the same as the one born under the surrogacy program. However, there is one peculiarity: “surrogate” babies are the most desired and long-awaited.