Carrying a child for nine months and then willingly relinquishing the baby to others is no small task, but it is one performed by surrogate mothers in the U.S. every day.
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The basic types of surrogacy are traditional or "straight" and gestational. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother donates her own egg, making her both the biological and gestational mother. With gestational surrogacy, the surrogate mother has no biological ties to the baby.
Benefits for the Surrogate
A study conducted by Dr. Betsy P. Aigen, founder and director of Childbirth Consultation Services, reports that most surrogates are motivated by the emotional reward they receive by giving the opportunity to parent to couples who would otherwise be unable to experience it. Another benefit for surrogate mothers is the financial compensation.
Benefits for the Parents
For couples who use the services of a surrogate mother, the benefits include being able to have a child that is biologically theirs, a process that is often faster than adoption and being able to be involved throughout the pregnancy.
The director of the Organization of Parents Through Surrogacy, Shirley Zager , reports that surrogates have given birth to approximately 28,000 babies in the U.S. since the 1976.
Surrogacy is a complicated and often invasive process and not all states in the U.S. allow for surrogacy agreements. Potential surrogate mothers should always seek legal counsel.
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