More on surrogacy
Nowadays, the inability to bear and deliver a child because of infertility or other diseases is not an unconditional sentence. With the development of the surrogacy practice, the childless couples are now able to have their own biological children regardless of severe diagnoses. The problem of a child borne and delivered by another woman has a number of legal, ethic and medical nuances, therefore it’s better to trust a specialized agency with finding a candidate for surrogate motherhood and preparing relevant legal documents.
Why are the surrogacy programs at Life Line Center maximum effective?
Liniya Zhizni Reproduction Center implements successful surrogacy programs, by organizing all required procedures in full accordance with the Russian legislative framework. The Clinic maintains medical supervision over women who bear children under a surrogacy contract, therefore any deviations in fetus condition are timely prevented. The prospective parents have their full access to information on the development of the fetus and health of the pregnant woman. Effectiveness of non-genetic bearing programs at Liniya Zhizni Center is due to systemic advantages of patient management organization:
In the course of the program, every couple of future parents is supervised by a personal account manager who ensures that all program events are timely performed.
Patients with infertility are subjected to detailed diagnostics enabling to perform a pre-program treatment in order to obtain healthy eggs.
The conditions for the selection of a surrogate mother prevent any serious pathologies in the child-bearing period.
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A timely visit to a medical specialist increases the chance of the pregnancy onset by several times
When is surrogacy necessary?
In reproductive medicine, non-genetic child-bearing is recognized as a necessary measure in case a woman intending to have a baby has a number of pathologies:
- being physically unable to bear a baby:
- hypoplasia of the uterus — congenital or related to hormonal dysregulations when in the majority of cases no conception occurs or ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed;
- ametria as a developmental anomaly or as a result of removal for health reasons (uterine hemorrhage, tumors, and other reasons);
- congenital abnormalities of uterine tubes and the uterus;
- inoperable intrauterine septum and adhesions which prevent ovum development;
- advanced cases of endometriosis when the attachment of a fertilized egg is impossible due to the lack of healthy endometrium sections.
Systemic diseases in which child delivery is contraindicated:
- uncompensated diabetes with the development of retinopathy and nephropathy;
- rheumatoid arthritis in an active form which requires continuous anti-inflammatory therapy contra-indicated for the pregnant;
- cardiovascular pathologies in severe stages (hypertension and inoperable heart disease, ischemic heart disease and post-stroke condition, cardiac insufficiency);
- kidney or liver disease, other diseases;
- repeated IVF attempts where healthy embryos were obtained, but pregnancy did not occur for unclear reasons.
What issues should be taken into account?
A childless couple taking a decision to participate in the surrogacy program will have to consider the following mandatory issues. The basis of the program implementation is a formal contract which stipulates the legal and financial terms and conditions, the scope of necessary medical studies and a sequence of supposed procedures. In full compliance with the applicable Russian laws, the surrogacy contract contains a clause confirming the surrogate mother's waiver of any rights to a child borne by her in favor of his/her biological parents. Any legal support and the social part of the program with respect of the future parturient woman is provided by Liniya Zhizni Center in cooperation with Will-mama Agency.
From the viewpoint of reproductive medicine, the baby’s biological parents will be the company’s patients who transferred their eggs and sperm in order to perform IVF procedure to a woman selected for child-bearing function. During pregnancy no transfer of hereditary traits from a surrogate mother to an embryo is possible, therefore a child will inherit only facial features and genetic characteristics of his/her true parents. This is because the nutrients transferred to the fetus during gestation do not affect the genetic bases of the embryo passed to an embryo from the moment of fusion of the egg and spermatozoon.
How to choose a surrogate mother?
The choice of a candidate surrogate mother is defined by three main lines:
- a relative or a close friend of an infertile couple can bear and deliver their child, but in such cases, it is quite difficult to subsequently conceal the details of the baby’s appearance from the neighborhood;
- a search undertaken independently by future parents may both take a long time and provoke incidents of fraud;
- a selection performed by the managers of the Center’s surrogacy program will provide the future parents with legal protection and the opportunity to adequately evaluate the medical and social conditions of the future parturient woman in the course of her pregnancy.
Surrogacy candidates undergo rigorous selection and specialized examination where the following conditions are considered:
- age - 20 to 35 years;
- a candidate having own children born naturally (without caesarean-section delivery); the lack of abortions or miscarriages, as well as severe pathologies during previous pregnancies;
- the exception of smoking and alcohol addiction;
- no deviations from accepted physiological standards of health, including mental and physical characteristics;
- complete consent with the terms and conditions of the program, and understanding the necessity of the required procedures (physical examinations and tests, IVF stages and screening of the pregnant, voluntary transfer of a child after birth to his real parents).
Before the very inclusion in the program, a future parturient woman undergoes a set of laboratory and instrumental researches:
- blood tests, including biochemistry and hormones, clinical test and the test on the certain tumor markers, STDs and HIV, rhesus factor;
- urogenital swabs and scrapings;
- chest x-ray examination;
- US scan of the reproductive organs;
- examination by a gynecologist, consultation by a psychiatrist and a therapist.
The spouses are also tested in order to determine the quality of sperm and oocytes as well as to detect possible genetic abnormalities in embryos. For this, the couple is examined by a therapist and a geneticist, after which a female partner is examined by a gynecologist, and a male partner is examined by an urologist-andrologist. If necessary, relevant treatments and correction of the patient’s conditions are performed in order to ensure optimal body condition of the future parents before biomaterial sampling. Then they proceed to the preparation of the surrogate and biological mothers for IVF procedure: using hormonal drugs they synchronize ovulation cycles of both women, with a check-up US examination of the ovaries.
At the peak of ovulation, oocytes are taken from the patient by paracentesis of the ovaries, and sperm is taken from the husband. In the laboratory conditions, they perform fertilization and incubation of the embryos among which the most viable one is selected. Using US imaging, the embryo is transferred into the uterus of a surrogate mother with subsequent drug-induced stimulation of its penetration into the endometrium. In two weeks a pregnancy test is made.
At the pregnancy care stage common screening events and a number of additional procedures for evaluation of hormonal level, its necessary correction and control of the condition of ovaries after stimulation before IVF. The Reproduction Center provides medical support of the pregnant until week 36, with subsequent relocation to a maternity hospital chosen by the spouses — participants of the program. After delivery, the new-born is transferred top his/her biological parents with the execution of the relevant documents confirming their legal and genetic rights.