Surrogacy has come a long ways from its humble beginnings, but just how far can we expect it to go in the future?
Surrogacy is often the last desperate chance some couples have at starting a family. The choice to obtain a surrogate and go through this arduous, and often expensive, process is not an easy one to make. However, it is a choice that is being made more and more often. From its origin story, surrogacy has helped couples from all over the world realize their dreams of becoming parents, but for some, the cost and struggle have been astronomical.
The medical science at the heart of surrogacy has improved vastly in the last decade. Public opinion and even media coverage has started to shed more light, sharing joyous stories and positive results. Practices that were fraught with exploitation and unsafe procedures have been disposed of, while providers that do well are celebrated. As we watch surrogacy continue it’s steady climb into modern medicine and contemporary consideration, we ask ourselves what we can expect from the future of surrogacy.
How Far We’ve Come
While traditional surrogacy had been practiced for thousands of years, surrogacy as we know it today is still a relatively novel process. Gestational surrogacy is a type of surrogacy that utilizes genetic material from the intended parents and implants them into the surrogate mother via IVF (in vitro fertilization). This practice didn’t take hold until the 1980’s.
Even in more recent history, surrogacy was widely contested and distrusted. While IVF treatments quickly became more common and more exact, laws and contracts regarding surrogacy were still finding their footing. Throughout the 1990’s, U.S. media coverage revolving surrogacy preyed on the fears of intending parents. Showcasing surrogate mothers refusing to cede the child and the wicked court battles that followed. This lead many states throughout the U.S. to consider steadfast laws regarding surrogacy and the contracts that bind all parties involved.
Surrogacy throughout the world is still on shaky ground when legality, morality, and society are taken into consideration. There is no one rule or view point on the best ways to proceed with surrogacy. Some countries are home to forward thinking laws and expansive medical techniques, while others have an outright ban on any practices. The majority of countries don’t hold a firm position either way, and expose themselves, surrogate mothers, and intended parents to exploitation and devastation.
As surrogacy has become more commonplace, more intending parents are hoping to undergo the procedure. Laws, medicine, and societies are responding in kind. The demand for surrogacy remains strong and many countries and providers are scrambling to answer it. Despite where it stands now, the unfolding story of surrogacy holds the promise of a brighter and better future.
The Future of Surrogacy Now
What is found to be true in current society is that intended parents will go to almost any length to ensure their futures. Parents from all over the world have pioneered modern day surrogacy methods through their compassion and dedication to their unborn child. Traveling across the world, spending small fortunes, and even facing imprisonment has not stopped them on their journey. Hopes abound that tales of these families’ difficult circumstances will force the hands of lawmakers and oppositions to create a more surrogate friendly world. Until that moment, we can celebrate the success and strides that have been made for surrogacy this far.
Altruistic surrogacy is one way that a few countries have found to answer that need. Altruistic surrogacy comes with it’s own share of pitfalls, however. Altruistic is a surrogacy contract that allows parent the promise of the child, but leaves the surrogate mother uncompensated. In countries like the UK, Canada, and Australia, laws contend that while surrogacy may be practiced, the mother is entitled to no reparations. Certain expenses, such as medical care, can be reimbursed, but those finances can be difficult to secure. These countries are seeing longer wait times for intended parents and complicated processes that few have realistic access to. Queues of hopeful parents, coupled with disgruntled surrogates have lead many prospective parents to look elsewhere.
Programs such as cross-border surrogacy have given intending parents the availability to achieve their dreams more easily. Should the parents come from a surrogate friendly country, they can hire a surrogate from different nation to carry their child. This allows the mother the protections and reparations afforded to surrogate mothers in the parents home country. While the mother will spend time in the intended parents country for medical procedures and the final few months leading up to the birth, they travel back to their home country for the majority of the pregnancy. This can afford prospective parents a huge reduction in wait times, as well as a significant decrease in associated costs. This has proven to be an attractive option for surrogate mothers as well, allowing for compensation of their time and efforts spent as a surrogate.
Gaining in popularity, surrogacy abroad is an excellent option for couples who come from a place that houses less than surrogate friendly laws. In countries like the Ukraine and Greece, laws are in place that not only protects the rights and needs of surrogate mothers but also the rights of intended parents. Hopeful parents from almost any country can come to seek the family they desire. These countries are a boon for parents that come from a place that does not recognize their intrinsic needs. Countries that allow for extra-national surrogacy programs provide an attractive future to their local economies as well. Ukraine has seen a much-needed boost in economic gain as well as medical advancement, largely due to its booming surrogacy practices.
What To Expect From Surrogacy’s Future
With the ever-expanding acceptance of surrogacy practices, we can hope to see a better future. Surrogacy practices are becoming more mainstream, with celebrities and high profile births being heralded as the important and necessary treatments that they are. This will hopefully allow for more open-minded societies and better laws concerning the treatment of parents and surrogates alike.
As more people are exposed to the joy that surrogacy can bring to intended parents, they will ultimately be lead to see the good that it brings to many other lives as well. Surrogacy programs promote advances in medical technology that have aided in breakthroughs in many other fields of science. Such as the use and improvement of procedures involving cryogenics and stem-cell research. Aiding in protecting the health and well-being of an even larger portion of society.
Countries that have implemented protective laws and reparations for surrogate mothers have seen an improvement in the quality of life as well as economic advance. Giving these carers the ability to be compensated for their compassion and the full-time job of surrogacy. Surrogacy touches far more than just the lives of the intended parents. It creates a strong workforce for necessary medical staff, legal consultants, as well as builders, maintenance, and even increased revenue from travel and tourist interest. Surrogacy has been shown to positively affect the development of the children as well. While there is nothing more joyous than the grace of a child into your family, the future of surrogacy can offer everyone a wealth of opportunity, if given the chance.