A Common Question With Surrogacy
Surrogacy is rapidly growing as an acceptable way to address two challenges. First, surrogacy can help with specific cases of infertility. Some women cannot carry a child to full term, and a surrogate mother helps with that issue. Next, surrogate mothers help circumvent the laws of nature. Now, only one person can become a parent. Same-sex and transgender couples can start or grow a family. Despite the effectiveness of surrogacy, a common question is whether the surrogate mother shares DNA with the baby.
DNA and traditional surrogacy
The answer to the question of a surrogate mother and DNA is twofold. The type of surrogacy will determine if the child will have the surrogate’s DNA. With traditional surrogacy, the surrogate contributes a significant amount of DNA. Traditional surrogacy means the surrogate provides the egg. Pregnancy happens through intrauterine insemination or IUI. The doctor transplants a washed sperm sample to fertilize the mother’s eggs. Traditional surrogacy has several legal and parental hurdles, mainly because of this genetic link.
Gestational surrogacy leaves no genetic link
With gestational surrogacy, the short answer is no. There is no actual DNA link with the surrogate mother. Gestational surrogacy or host surrogacy is the preferred option for hopeful parents today. The process happens using in vitro fertilization or IVF. A fertility clinic combines the intended parent’s egg and sperm into an embryo. The doctor then transplants the embryo to the surrogate’s uterus. The surrogate’s egg is not used. If the parents need an egg or sperm, a donor bank can help.
The importance of gestational surrogacy
If the surrogate mother has a biological link, there could be a lot of confusion. Going the gestational surrogacy route removes this issue. For starters, the legalities of surrogacy become simpler. Traditional surrogacies are akin to adoption. With gestational surrogacy, the surrogate is not the legal mother of the child. Furthermore, the process becomes easier for all involved since all parties can agree on simple terms. The lack of DNA link makes transferring the baby a bit easier.
Surrogates still play a crucial role
Just because there is no genetic connection does not mean that the child is not impacted. For a successful, healthy pregnancy, the surrogate holds all the cards. Through the placenta and umbilical cord, the baby receives nutrients needed for development. So the woman must take care of the child through personal diet, supplements, and exercise. Although there is a transfer of oxygen and nutrients, there is no transfer of DNA.
Know the difference
Ultimately, the question of DNA comes down to the eggs used during the process. Traditional surrogate mothers share DNA and are related to the child. Host surrogacies are the preferred option since there is no biological link. This differentiation is critical, especially if the intended parent is using a relative or friend. Fertility clinics and surrogacy agencies can help hopeful parents understand further the genetic association if any. The DNA is not as important as having a parent who unconditionally loves the new bundle of joy.