When a Surrogate approaches the Surrogacy clinic to be a surrogate mother, the most important thing that is considered is the age and marital status of the surrogate.
The Indian government and ICMR has laid down certain guidelines about the choice of Surrogates. Anybody cannot become a surrogate mother. The general guidelines are
1) A surrogate mother should be married and have at least one healthy child of her own
2) She should be fit and not have any illness, both physically and mentally
3) Her age should be between 21 – 35 years
4) Her vital parameters should be within accepted range
5) She should willingly agree to do this noble work
6) Her family should support her in this long journey
Once the surrogate’s age and marital status gets confirmed the next thing that is taken care of is whether she has given birth to a healthy child with no history of medical complication during delivery. After this the verification process starts about the surrogate and her family. Once the surrogate is counselled by competent people a formal agreement is made between the surrogate mother, her husband and the clinic wherein the surrogate and her husband gives consent to the clinic to carry on all the tests required to be a surrogate mother. She then undergoes the following tests:
- Urine test for pregnancy to find out whether the surrogate mother is already pregnant
- Blood tests like CBC, Blood Group and RH, Haemogram, Blood Sugar, Thyroid, Liver Function Test, Kidney Function Test, STD, HIV, HCV, hormonal level etc
- Ultrasound of whole abdomen
- ECG and Chest X Ray
- Vital parameters like Height, Weight, Body temperature, Pulse and Blood pressure
- Thorough screening of her medical history to find out any abnormality in previous delivery or any other illness
- Pap Smear
- A lady who is breast feeding her child cannot become a surrogate
- Evaluation by a clinical psychologist to assess her mental health and awareness of the consequences she is going to face
Medical, social and drug history of a surrogate mother is very important as successful conception and full term hassle free delivery will solely depend on this. The support from her family members is equally important to see through her long and tedious journey. It is also important that the surrogate mother and her family doesn’t face any criminal proceedings against them. The surrogate agency of India verifies all these from reliable sources and law enforcement authorities by way of police verification.
If all the parameters are found to be within the reference range the surrogate mother is matched with the desired profile of the intended parents. When her profile gets selected a tripartite contract under the guidance of a legal professional is signed between the surrogate, her husband and the surrogate agency or ART Bank. This protects all the parties including the surrogate also.
The agency’s role is to ensure that the surrogates’ they are providing to intended parents are free of any disease, mentally prepared and they are well aware of their role and responsibility in this. Surrogacy centres in India do a comprehensive test and background checks about surrogates and are giving professional service with competence.
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