The word surrogate has come from the word subrogate in Latin meaning substitute. Ever since the popularity of the ART treatment and its astounding success in giving babies to infertile couples, surrogacy in India refers to surrogate mothers by the word surrogate. The surrogate mother plays the most important role in the entire surrogacy process. Therefore, it is very important that the evaluation of the surrogate mother is done before the start of the process. The physical as well as the mental assessment of the surrogate mother is required to ensure a successful pregnancy and subsequent delivery of the child. Physical assessment like all the vital parameters of health needs to be evaluated including history of health. The medical, psychological, criminal and financial background of the surrogate mother should be evaluated in totality. Her complete blood test with HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, ECG, Chest X Ray, Mammogram, Pap Smear are some of the tests that are mandatory for a surrogate mother. She also undergoes thorough pelvic and abdominal ultra sound to rule out any anatomical abnormality or any illness. Best surrogacy treatment centres have tie ups with accredited hospitals and labs to get expert views on health profiles of prospective surrogates.
Similarly, the mental evaluation of the surrogate mother is equally important. She should not only be healthy in body but also should be healthy in mind. Surrogacy is a complex process and involves lot of social, ethical, emotional and legal issues. Before starting the surrogacy process, the mental health of the surrogate mother is assessed by a clinical psychologist to find out whether she is ready to undergo such a lengthy process and she is aware of the fall out and consequences of the treatment. The surrogate mother should be appraised of the following things:
- The entire implication of Surrogacy
- The chances of multiple pregnancies and its effect on the surrogate mother
She should be made aware of the social implications of this process. The reactions of her close relatives and in laws. Support from every family member is necessary
- The general medical risks associated with pregnancy. The side effects of hormone therapy
- If surgery takes place, then its physiological and psychological implications
- The possibility of emotional distress while giving the baby to the parents
- All the legal bindings that she would face in the course of this process including continuous monitoring by the agency
- Need to follow a strict regimen of diet and nutrition along with regular follow up visits to the treating hospital
- Last but not the least, she should be made aware of her rights and benefits like insurance coverage during her pre natal period until delivery
Psychological counselling and assessment of mental condition is mandatory. Surrogacy centre in Delhi ensure that she should not suffer from any kind of stress from anywhere. Mostly the surrogates have said that they felt happy with their decision of helping the couple after seeing their emotional distress.
Surrogacy is a cobweb of relationships and can be emotionally taxing for all concerned. Hence understanding and careful handling is very important. A cordial and friendly relationship with the intended parents is advised to help her walk this noble journey with pride and peace.