In surrogate motherhood, one woman acts as a surrogate, or replacement, mother for another woman, sometimes called the intended mother, who either cannot produce fertile eggs or cannot carry a pregnancy through to birth, or term.
Surrogate mothering can be accomplished in a number of ways. Most often, the husband's sperm is implanted in the surrogate by a procedure called Artificial Insemination. In this case, the surrogate mother is both the genetic mother and the birth, or gestational mother, of the child. This method of surrogacy is sometimes called traditional surrogacy.
Less often, when the intended mother can produce fertile eggs but cannot carry a child to birth, the intended mother's egg is removed, combined with the husband's or another man's sperm in a process called in vitro fertilization (first performed in the late 1970s), and implanted in the surrogate mother. This method is called gestational surrogacy.
Surrogacy arrangements are categorized as either commercial or altruistic. In commercial surrogacy, the surrogate is paid a fee plus any expenses incurred in her pregnancy. In altruistic surrogacy, the surrogate is paid only for expenses incurred or is not paid at all.
The first recognized surrogate mother arrangement was made in 1976. Between 1976 and 1988, roughly 600 children were born in the United States to surrogate mothers. Since the late 1980s, surrogacy has been more common: between 1987 and 1992, an estimated 5,000 surrogate births occurred in the United States.
The issue of surrogate motherhood came to national attention during the 1980s, with the Baby M case. In 1984 a New Jersey couple, William Stern and Elizabeth Stern, contracted to pay Mary Beth Whitehead $10,000 to be artificially inseminated with William Stern's sperm and carry the resulting child to... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2011, 01). Surrogate Motherhood. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 01, 2011, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Surrogate-Motherhood-539467.html
"Surrogate Motherhood" StudyMode.com. 01 2011. 01 2011 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Surrogate-Motherhood-539467.html>.
"Surrogate Motherhood." StudyMode.com. 01, 2011. Accessed 01, 2011. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Surrogate-Motherhood-539467.html.