Surrogacy is an arrangement in which a woman carries and delivers a child for another couple or person. The surrogate may be the child's genetic mother (called traditional surrogacy), or she may be genetically unrelated to the child (called gestational surrogacy). In a traditional surrogacy, the child may be conceived via home artificial insemination using fresh or frozen sperm or impregnated via IUI (intrauterine insemination), or ICI (intracervical insemination) performed at a health clinic. A gestational surrogacy requires the transfer of a previously created embryo, and for this reason the process always takes place in a clinical setting. The intended parent or parents, sometimes called the social parents, may arrange a surrogate pregnancy because of female infertility, other medical issues which make pregnancy or delivery impossible, risky or otherwise undesirable, or because the intended parent or parents are male. The sperm or eggs may be provided by the 'commissioning' parents, but donor sperm, eggs and embryos may also be used. Although the idea of vanity surrogacy is a common trope in popular culture and anti-surrogacy arguments,there is little or no data showing that women choose surrogacy for reasons of aesthetics or convenience. Monetary compensation may or may not be involved in surrogacy arrangements. If the surrogate receives compensation beyond the reimbursement of medical and other reasonable expenses, the arrangement is called commercial surrogacy; otherwise, it is often referred to as altruistic surrogacy.The legality and costs of surrogacy vary widely between jurisdictions, which results in high rates of international and interstate surrogacy activity. History
Having another woman bear a child for a couple to raise, usually with the male half of the couple as the genetic father, is referred to in antiquity. Babylonian law and custom allowed this practice and infertile woman could use the practice to avoid the divorce, which would otherwise be inevitable.One well-known example is the Biblical story of Sarah and Abraham, a nomadic Hebrew couple unable to conceive. Sarah offered her Egyptian slave Hagar as a surrogate, but later drove her away from the camp when Hagar became impudent during pregnancy. Hagar fleed to Egypt, where an angel told her that her son Ishmael would become a leader amongst the Hebrews; she subsequently returned to Sarah and Abraham. According to some, Abraham and Hagar settled the jealousy between the two women by moving with Ishmael to the land of Paran. Many developments in medicine, social customs, and legal proceedings worldwide paved the way for modern commercial surrogacy * 1870s: It became common practice in China for couples to pay for an adopted son. All ties to the natal family would be severed, and the child would become an heir and full member of the adopted family. * 1930s: In the US, pharmaceutical companies Schering-Kahlbaum and Parke-Davis started the mass production of estrogen. * 1944: Harvard Medical School professor John Rock broke ground by becoming the first person to fertilize human ova outside the uterus. * 1953: Researchers successfully performed the first cryopreservation of sperm. * 1971: The first commercial sperm bank opened in New York, which spurred the growth of this type of business into a highly profitable venture. * 1978: Louise Brown, the first test tube baby, was born in England. She was the product of the first successful in vitro fertilization procedure. * 1980: Michigan lawyer Noel Keane wrote the first surrogacy contract. He continued his work with surrogacy through his Infertility Center, through which he created the contract leading to the Baby M case. * 1985: A woman carried the first successful gestational surrogate pregnancy. * 1986: Melissa Stern, otherwise known as “Baby M,” is born in the US. The surrogate and biological mother, Mary Beth Whitehead, refused to cede custody of Melissa to the...
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