Being a surrogate mother to carry the baby for parents who can not have children themselves. A violently emotional but also beautiful decision. Is this possible? How do you start here? What are the consequences? And who has the responsibility? We were looking for it ...
Call on the Internet
"There are no words that describe how it feels to give two people a family," the American Heather writes on her website. About half a year after the birth of her eldest son she decides, after consultation with family and friends, to become a surrogate mother. She places a call on the Internet and soon finds her parents S and P.
Together they go into a turbulent time full of psychic and medical tests, legal affairs and eventually a pregnancy. The contact goes well and S. and P. are very involved with Heather, who turns out to be pregnant with a daughter. After the birth of Camille, S. is even present to cut the umbilical cord.
When we say goodbye weeping, but Heather knows that it will not be a farewell forever. S. and P. have promised to keep her informed. When asked how she is, Heather says that she is doing well. 'I knew what my job was, I provided a safe and warm environment for a child. Until she was ready to go home. "
After the birth of Camille, Heather received two more children, one egg donation and she is now pregnant for another couple for the second time.
"I now know how good it feels to see prospective parents laughing and crying with happiness because their long struggle has finally ended. I understand their pain and I felt like an angel when I helped them fulfill their wish. "
Surrogate mother in the Netherlands
Surrogacy is not very common in the Netherlands, probably due to the legislation on this subject. Desire parents who can not have children due to physical problems are enabled by means of surrogacy to have a child with genetic material from one or if possible both parents. This may be a reason to choose a surrogate mother over adoption. The long waiting lists and financial aspects can also play a role in this choice.
Forms of surrogacy
A distinction is made between low-technological surrogacy and high-tech surrogacy.
In low technological surrogacy, also known as classical surrogacy, the surrogate mother is fertilized via artificial insemination. When the wish-father is fertile, his sperm can be used for this and the wish-father is also genetically the father. If the father is infertile, donor sperm can be used.
In high-tech surrogacy, IVF creates embryos from ova and sperm cells of the intended parents. These embryos are then placed in the uterus of the surrogate mother. The child is then 100% genetically related to both prospective parents. This form of surrogacy has been possible since 2006 in the VU.
Surrogate mother and the legislation in the Netherlands
There is no legislation on surrogacy in our country. Wish parents who want a child by means of a surrogate mother can officially only do this by following the adoption procedure. In this case, the surrogate mother should contact the Child Care and Protection Board during pregnancy and indicate that she does not want to take care of the child. The council then requests an exemption from parental authority from a juvenile court. In principle, the court can grant this exemption only if there is impotence or incapacity. This is generally not the case. A judge can then make an exception by the fact that the surrogate mother lacks the will to take care of the child and has the express wish to leave the care and upbringing of the child to another.
Payment for surrogacy
Payment for surrogacy, also known as commercial surrogacy, is prohibited in the Netherlands. Reimbursement of the costs incurred by a surrogate mother during pregnancy is permitted. This is the reason why it is often the case that the surrogate mother is a known or a relative of the intended parents.
Important agreements about surrogacy can be laid down in a contract. These can be agreements about the behavior of the surrogate mother during pregnancy, the adoption and the reimbursement of expenses. An agreement has no validity, it can be a guide for the surrogate and the prospective parents but it can also be annulled. This means that the prospective parents can not be obliged to accept the child and the surrogate mother can not be obliged to hand over the child for adoption. As a result, it is also often the case that prospective parents only want to start the procedure with a familiar or a family member.
Legally the mother
In our country it is so that the woman who gives birth to the child is the legal mother of the child, if she is married her husband is the legal father of the child. If the surrogate mother is not married, the wishing father can recognize the child and request child custody. The child can then no longer be adopted and the wishing mother will never become the legal mother.
Different advantages and disadvantages for both parties
So there are quite a lot of drawbacks in relation to parenting for prospective parents. When a surrogate mother regrets during pregnancy and wants to keep the child herself, the prospective parents can not do much. The contract can be annulled. A surrogate mother could also demand that the child grow up, this too is something that not all the parents would want. When choosing an unknown surrogate mother it is often the case that the parents do not want to maintain further contact.
Perhaps because they want to give the child a life with two parents and may be afraid of loyalty problems in the child at a later stage. Or because they are afraid that the surrogate mother will regret her choice.
The big advantage, of course, is that for some parents it is the only way to get a child with their own genetic material. The child is desired and consciously conceived and born from a well-known mother. Through surrogacy, it is also possible for gay couples to have a child with genetic material from one of the fathers.
There are also advantages and disadvantages for the surrogate mother herself. The surrogate mother can make possible for the prospective parents what they themselves could not do, to have a child. This is the main reason for most pregnant mothers to do this. It can be concluded from the Internet on the internet that most of the surrogate mothers, just like Heather from the opening article, have been thinking after having their own child.
Sympathize but no concern
It also offers the surrogate mother the opportunity to experience a pregnancy and perhaps even a part of the life of the child without herself taking care of it. It is, of course, true that every pregnancy entails a risk of complications and also the period after the pregnancy can be difficult for the surrogate mother.
For example if she regrets or encounters misunderstanding from the environment.