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Everything you need to know about surrogacy

 In this agreement, a couple or an individual uses a third party to carry and deliver their child [Courtesy]

Surrogacy is a modern assisted conception method available for individuals who are unable to carry children. In this agreement, a couple or an individual uses a third party to carry and deliver their child, then after delivery, the surrogate is supposed to hand over the baby.

Surrogacy has definitely given many people an opportunity to experience parenthood, especially those who have medical conditions that wouldn't allow them to have children and those who have struggled with infertility. With advancements in technology, it has been gaining more traction.

For those who don't know details about surrogacy, there is often a lot of misconceptions, assumptions and concerns about it.

Hopefully this piece will help to answer a few of those questions and concerns you may have.

There are different types of surrogacy

Surrogacy can be divided into two main categories which are tradition and gestational surrogacy. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother's eggs are used as part of the fertilization process. They are therefore genetically linked and sometimes this can be a challenge when it's time to hand over the baby.

In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate isn't genetically linked, and this method is usually more preferred. A big challenge with this method is the hefty costs. There are many procedures that the donor needs to go through but still, it is seen as the best option.

It has a high success rate

Among the modern methods available, surrogacy is one of the best options. It actually compares pretty well to other methods with up to a 70%-90% success rate.

The success is enhanced when the surrogate is in good health. These statistics can be encouraging if you're considering this method in future.

 Among the modern methods available, surrogacy is one of the best options [Courtesy]

There are clinics already offering these services in Kenya

If you're looking to have a baby through surrogacy, you have a number of clinics to choose from here in the country. Two clinics you can do further research on include Lifebridge Fertility Clinic and Creation Fertility Centre.

These clinics are both located in Nairobi and the raving reviews of their success rate are quite encouraging.

Surrogacy isn't well regulated in Kenya

It's also important to talk about some of the challenges that you might experience specifically here in Kenya. Currently, the laws and regulations regarding surrogacy procedures aren't very clear and that can be a problem for both donors and surrogates.

For instance, those who may consider being a surrogate might not fully be entitled to all the benefits. And as a donor, there are no full guarantees when it comes to legally identifying as the child's parent.

You may need to talk to a few experts with regards to this subject matter before embarking on this journey of parenthood.

Children born out of surrogacy experience more psychological problems

The other challenge is the mental health risks that children born from surrogacy might experience. There are multiple findings that have shown how not being genetically linked to a parent can affect a child's mental health and how children can struggle with the fact that they weren't carried by their mother.

These children are unfortunately more prone to depression and it can be a challenge for them to adjust to their reality. This might happen and it's something you should be prepared for in case it does.

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