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What is Surrogacy & How Does it Work?

Team AckoFeb 8, 2024

Surrogacy is an arrangement where a woman agrees to carry a pregnancy for a couple or person. The baby is given to the intended parents after his/her birth. Women who struggle with fertility issues consider surrogacy as an option to have a child.



Surrogacy is a emotional and life-changing event for both surrogate mother and the intended parents. It is very important for both the parties to be well-informed about surrogacy and its process.

The common FAQs on surrogacy are

The Indian surrogacy law was passed in the year 2018. As per law

Surrogacy is applicable to only Indian intended parents who have been married for at least 5 years.

Commercial surrogacy is illegal

Single parents, homosexuals and live-in couples are banned from surrogacy option.

Only a close relative, aged 25-35 can be the surrogate. She must be married and have at least one biological child

2. What is the difference between traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy?

In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate has a genetic link to the child she carries. The sperm of the male parent is artificially inseminated into her body. She bears and delivers the child.

While in gestational surrogacy, the surrogate does not have a genetic link to the child she carries. Through IVF, the intended parents give their sperm and egg to create an embryo. The embryo is then transferred to the gestational surrogate’s body. She then carries the baby until birth. She is the birth mother but the biological mother is the parent whose egg had been used.

3. Who works with a surrogate mother?

Generally, people who have struggled with infertility, same-sex couples, prospective single parents, or women who are not able to safely carry a pregnancy to term work with a surrogate mom.

4. What are the chances of success with surrogacy?

Surrogacy success rate is highly dependent on the fertility clinic where the IVF procedure is done, health of the embryo, and the surrogate mother. With regular appointments to the fertility specialist for blood tests, ultrasound and medications along with transfer of multiple embryos for achieving healthy pregnancy, the surrogacy success rates are high.

5. Who are surrogates? How are they screened?

Surrogates are women from different backgrounds who are ready to carry and deliver someone else’s baby. They consider this option to help them financially and have a better life while gifting a couple their bundle of joy!

However, not all women who want to be a surrogate mother are chosen. Some of the common requirements to qualify for the same include:


-Good health condition

-Healthy BMI

-Has had a healthy pregnancy before with no major health complications

-No smoking and drug use

-Complete background check

-Complete psychological evaluation

-No convictions

6. How and why are intended parents screened?

Besides the prospective surrogate, agencies screen intended parents too. The screening includes a check for medical issues, are they safe to work with, financially stable, background check and in-home assessment.

7. How long does the surrogacy process take?

Surrogacy duration can be 1-2 years from the time you sign the contract till the baby’s arrival. It depends on:

-The work of the surrogacy agency

-Finding a match based on your preferences and surrogacy goals

-The number of cycles and embryo transfers till pregnancy is achieved, etc.

8. How can I find a surrogate?

You can find a surrogate through your own networking and advertising efforts or take the help of a professional surrogacy agency.

9. How much does surrogacy cost?

The intended parents are responsible for agency fees, which includes advertising and matching fees, counselling, education and support and screening costs. Next would be variable costs like legal fees, medical expenses, and surrogate compensation.

10. How much contact we will have with the surrogate? How much involvement will be there from our side during the pregnancy?

The frequency and type of contact with surrogate mother before, during and after pregnancy will be as per the surrogacy plan agreed upon. The terms and conditions are already mentioned in the contract and the same shall apply.

Before considering surrogacy option, it's very important for both prospective surrogate and the prospective intended parents to have clarity about the process.  Both parties have to be 100% committed. You can talk to your doctor, surrogate specialist or surrogate lawyer for further clarity.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only, based on industry experience and secondary sources. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a qualified expert for health or insurance-related decisions. Content is subject to change, refer to current policy wordings for specific ACKO details.



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