Responsible Surrogacy

Information regarding the ethical aspects of the process

The egg retrieval is sometimes carried out in a different country than the one in which the surrogacy is conducted. It is often anonymous, with very little involvement on the part of the intended parents. Although the process is sometimes perceived as risk free, it is in fact conducted under general anesthesia, after a period in which the egg donor takes hormones that affect her daily life. Because the process involves medical risks, specifically during the egg retrieval procedure – we recommend making sure the donor receives medical insurance as part of the process and immediately following it. This is especially crucial in cases in which the donation occurs in a country which the donor is not a citizen of, because the risk of financial complications due to some medical condition is higher (as specified in this section for the surrogate).

As noted in detail here, there is currently no consensus on the long term health risks of the process. However, some sources report an increased risk of uterine cancer and ovarian cancer following the process. These risks raise questions regarding the need for medical follow ups and insurance in the years after the donation. How long after the donation should the clinic be responsible for the health of the donor? Does the egg donor have a point of contact to turn to in case of medical complications months and years after the donation? What about medical complications that cannot be conclusively connected with the donation? Although there are no agreed upon answer to these questions, we offer them as food for thought and suggest intended parents talk about them with their agency and fertility clinics.

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