One of the thrills of getting married for most Nigerian women is the expectation of birthing their own babies. Men, especially those who get along with kids, are not left out. They look forward to fatherhood with such glint in their eyes. For most men, holding their baby in their arms is such an achievement and an ego boost. What happens when a couple cannot make their own babies? Should they retire to fate? Or hire a surrogate mother.
Who is a surrogate mother?
After a couple spends many years trying to make their own babies, they both can decide to find a woman to bear them babies. The woman in this case is called a surrogate mother. Sperm cells and ova are extracted from the man and his wife, fertilized and an embryo deposited in the surrogate mother. It develops into a normal baby which is delivered after 9 months. This whole process is known as gestational surrogacy.
However, the most popular form of surrogacy is that, in which the surrogate mother is artificially inseminated with the man’s sperm to fertilize her eggs, rather than his wife’s. This is referred to as traditional surrogacy. In this case, the woman who delivers the baby for the couple is the biological mother.
There are several reasons why a couple could consider surrogacy. According to a San Diego Fertility Centre, the primary reasons why people consider surrogacy are:
Being born without a functional uterus. You must be wondering, ‘is that even possible?’ Yes, it is.
Hysterectomy (resulting in removal a woman’s uterus)
Uterine abnormalities such as uterine scarring
Medical conditions such as hypertension, which makes getting pregnant, risky
Chronic reproductive loss
Surrogacy in Nigeria
Having a baby by a surrogate mother in Nigeria might seem very easy and cool until one gets involved in the process. First of all, consider who the best candidate for you, is. Would you consider one of your friends? Bad idea if you don’t want to become a topic for household gossip. Then you might want to try out a surrogate agency in Nigeria where everything will be done confidentially.
When your surrogate mother is 6 weeks gone, the doctors will confirm the first heartbeats of the unborn child. Then you will be required to pay her a monthly fee. The fee is not fixed. Much of it depends on your bargaining power or the surrogate agency rates.
Aside from the financial implication of opting for surrogacy, the possibility of delivery complications can be scary. Also, the surrogate mother might be unwilling to hand over the child to the couple. It would be difficult to press charges because there is no Federal Law on surrogacy in Nigeria. Hence parental rights are not guaranteed.
To protect your rights and that of the baby you want to have, hire a lawyer who specializes in reproductive law. Ensure to document every step of the surrogacy process. All parties involved should duly sign agreements.