What Is Surrogate Parenting?

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Surrogate parenting is when a women is hired or volunteers to carry a baby for a family or couple that is unable to have a child in the traditional sense. Find out how surrogate parents may use the surrogate mother's eggs or may use donor eggs with information from a certified nurse midwife and professor of nursing in this free video on pregnancy and surrogacy.

Part of the Video Series: Pregnancy & Childcare
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Video Transcript

Sometimes a family or a couple would like to add a child but it just isn't possible in the conventional way and so they look at alternatives like adoption or surrogacy. Hi I'm Michelle Collins and I'm a Nurse Midwife and Professor of Nursing at Vanderbilt School of Nursing. The term surrogacy literally means doing something in place of somebody else. In the case of surrogate parenting a woman is literally hired to carry the baby for the family or the couple who would like a child. One thing a family might do that is interested in surrogacy would be to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law especially surrogacy if you can find one. There are many types of surrogate parenting. Sometimes the surrogate woman uses her own egg and that's combined with the sperm, either donor's sperm or the sperm of someone in the family desiring the surrogate child. Another type of surrogate parenting involves not using the egg from the surrogate mother at all but using a donor egg and sperm that's either from the donor or from the couple wishing to have a surrogate child. In any case surrogate parenting is not a decision that you want to come to lightly. It's something that needs to be thought out very carefully. You may want to speak to other parents who've gone this route and they may be helpful in offering advice.

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