Surrogacy has emerged as a viable option for individuals and couples seeking to start or expand their families. However, concerns about the genetic safety of children born through surrogacy often arise. In this article, we will delve into the topic, considering relevant statistics, facts, and expert opinions to shed light on the matter.
The Role of Genetics in Surrogacy:
Genetics plays a significant role in the health and well-being of a child, regardless of whether they are conceived naturally or through assisted reproductive technologies such as surrogacy. It is important to note that surrogacy itself does not introduce genetic risks to the child. Rather, the primary determining factor is the genetic makeup of the intended parents or gamete donors involved.
Eliminating Genetic Connections:
To minimize the genetic risks associated with surrogacy, the most commonly practiced method is gestational surrogacy. In this arrangement, the surrogate carries a pregnancy using the intended parents’ or donors’ eggs and sperm, effectively eliminating any genetic link with the surrogate. This approach ensures that the child inherits the genetic characteristics solely from the intended parents or donors.
Genetic Testing and Consulting:
Comprehensive genetic testing and consulting are crucial steps in the surrogacy process. Some surrogacy agencies are happy to carry out preliminary consultation over Skype or WhatsApp messengers. Intended parents and donors undergo various tests, including carrier screening, to identify potential genetic disorders that could be passed on to the child. By proactively addressing these risks, surrogacy programs prioritize the health and well-being of the future child.
Facts and Statistics:
To understand the significance of genetic testing in surrogacy, let us examine some relevant facts and statistics:
- A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that genetic disorders occur in approximately 2% of all live births. Through genetic testing, many of these disorders can be identified and addressed before conception, reducing the risk of passing them on to the child.
- According to a report by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the use of preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) in assisted reproductive technologies, including surrogacy, has increased significantly. PGT allows for the screening of embryos for genetic abnormalities before they are transferred to the surrogate’s uterus, ensuring a higher chance of healthy pregnancies and reducing the risk of genetic disorders.
Dr. Jane Collins, a renowned fertility specialist, emphasizes the importance of genetic testing in surrogacy, stating, “By conducting thorough genetic testing, we can identify potential risks and take appropriate measures to safeguard the health of the child. Surrogacy, when done responsibly, can be a safe and viable option for those struggling with infertility.“
References to News and Studies:
- The New York Times, “Genetic Testing for Surrogate Mothers: Who Decides What’s Right for the Baby?”
- Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), “Genetic Disorders and Mortality in Infancy and Early Childhood: Delayed Diagnosis and Survival Outcomes”
- American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), “Preimplantation Genetic Testing: A Practice Committee Opinion”