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Report No. 228

Surrogacy - Meaning

1.3 The word 'surrogate' has its origin in Latin 'surrogatus', past participle of 'surrogare', meaning a substitute, that is, a person appointed to act in the place of another. Thus a surrogate mother is a woman who bears a child on behalf of another woman, either from her own egg or from the implantation in her womb of a fertilized egg from other woman. According to the Black's Law Dictionary, surrogacy means the process of carrying and delivering a child for another person.

The New Encyclopaedia Britannica defines 'surrogate motherhood' as the practice in which a woman bears a child for a couple unable to produce children in the usual 9way. The Report of the Committee of Inquiry into Human Fertilization and Embryology or the Warnock Report (1984) defines surrogacy as the practice whereby one woman carries a child for another with the intention that the child should be handed over after birth.

1.4 The Black' Law Dictionary categorizes surrogacy into two classes: 'gestational surrogacy' and 'traditional surrogacy'. They are defined as follows:

Gestational surrogacy. A pregnancy in which one woman (the genetic mother) provides the egg, which is fertilized, and another woman (the surrogate mother) carries the fetus and gives birth to the child.

Traditional surrogacy. A pregnancy in which a woman provides her own egg, which is fertilized by artificial insemination, and carries the fetus and gives birth to a child for another person.

1.5 'Gestational surrogacy' is total in the sense that an embryo created by the process of IVF is implanted into the surrogate mother. 'Traditional surrogacy' may be called partial or genetically contracted motherhood because the surrogate mother is impregnated with the sperm of the intended father making her both the genetic and the gestational mother; the child shares make-up of the commissioning father and the surrogate mother.

1.6 Surrogacy is commercial or altruistic depending on whether the surrogate receives financial reward for her pregnancy or the relinquishment of the child, or not.

Need for Legislation to Regulate assisted Reproductive Technology Clinics as well as Rights and Obligations of Parties to Surrogacy Back

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