Mental Illness and Surrogacy

Surrogacy is an infertility treatment option for women who have uterine mal-formation and unable to start their family with other available treatment options. The indication of surrogacy includes absent uterus, repeated abortions, repetitive IVF failures, and some other medical conditions. Surrogacy gives such women to have their genetically related child. 

pregnant women surrogacy mental health

Psychological well-being management, especially for surrogate mothers is a critical aspect of the surrogacy procedure. It is often found that large monitory status gaps along with substantial power differences present between intended parents and surrogates. Moreover, the commodification of women’s bodies in poor populations and an absence of choices for surrogates made them vulnerable to exploitation. Women in lower-income populations often suffer from emotional disorders, predominantly prenatal and postnatal depression, compared to women from higher-income. These findings support that the surrogacy candidates may already have a risk of psychological problems.

Besides these, relinquishing the child after birth may cause extreme distress among such surrogates and may cause long-term psychological disorders for surrogate mothers. Although giving a complete understanding of the whole surrogacy process, but the surrogate mother may develop a bond with the unborn child during the pre-natal stage. This would make it difficult for her to relinquish the born child to the intended parents. Therefore, the risk of post-natal depression is higher after relinquishing the child. It raises many negative psychological impacts like guilt, anger or guilt, and stress. Continuation of such conditions affects the psychological health of the surrogate mothers. Therefore, during screening tests for checking the eligibility of a surrogate analysis of motive is important to evaluate. It has often been found that financial hardship force a woman to become a surrogate. Surrogates may even do not completely aware of its potential risks. Another related concern of the psychological impact of the surrogate mother is the impact on her family.  Support from the surrogate’s partner, parents, and existing children, and other friends and relatives matters a lot for surrogacy decision making and pursuing the same. Some cases, the decision to opt surrogacy break her family integrity and destabilize family as well as social bonding. 

However, experts have explored many surrogacy case series and found no significant substantial psychological problems among surrogates and intended parents. They also noted that not extended postpartum depression rate among surrogates. Comprehensive consultation and support obtain from an expert team help surrogate to alter her mindset positively.  But it has been clinically considered that the surrogate pregnancy must be treated as a high-risk psychological experience. Therefore it is highly recommended that surrogates should receive professional counseling before, during, and after pregnancy.

References

https://www.jri.ir/article/305#:~:text=For%20those%20women%20who%20do,aware%20of%20its%20potential%20risks.

https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article/33/4/646/4941810

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