Tough Topic - All Things Termination
Surrogacy isn’t always an easy process, but it is often magical. Using science to help build families who may otherwise never be able to come to fruition? Yes! We are here for it. While it’s phenomenal and the end result is beyond description, there are a few major topics that are complicated and important to fully understand. Termination is definitely one of those topics. While we hope you never have to encounter the need for this discussion in reality, it is important to discuss it in theory. Understanding the unique situation with the carriers and parents’ opinions and desires coming into play is important.
Termination will be covered as part of the legal process in you Gestational Carrier Agreement, however this is a huge matching point and should be discussed prior to officially matching. The Gestational Carrier (GC) (and partner) and Intended Parent(s) (IP(s)) should think about this and figure out their threshold separately. What should be discussed about termination? Here are some general categories to start with.
“Okay with Termination” - This generally means that the gestational carrier is okay with the intended parents making any decisions regarding termination during the pregnancy. This decision by the IPs is never taken lightly and not done without justification (most often recommended by a medical professional). Remember, they have invested their time, heart and money into this process.
“No to Termination” - this means you will not terminate at all, regardless of the reason. The one exception generally may be danger to the GC’s life, however it may mean no – period.
“Reduction Only” - this is a consideration with multiples and reducing the number of fetuses. There are a number of reasons for this, one of which is risk. A multiples pregnancy is higher risk for both the gestational carrier and the babies. It can be medically necessary to increase the chances of life for one or more of the other fetuses. Though it may also be an elective choice, often if an embryo has split. It is important to note that not all multiple pregnancies can be reduced. If the fetuses share an amniotic sac or placenta, the reduction of one could cause the termination of both.
“Term Only Danger to Life” - This is for a situation when the GC’s life is at risk. Pregnancy comes with risk and complications so the possibility or termination in order to save the carrier’s life could arise.
“No Term for __________” – you fill in the blank. Sometimes there are specifics that a carrier will not terminate for. Examples of these may include, down syndrome, missing limb, cleft pallet, or any other perceived “issue” that may or may not inhibit the baby’s life.
There are a variety of categories and it’s generally not a black and white decision. You may find that you easily fit into only one category yourself. But it’s also possible you may be a combination of these. It is possible you have come to these conclusions on your own, or worked with your intended parents to find the best options for everyone. Remember, that working with someone else and wanting to be matched are not good reasons to change your personal beliefs. Being open and honest with what feels right to you is best for everyone. No matter where you stand, be sure to discuss termination during all match meetings. No one plans to be in a termination situation, but being on the same page with your IPs will make any necessary decisions less complicated. Working together is vital!
Are you ready to learn more about becoming a gestational surrogate? Please visit us at www.texassurro.com to find out more today!