When a child is born via surrogacy treatment, there may be instances where parentage becomes, legally speaking, unclear. This grey area can arise due to the fact that parents might seek the help of a surrogate mother in countries where laws regarding the attribution of parentage might be very different to those back home. A DNA Test for Surrogacy may in some cases be the only option available, providing parents with the evidence they need to prove that they are in fact the biological parent/s of the child.
What is Surrogacy
Essentially surrogacy is when a woman carries the baby of another couple until the birth of the child. This is a process that has been agreed upon by both parties and the mother who has carried the child must give up the baby to the commissioning parents once it is born.
There are two types of surrogacy:
The first is traditional surrogacy. The traditional surrogacy method involves implanting sperm into the surrogate mother’s Fallopian tubes. Traditional surrogacy can pose parentage complications if all laws, regulations and agreements between the commissioning parents and the surrogate mother are not clear from the start. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother is the biological mother of the child and the commissioning mother is normally unrelated to the child.
Gestational surrogacy is a little different. Whilst in traditional surrogacy the sperm is implanted into the surrogate mother and fertilizes her ovum, in gestational surrogacy, the surrogate mother only provides her womb. The eggs and the sperm usually belong to the commissioning parents and are fertilized in-vitro. The fertilized eggs are then implanted into the surrogate’s fallopian tube that is, to all intents and purposes, just the carrier of the baby (but entirely unrelated biologically).
Why is a DNA Test for Surrogacy Needed?
According to UK law, the woman who physically gives birth to a child is classed as that child’s legal mother. Commissioning parents of a surrogacy must apply for the legal rights to be transferred across to them within 6 months of the child’s birth, by applying for a parental order. However, to be granted the parental order, the commissioning parents must establish a biological relationship to the child in question. If this cannot be proven, the parents must apply for an adoption order, which will necessitate the involvement of an adoption agency to confirm the process. Therefore a DNA Test for Surrogacy can be extremely useful in simplifying and speeding up the process.
What is a DNA Test for Surrogacy?
Surrogacy tests are usually one, or a combination of, the following DNA tests:
- paternity testing
- maternity testing
- immigration testing
Paternity testing can be used in instances where there are doubts about whether laboratory implantation procedures were followed rigorously. Unfortunately, whilst human error is rare in laboratories offering implantation services, it is nevertheless a possibility. There have been cases where the sperm implanted was the wrong one (meaning it was not the sperm from the intended father but the sperm from another donor which was not intended for the pregnancy in question). The only way of knowing if the baby is the biological child of the intended father is by carrying out a DNA Paternity Test.
Maternity testing is sometimes used in cases of gestational surrogacy due to the very nature of this type of test that requires egg donation from a woman other than the surrogate mother. Besides the possibility of implanting the wrong embryo, there is also a small chance of natural conception for the surrogate mother. If there are any doubts as to whether the alleged mother is the biological mother of the child, a Maternity DNA Test is the only solution.
Immigration DNA Test for Surrogacy Cases
Both maternity DNA testing and paternity testing provide results that are more than 99.99% accurate.
Many couples who opt for surrogacy will often find their surrogate mother and seek IVF treatment outside their own country. India and Ukraine are among some of the more common choices due to laws being more lax and surrogacy fees being considerably lower. However, couples who choose to find a surrogate mother overseas may be faced with certain legal difficulties when trying to take their child back home. Immigration authorities back home may not recognize the commissioning parents as the legal parents because they may not be biologically related – thus, the child is not allowed to enter the country. Also surrogacy agreements drafted abroad might not always be recognised in the commissioning parents’ home country. Sometimes DNA testing for Immigration is the only means available to prove that a child born through surrogacy is the biological child of one or both commissioning parents.
DNA Testing and IVF Treatment
Couples who have used in vitro fertilisation (IVF) to have a child may wish to have a DNA test to confirm they are the parents. Although the risk of the wrong embryo being implanted at the hospital or clinic is extremely small, a paternity and/or maternity test would provide peace of mind that they are the biological parents.
DNA Tests and Adoption
Children who are in foster care or have been adopted may want to trace their parents or siblings later in life.
DNA Test for Surrogacy and Further Support
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