Kim suffers from a condition called placenta accreta, which can cause severe problems to mother and baby during and after pregnancy. This is why they decided it was safest to use a surrogate. It’s an extremely big decision, but one that’s been vital in helping people have babies who otherwise wouldn’t be able to.
Surrogacy is when someone carries a baby for another person or couple, giving the child to them once it’s born.
There are two different types of surrogacy:
- Traditional surrogacy
This method involves insemination of the surrogate mother by the sperm of the intended father.The baby will technically be related to the surrogate, but an agreement will be made so that the intended father (and a partner, if he has one) will raise the child.Sometimes a sperm donor may also be used in this instance, but the insemination will still happen in a traditional manner. If donor sperm is used, there can be issues around custody – since the baby won’t be biologically be related to either intended parent (but will be related to the surrogate). In that case, standard adoption procedures may need to take place.
- Gestational surrogacy
This is different in that the insemination happens via IVF (in vitro fertilisation).There are a few different combinations of how this embryo is created:
- Intended parents’ sperm and egg
- Donor egg and intended father’s sperm
- Donor sperm and intended mother’s egg
- Donor sperm and egg
- Donor embryo (which may be donated by someone who’s gone through IVF and had one left over)
One of these sperm/egg combinations will be implanted into the surrogate mother, meaning the baby will not be related to the surrogate in any way.
There are plenty of reasons someone might choose to use a surrogate. They mainly tend to be due to safety concerns for the intended mother (like in Kim’s case), when a same-sex couple want to have a baby, or because of fertility issues with one of both intended parents.
Some people use a surrogacy agency to do this. They’ll be able to look through potential surrogates, and have the process managed by their agent. The agency will also sort out any legal issues and potential financial transactions from the intended parents to the surrogate.