- Couples opt for surrogacy with the intention of establishing the genetic link between them and the child
- Many a time, the surrogate mother hails from a financially backward family
- Surrogate mothers are likely to go through a phase of post-partum depression
- Counseling plays a crucial role in a case of surrogacy.
To a parent, their child is more than a ‘little person.’ He or she is the light of their lives. Often, children are the reason why parents are motivated to work harder each day. Many women deem it a privilege to bear a child. But, not every woman is fortunate to do so. As a result, the couple resorts to other alternatives.
Why opt for surrogacy?
A few couples opt for surrogacy with the intention of establishing the genetic link between them and the child. This method of childbirth is subject to both legal and medical complications. (Refer to http://www.prsindia.org/billtrack/the-surrogacy-regulation-bill-2016-4470/)
Many a time, the surrogate mother hails from a financially backward family. The cases of surrogate mothers belonging to the elite sections of the society are rare. As far as those who are battling against poverty are concerned, surrogate motherhood is a means to a comfortable life. Lalitha, a surrogate mother, residing in a slum in Chennai stated that she found nothing unusual about the procedure. “When a mother is unable to give birth to her children, I consider it to be an act of charity, and I willingly help her to do so. To my children, the child residing in my womb is like my own. There is nothing odd about it,” explained Lalitha.
But, has anybody wondered about the way in which this act could affect the woman mentally? Dr.Zaileshia, a senior psychologist in Kerala, stated that surrogate mothers are likely to go through a phase of post-partum depression.
The Importance of Counseling
Counseling plays a crucial role in the case of surrogacy. It begins the moment the woman agrees to sign the surrogacy contract. The woman is reminded that the child growing in her womb does not belong to her. During the gestation period, she is likely to experience emotional outbursts. Hence, she ought to be spoken to and educated about the process.
Post the birth of the child; the woman senses a desire to feed the child. However, she is denied from doing so. This state of denial can make her feel depressed, dejected, angry or even guilty. Reactive depression is also common in such a scenario. This is an instance when a woman feels depressed for being part of an activity. The surrogate mother would feel upset about carrying the baby of another woman in her womb for nine months.
Good yet dicey
Some women perceive the act of surrogate motherhood to be noble and generous, while some others wonder if it is fair to do so. The dilemma is related to the woman’s physical and mental health. But would the surrogate mother be willing to have a surrogate child? “I can’t accept it. How can I, that wouldn’t be my child,” explained Lalitha. Her silence said it all.
Motherhood is more than a privilege. To many women, it is a way of life.