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Did You Know? A History of Surrogacy: It’s Nothing New!


Just how long have couples resorted to surrogacy to start their families? A lot longer than you might think….

Surrogacy brings to mind cutting-edge science and modern-day families which to a certain extent is correct, as surrogacy, in this sense, is only about 30 years old. The concept of surrogacy; however, originated eons ago — even tracing back to Biblical times.

In the Bible: The first mention of surrogacy can be found in “The Book of Genesis” in the story of Sarah and Abraham. Sarah and Abraham a married couple, unable to conceive a child of their own, turned to their servant Hagar to be the mother of Abraham’s child. This first recorded surrogacy is a traditional surrogacy, where it is the surrogate’s egg being used. Even though Sarah was not biologically related to the baby, she and Abraham both took the child as their own. Up until about 30 years ago, traditional surrogacies such as this were the only way intended parents could create a child through surrogacy. Traditional surrogacy remained a taboo until the twentieth century due to the stigmas associated with infertility and “illegitimate” children. During this time, surrogate pregnancies would have been conceived naturally — which would be shameful for married couples. Gestational surrogacy, on the other hand, finds intended parents creating an embryo using their own egg and sperm or using donated gametes.

1975: The first successful accomplished IVF embryo transfer

1976: The first legal surrogacy contract negotiated by a lawyer named Noel Keane. This was a traditional surrogacy, and without compensation. Keane went on to establish the Infertility Center, which would coordinate hundreds of surrogate pregnancies a year and play a prominent role in the history of surrogacy in the US.

1978: The first baby conceived through IVF transfer was born.

1980: The first compensated surrogacy agreement was arranged between a traditional surrogate and the intended parents. 

2004–2008: Almost 5,000 children were born via surrogacy in the US.

Surrogacy, obviously, has evolved in leaps and bounds from where it originated. Today, the combination of constantly evolving technology, pushing the borders of science, and the various options available make it easier than ever before for intended parents to complete their family through this life-giving, life-changing method.

Are you interested in learning more about surrogacy or starting the process? Come visit us at Gaia Fertility…for more information contact us at  +442038074294


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