History Of Surrogacy: A Timeline

Surrogacy has been around a long time, even though many people think it is a more modern invention. Previously, there was more of a “traditional” surrogacy in which the Surrogate carried her own baby – this was a technique used by people who had a lot of money and/or status and were having trouble conceiving on their own.

Surrogacy has changed quite a bit since then. We want people to know how much surrogacy has changed and hope for what it can do in the future. To do this, we have to go back quite a long time.

History of Surrogacy: How It Has Changed Over The Years

The start of modern surrogacy as we know it now has some dubious origins. In 1884, the first artificial insemination took place. It wasn’t done in a moral way, but it did show that it was possible and helped to get the ball rolling on surrogacy. Throughout the years after this, scientists studied a lot about the possibilities of surrogacy as people continued to debate whether or not it was legal, moral, and safe. Everyone had an opinion on it, but the number of infertile women continued to rise.

In 1975, the first ethical IVF embryo transfer occurred successfully, giving hope to couples everywhere. This leads to the first legal surrogacy agreement by Noel Keane, a lawyer who would go on to create the Infertility Center, one of the early leaders of surrogacy. This agency would continue to fight for the rights of Surrogates and Intended Parents. 

It wasn’t until 1980 that the first agreement was signed between a Surrogate and Intended Parents. Known as Elizabeth Keane, the woman received $10,000 from the Intended Parents. Keane’s experience gave insight into what Surrogates would experience, including the emotional toll that it would take on them. 

Soon after, one of the most notorious surrogacy cases occurred, known as “Baby M.” Mary Beth Whitehead was the Surrogate for Bill and Betsy Stern. She used her own eggs in the process, making her the biological mother of the baby. When the baby was born, she tried to take custody of said baby. It led to a long custody battle because of her genetic connection to the baby. 

The case was settled in Whitehead’s favor because the agreement between the Sterns and Whitehead was illegal. This set a precedent for all surrogacy agreements afterwards. Bill Stern was given primary custody of the baby, and Whitehead was given visitation rights. 

It wasn’t until 1985 that the first successful gestational surrogacy occured. Over time, doctors and lawyers refined their practices and worked to create laws around surrogacy that protect everyone involved.

Surrogacy has come a long way since then, with thousands of babies born to surrogacy each year.

Surrogacy Is Mentioned In The Bible

Did you know that surrogacy is mentioned in the Bible? The first mention comes in Genesis during the story of Abraham and Sarah. They are married but could not conceive a child naturally. Hagar, their servant, carries a baby for them. Sarah isn’t biologically related to the baby, but she raises him as her own. 

Surrogacy has changed a lot since then, with traditional surrogacy going out of favor for gestational surrogacy, where the Surrogate Mother that carries the baby isn’t genetically related to the baby. 

Ready To Start Your Surrogacy Journey? Contact Us Today

As you can see, many people have fought and worked to make surrogacy a possibility to build families. Finding the right fit for a Surrogate or for Intended Parents can be quite difficult, and as this is a big decision to make, taking all the time you need to make those decisions is imperative. We are here for you whenever you make that choice. We are happy to give you more information now or schedule your consultation.

Surrogacy is an extremely rewarding experience that will change your life forever. If you are ready to get started on the surrogacy process, make sure to contact us today.


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