The Punch

Why couples battling infertilit­y shou surrogacy, despite religious concern

Couples battling fertility complicati­ons can get respite from surrogacy – a metho whereby a woman agrees to bear a child for another person or persons. cultural, and religious issues involved with the procedure in Nigeria.

- LARA ADE

SURROGACY is a high-tech method that facilitate­s the germinatio­n of eggs and semen from intending parents in a third party willing to help carry the pregnancy to term. The terms of the arrangemen­t are negotiable.

And legal practition­ers say although surrogacy is not regulated in any subsisting piece of legislatio­n in Nigeria, there is no law criminalis­ing the same in the country.

However, in Nigeria, there seems to be a religious prohibitio­n against it. Many faiths emphasise the importance of a husband and wife conceiving naturally on their own, and involving anyone else in this process can be viewed as unholy.

But to the surrogates, it is a fulfilling experience helping someone else to carry her pregnancy, which may explain why they sacrifice their time and put their bodies at potential risk.

“I did it because I wanted to help a family have a child of their own,” says Mrs. Agatha Ejiroghene (not real names), who is in her late 30s.

Becoming a surrogate is not an easy decision to make, but for her, it’s a no-brainer. Her joy is to provide a priceless gift for another family.

She became a surrogate in 2018, and the experience was fulfilling for her.

In the surrogacy world, the role of Ejiroghene is called a gestationa­l carrier. It is the act of carrying a pregnancy for an individual or couple, using an egg that is not hers, resulting in a baby not biological­ly related to

her

“Before 2018, I didn’t know anything about surrogacy. A relative however enlightene­d me about everything.

“It wasn’t as if she was inviting me to be a surrogate mother; she was just enlighteni­ng because I had a misconcept­ion about it.

“Afterwards, I researched it, I learnt more about it and I felt it was good. At least, there won’t be

any woman out there who can’t have their children,” she said.

Ejiroghene, a biological mother of two boys, still retains her firm body in spite of 27 months of pregnancy.

Her first experience came when a surrogacy agency had a client in late 2018, and she offered to help after approval from her husband, who had travelled for five years in search of greener pastures.

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 ??  ?? •Mrs Blessing Gbuje
•Mrs Blessing Gbuje
 ??  ?? •Dr Faye Iketubos
•Dr Faye Iketubos

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