How to Discuss Selective Termination with Your Surrogate/IP

Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists


Embarking on a surrogacy journey should be an exciting, heartwarming adventure for Intended Parents and surrogates. Everyone's focused on creating life, but circumstances may present where a selective termination of one or more fetuses will be recommended. The best way to prepare for this decision is to discuss it with your surrogate/IP before going to contract. 

The "Right" Time is Now

There is never an easy or "right" time to have this discussion, so it is best to tackle the subject as early as possible. Remember, the reason for surrogacy is to grow a family?no one wants to terminate a life that took so much effort to create, but in certain instances, choosing not to selectively terminate a fetus may compromise the health and development of a fetus that has a chance to be born.

Establish Your Own Ideas About the Subject

Decide for yourself when or why you would agree to selective termination. Research online or contact your surrogacy agency to get information. Fully understand why the procedure may be recommended, how it will affect the fetus(es) and the carrier. Establish when?or if?you would consent to a selective termination.

Once you have an informed understanding of selective termination, prepare yourself for an open-minded discussion with the IPs/surrogate. Listen to their views but do not feel obligated to compromise your own reasons. The surrogate and IPs should work to determine when or why they will jointly agree to the procedure.

Reasons Selective Termination May be Recommended

While extenuating circumstances are always a possibility, the most common reasons for selective termination are multifetal pregnancies and genetic/medical abnormalities.

Multifetal Pregnancies: Transferring multiple embryos at once does increase the chance of becoming pregnant but it also increases the chance of becoming pregnant with multiples. Carrying more than one fetus can impact the health and development of all fetuses in the womb. If the doctor determines one or more of the fetuses are less likely to develop and will more likely hinder the development and survival of all, selective reduction may be recommended. The decision is never easy, but when IPs and the surrogate have already discussed their views, there is a greater chance the decision will be easier to make.

Genetic/Medical Abnormalities: If testing reveals that the fetus has a medical or genetic abnormality that cannot be corrected or fixed and significantly compromise the quality of life for the child, selective termination may be considered. Here again, mutual respect and understanding of both the surrogate and IPs views on selective termination will ease the decision-making process.

While there is never a perfect time to initiate talks about selective termination, sooner is better. Fully understand the procedure and when/why it may be necessary.

If you are still feeling unsure of discussing things with your surrogate/IPs, choose a time or way that will work best for you. Some people may prefer talking on the phone vs. Facetiming or meeting in person. If needed, keep notes on important points you want to cover.

Selective termination is not a preferred topic, and chances are most IPs/surrogates will never need it, but it is important to prepare and discuss when or why you would agree to it before your journey begins.

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