Surrogacy: Understanding Selective Reduction And Termination

Surrogacy agency interviews want to know many things including a surrogate applicant’s views on selective reduction.

A surrogacy agency will ask a potential surrogate many questions including her feelings about selective reduction and termination. It is important that an applicant be honest with exher answers. By doing so, an agency can match her with likeminded intending parents.


Why Surrogates Need to Check on PGD Testing

While potential surrogates research agencies, they may want to add one more thing on their checklist.  And that is finding out if an agency works with fertility clinics that perform a Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). This means that embryos undergo tests for possible genetic defects.

The tests include the following:

  • Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) for at embryos which may be at risk for genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia.
  • Complete Chromosomal Screening (CCS) tests embryos at risk for diseases such as Down syndrome, Trisomy 21, Edwards syndrome, and Patau syndrome.

These tests are known to be up to 98 percent accurate. PGD will help reduce the likelihood of terminating a pregnancy. Testing is done before an embryo transfer.

What is Selective Reduction?

In some instances, intending parents may decide to have their surrogate undergo a selective reduction. It’s a decision not made lightly.

A reduction may be necessary to protect the health and wellness of a surrogate or fetuses. For example, to reduce the number of fetuses from triplets to a single or twin pregnancy.

While a selective reduction is the most commonly used term, the procedure is also known as MFPR (multifetal pregnancy reduction) or selective termination.


Are Reduction and Termination Different from Abortion?

Is there a difference between reduction, termination, and abortion? As far as Breana J., an admissions coordinator at Extraordinary Conceptions is concerned, there is a clear one.

“Abortion is referred more to as an unwanted baby,” Breana said. “I can assure that in surrogacy these babies are extremely wanted.”

Breana went on to say that reduction and termination is very different from abortion.

As mentioned earlier, intending parents choose selective reduction to lower the number of fetuses. On the other hand, termination is different.

“A termination happens when there is a medical condition that cannot be fixed with surgery outside of your womb. This health issue would affect the quality of life in that baby,” Breana said.


Starting the Dialogue

An agency wants to know a surrogate applicant’s feelings about termination and reduction.

“When we talk about the topic of reduction and termination, we never make a surrogate do anything that they don’t feel comfortable with doing,” Breana said. “We try to match her based on her beliefs. If she’s not okay with termination or reduction for any reason, then that’s something we will work with.”

Breana said that an intending parent match may take a little longer for a woman that opposes termination and reduction. And that’s fine. The goal is to connect surrogates with the right intending parents.

“We try to make sure everyone is on the same page about this,” she said.