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Surrogacy is an arrangement, often supported by a legal agreement, whereby a woman agrees to delivery/labour for another person or people, who will become the child's parent(s) after birth. People may seek a surrogacy arrangement when a couple do not wish to carry a pregnancy themselves, when pregnancy is medically impossible, when pregnancy risks are dangerous for the intended mother, or when a single man or a male couple wish to have a child.
In surrogacy arrangements, monetary compensation may or may not be involved. Receiving money for the arrangement is known as commercial surrogacy. The legality and cost of surrogacy varies widely between jurisdictions, sometimes resulting in problematic international or interstate surrogacy arrangements. Couples seeking a surrogacy arrangement in a country where it is banned sometimes travel to a jurisdiction that permits it. In some countries, surrogacy is legal only if money does not exchange hands.
Where commercial surrogacy is legal, couples may use the help of third-party agencies to assist in the process of surrogacy by finding a surrogate and arranging a surrogacy contract with her. These agencies often screen surrogates' psychological and other medical tests to ensure the best chance of healthy gestation and delivery. They also usually facilitate all legal matters concerning the intended parents and the surrogate.