Surrogacy is an arrangement between a woman and a couple or individual to carry and deliver a baby. Women or couples who choose surrogacy often do so because they are unable to conceive due to a missing or abnormal uterus, have experienced multiple pregnancy losses, or have had multiple in vitro fertilization attempts that have failed. The advantage of gestational surrogacy to the parents is that the embryo is created from the woman's egg and the man's sperm, so it is biologically theirs.
The surrogacy arrangement is sometimes made through an agency and other times contracted privately. When searching for a surrogate mother, a couple might use the Internet contact an agency, or network through friends and family. Surrogacy arrangements are sometimes made between strangers who never meet, or between persons who meet only occasionally through the process.
A surrogacy arrangement might also involve persons whose lives become intertwined during the process, and even those who are family members or friends before entering a surrogacy arrangement.