Does a surrogate mother share DNA? The embryo develops within the gestational carrier’s uterus. The placenta, which protects the baby from exposure to the outside world, nourishes the growing child. This organ also filters blood and DNA. The placenta also allows the intended parents to carry their baby to term. But does a surrogate mother share DNA with the baby?nTraditional surrogacy involves a surrogate mother sharing DNA with the baby.nWhen two people agree to be a surrogate, the process of conceiving a child is known as traditional surrogacy. In this procedure, the surrogate mother is genetically connected to the baby, which blurs the lines of legality and custody. During pregnancy, the surrogate mother creates an organ called a placenta. This organ provides necessary nutrients and removes waste from the blood. It attaches to the uterus through the umbilical cord, and the child is considered genetically related to the surrogate mother.nWhile the embryos are ready for transfer to the intended parents, the process of traditional surrogacy can be confusing. Because the surrogate shares the baby’s DNA with the intended parents, the two procedures may not be compatible. It’s important to remember that a traditional surrogate shares DNA with the child, but the baby is not related to the surrogate mother by blood.nIn traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother conceives a pregnancy by ovulating her egg, then artificially inseminated with the intended father’s sperm. The surrogate then carries the pregnancy to term. The child will share the mother’s DNA with the intended father and its father. Traditional surrogacy has more legal challenges than gestational surrogacy but is still the most popular method for growing a family.nWhile traditional surrogacy does not use an egg donor’s DNA, the surrogate mother shares DNA with the baby. Because the surrogate mother shares DNA with the baby, she may share some of her genes with the child. A traditional surrogacy procedure has a high success rate, so if your surrogate mother can produce egg cells, she can carry the child.nGestational surrogacynThe baby born via gestational surrogacy has a genetic tie to the surrogate. As a result, the intended parents provide the eggs and sperm, which will develop into a baby’s DNA. Because the surrogate’s placenta will be a barrier between the surrogate mother and the unborn child, the baby will have a mother’s DNA.nThe embryo’s DNA comes from the intended parents or a donor. The surrogate’s blood and cells are taken from the intended parents during the embryo’s development. The placenta keeps the source and baby’s blood and DNA separate. This ensures that the baby’s DNA is protected from the surrogate’s blood. The placenta, however, will remain in the womb for the entire gestation period.nWhile traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy share the same mother’s DNA, traditional surrogacy differs from gestational surrogacy in that it uses the egg of the intended parent, thereby preventing the need to find an egg donor. Eggs are inseminated with sperm from the intended father or a donor. This artificial insemination produces an embryo transferred to the surrogate, who then carries the pregnancy to full term.nThe intended parents want to see what their child will look like. While the child will have the genes of the intended parents, the genetic material will be from the egg and sperm donor. The surrogate will also carry the baby’s DNA, and the child may look similar to the surrogate. However, the genetic matching process is not entirely successful, and the intended parents may be upset that the baby bears a resemblance.nGenetic relationship between intended parents and surrogate mothernThe surrogate-child relationship has been debated and studied for many years. The main differences are the surrogate’s kinship to the child and the intended parents’ relative kinship to the surrogate mother. Throughout this process, surrogates have tried to convey the lack of kinship between the child and the surrogate mother by using metaphors like nanny, babysitter, and oven.nIn traditional surrogacy, a woman carries a child by donating her eggs and uterus. This means the surrogate mother is genetically related to her child, as she was born to the intended parents. However, in genetic surrogacy, a woman’s eggs and sperm are used to create a baby. Therefore, the genetic relationship between intended parents and surrogate mothers may play a role in the child’s genetic inheritance.nAlthough the genetic relationship between intended parents and surrogate mothers is known, the intended parents may take matters into their own hands and look for surrogate mothers who can carry their child. Amy and Scott Kehoe chose a surrogate mother and egg donor, but their intended parents turned out to be genetically related to the surrogate. Amy Kehoe, the couple, has since become a couple, and the surrogate mother has remained positive.nHowever, no evidence exists that a surrogate mother can alter the baby’s genes. This is because genes are the building blocks of uniqueness and influence everything from hair color to height to chances of getting certain diseases. The human genome consists of 3 billion base pairs and hundreds of thousands of genes. The intended parents have no control over the genes, but the surrogate mother’s health may positively or negatively affect the baby’s development.nEffects of the uterine environment on gene expressionnEpigenetics refers to heritable gene changes that occur without any change in the DNA sequence. These changes include DNA methylation, histone modification, and the expression of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). Epigenetic changes in the uterus affect genes that regulate embryo implantation and survival, such as E2 and P4 receptors. Aberrant DNA methylation of the CpG island has been associated with endometrial cancer. In addition, abnormal methylation of the uterus has been associated with other diseases and conditions, including ovarian cancer.nBecause the DNA from the egg and sperm does not get directly transferred to the embryo, the environment of the surrogate’s womb is crucial for the baby’s development. The mother’s genes may be changed through epigenetics, a science that studies the effect of her environment on gene expression in the developing child. Poor diet and stress can also affect a baby’s development.nResearchers are currently studying the effects of the uterine environment on gene expression in cloned offspring. It is essential to consider that a surrogate mother has no children of her own. The child may be derived from donor eggs or a surrogate mother’s egg. Ultimately, the surrogate mother’s job is to make the baby’s life possible.nThis study used several model systems to examine hormone-induced changes in the uterine environment. One of the most commonly used models for assessing this process uses a delayed-implantation model. In this model, an ovary is removed four days before the preimplantation estrogen surge and treated with P4 to maintain quiescence. Once estrogen repletion occurs, the surrogate mother resumes pregnancy competency. The results show the importance of estrogen and progesterone in controlling uterine receptivity. Furthermore, single-cell transcriptomics has shown that trophoblast cells are the predominant cell type in human placentas. These single-cell transcriptomes can be separated into five clusters using a genetic marker.nEffects of breastfeeding on genetic relationship between intended parents and surrogate mothernThe effects of breastfeeding on the genetic relationship between intended parents and surrogates are well documented and emphasized by obstetricians and gynecologists. Breast milk contains immunity-boosting antibodies and several healthy enzymes. Moreover, breast milk communicates with the baby to determine what it needs to grow healthy. Therefore, breastfeeding benefits the baby and helps reduce the risk of several diseases. However, some contraindications to breastfeeding should be considered before embarking on the journey.nFor the study, prospective intended parents and surrogates were interviewed through semi-structured interviews. The fathers and the intended parents were also interviewed to gain insight into the surrogate mother’s life and experiences. In total, 42 families participated in the study when their child was one year old, and 33 remained in the study for ten years. The findings are intriguing, but more research needs to be done on this topic.nIn the current socio-cultural paradigm of procreation, the genetic link is emphasized. Yet, pregnancy is still a biological process that plays an essential role in developing a new human being. A letter from an intentional mother to her surrogate, published in the New York Times in 2017, stated that the surrogate would be imprinted on her child forever. Her gait and emotions would be imprinted on her child’s body, and the surrogate will feel their every emotion.nAlthough most surrogates do not identify as mothers, they wish to maintain contact with the intended parents. This contact is essential for their emotional health and the intended parents’ well-being. This means that an informed debate about achieving sustainable surrogacy arrangements needs to occur. Legal ramifications and everyday practices need to change to reflect these evolving perspectives. That way, the surrogates can gain the benefits of surrogacy while keeping the emotional connection intact.