Gestational surrogacy is a process in which one woman (either the intended mother or a chosen egg donor) provides the eggs used to develop embryos, and another woman (the surrogate) undergoes the embryo transfer and carries the pregnancy. The sperm can come either from the intended father or from a sperm donor. The intended parents are intimately involved during the course of the pregnancy, are usually present at the time of birth and assume parenting responsibilities immediately following delivery.
For some patients, gestational surrogacy offers the best option for having a child. The primary indications for gestational surrogacy include:
- Not having a uterus either from having a hysterectomy or from being born without a functional uterus
- Significant uterine abnormalities including extensive scarring (Asherman’s Syndrome) or inoperable fibroids
- Serious medical problems that pose too great a risk for the intended mother and/or baby
- History of repeated unexplained implantation failures with IVF
- History of recurrent pregnancy loss
- Gay male couples or individuals
From a procedural standpoint, the process of using a gestational surrogate is exactly the same as in an egg donor/recipient cycle, except for that the recipient in this case is the gestational surrogate.
The surrogate can be a family member, a friend or acquaintance or can be acquired through a surrogate agency (see list below). It is preferred, however, that any woman choosing to be a surrogate is under age 40 and has had a successful pregnancy in the past. Women electing to become surrogates must go through a screening process in order to determine their ultimate eligibility. A full history and physical is performed, as well as evaluation of the uterus, genetic screening and psychological evaluation. Screening bloodwork will also be performed, including STD testing on the gestational surrogate as well as any intimate partners.
Once the surrogate is chosen, an attorney specializing in reproductive law (see list below) must be consulted in order to draw up and oversee the signing of legal contracts between the intended parents and the gestational surrogate.
Fertility Doctor Tina Koopersmith
Together We’ll Find A Way
We look forward to meeting you, learning about you, and helping you to be healthy and happy. To schedule an appointment you can call the West Coast Women’s Reproductive Center at (818) 616-9277 or make an appointment online.