Have you wanted to grow your family, but are looking for or require an alternative to traditional pregnancy? Gestational surrogacy can prove an effective and straightforward solution for couples that need third-party assistance for their family planning goals.
The in-vitro fertilization (IVF) process involves a medical intervention to implant an embryo into a uterus. A woman’s eggs and either a partner or donor’s sperm are combined in a controlled laboratory environment to create the embryo which is then transferred to the uterus.
In the context of IVF surrogacy, the embryo is instead transferred to a third-party surrogate who provides a “host womb”. Though they are carrying the baby, they do not share any genetic link to the child.
Women Medically Unable to Carry a Pregnancy
Due to a variety of possible factors, some women are medically unable to carry a pregnancy. For example, a person may be born without a uterus, has undergone a hysterectomy, or is experiencing symptoms of a disease that prevent them from doing so. Physical disabilities may also result in an inability to sustain a healthy pregnancy.
Women Advised Against Undertaking a Pregnancy
A fertility specialist or another doctor may advise a woman against pursuing natural pregnancy. In many cases, this could be due to a systemic illness that could create further complications if pregnancy is introduced into the medical picture. Conditions that could result in a doctor recommending against pregnancy could include morbid obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and a number of other conditions.
Same-Sex Male Couples and Single Men
Men who wish to reproduce without a female partner may wish to grow their family through the IVF surrogacy process. This enables men to have a child created with their sperm and a donor egg that will then be carried to term by a surrogate provider.
As in preparation for other assisted reproductive techniques, the biological parents undergo a thorough clinical, psychological, and laboratory assessment prior to selecting a surrogate. The purpose of this fertility screening is to exclude sexually transmitted diseases that might be carried to the surrogate at the time of embryo transfer. They are also counseled on issues faced by all IVF aspiring parents, such as the possibility of multiple births, ectopic pregnancy, and miscarriage.
During your preparation for your initial surrogacy consultations, it is important to conduct thorough research into the process. Bring specific questions to ask your doctor and notify them of any and all known genetic medical conditions that your fertility specialist should know about.
One common question that many interested parents ask in regards to surrogacy in California is: “Does the surrogate have any parental rights over the baby?”
All legal issues pertaining to custody and the rights of the biological parents and the surrogate should be discussed in detail and the appropriate consent forms completed following full disclosure. We recommend that the surrogate and biological parents both obtain separate legal counsel to avoid the conflict of interest that would arise were one attorney to counsel both parties.
Furthermore, since many cases of surrogacy are performed on International Couples, it is important that the legal team is well versed in family law, international laws and knowledge of how to expedite the birth certificates. Experience in this area is one of the keys to arriving at a successful outcome.
Once the surrogate has been selected, she will undergo thorough medical and psychological evaluations, including:
The procedure used to stimulate the female partner giving the eggs with fertility drugs, and monitoring her condition, strongly resembles that used for an egg donor, or any person undergoing IVF. In order to stimulate ovulation of enough eggs to increase the chances of a viable pregnancy, the ovaries will be stimulated with gonadotropins (injectable FSH and LH).The harvested eggs are mixed with sperm to create embryos.