Surrogacy Process – How

SURROGACY PROCESS: FROM THE MATCH TO DELIVERY

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Process

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Overview of the Surrogacy Process

There are two types of surrogacy — traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. In traditional surrogacy, a surrogate mother is artificially inseminated, either by the intended father or an anonymous donor, and carries the baby to term. The child is thereby genetically related to both the surrogate mother, who provides the egg and the intended father or anonymous donor.

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In gestational surrogacy, an egg is removed from the intended mother or an anonymous donor and fertilized with the sperm of the intended father or anonymous donor. The fertilized egg, or embryo, is then transferred to a surrogate who carries the baby to term. The child is thereby genetically related to the woman who donated the egg and the intended father or sperm donor, but not the surrogate. Some lesbian couples find gestational surrogacy attractive because it permits one woman to contribute her egg and the other to carry the child.

Traditional surrogacy is more controversial than gestational surrogacy, in large part because the biological relationship between the surrogate and the child often complicates the facts of the case if parental rights or the validity of the surrogacy agreement are challenged. As a result, most states prohibit traditional surrogacy agreements. Additionally, many states that permit surrogacy agreements prohibit compensation beyond the payment of medical and legal expenses incurred as a result of the surrogacy agreement.

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Traditional Surrogacy

A traditional surrogate is a woman who is artificially inseminated with the father’s sperm. She then carries the baby and delivers it for the parents to raise. A traditional surrogate is the baby’s biological mother. That’s because it was her egg that was fertilized by the father’s sperm.

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Gestational Surrogacy

Gestational surrogates: In vitro fertilization (IVF) now makes it possible to harvest eggs from the mother, fertilize them with sperm from the father, and place the embryo into the uterus of a gestational surrogate. The surrogate then carries the baby until birth. A gestational surrogate has no genetic ties to the child. That’s because it wasn’t her egg that was used.

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Surrogacy Qualifications

Most surrogacy agencies and fertility clinics require surrogates to meet the following general qualifications:

a.Be in good physical and mental health.
b. Have carried and delivered at least one child.
c. Have had pregnancies that were all free of complications and were full-term.
d. Be less than 43 years of age (some clinics will accept older woman in certain circumstances; others have younger age cut-offs for all surrogates).
e. Be in a stable living situation and
f. Not smoke or abuse alcohol.

Who Uses Surrogates?

A woman might decide to use a surrogate for several reasons:

  • She may have medical problems with her uterus.
  • She may have had a hysterectomy that removed her uterus.
  • There may be conditions that make pregnancy impossible or medically risky, such as severe heart disease.

 

Other women choose surrogacy after trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant with a variety of assisted-reproduction techniques (ART), such as IVF.

Surrogates have also made parenthood an option for people who might not be able to adopt a child. Reasons could include:

  • their age
  • their marital status
  • their sexual orientation

For instance, when gay man use a traditional surrogate, one of them uses his sperm to fertilize the surrogate’s egg through artificial insemination. The surrogate then carries the baby and gives birth. A gay couple might also choose an egg donor, fertilize that donated egg, and have the resulting embryo implanted in a gestational surrogate to carry until birth.

Pregnancy rates:

  • Success rates for surrogacy IVF procedures vary considerably.
  • The age of the woman providing the eggs is one critical factor.
  • In general, pregnancy rates are higher than with eggs from infertile women.

Some programs are reporting delivery rates of over 50% per transfer for gestational surrogacy cases (using eggs from women under about age 37).

Pregnancy rates:

  • Success rates for surrogacy IVF procedures vary considerably.
  • The age of the woman providing the eggs is one critical factor.
  • In general, pregnancy rates are higher than with eggs from infertile women.
  • Some programs are reporting delivery rates of over 50% per transfer for gestational surrogacy cases (using eggs from women under about age 37).
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