- AFS Blog
6 Things You Should Know About Being A Gestational Surrogate
Only a few decades ago, individuals and couples around the world who were told that they could not have biological offspring had to accept their situation and make do with their circumstances. Now, gestational surrogacy grants them what was seemingly an impossible dream. Through the help of a gestational surrogate, intended parents can achieve their goals of starting a family.
How does being a gestational surrogate work? When is this infertility treatment used? What should potential surrogates consider if they’re interested in pursuing this treatment? How can a surrogate help intended parents grow their families? Read this post to learn the answer to these important questions and more:
What is the difference between being a gestational surrogate and a traditional surrogate?
Gestational surrogacy occurs when a surrogate is not biologically related to the baby they’re carrying. Often times the intended father’s sperm and the intended mother’s eggs are combined to create an embryo. It is then transferred to the surrogate for her to carry to full-term. Embryos can also be created using donor eggs, sperm, or both, depending on circumstances.
Traditional surrogates use sperm to fertilize a surrogate’s egg, making the child biologically related to the surrogate. She then carries the baby to full term. Once the baby is delivered, the intended parents become the full legal guardians. Sometimes the surrogate will not play any role in the child’s life. In other cases, the surrogate will have some involvement depending on the agreement with the child’s parents.
Do people choose gestational surrogacy for social reasons or for medical reasons?
There are several medical reasons why a woman may be unable to carry a pregnancy to term. Sometimes someone has had a history of miscarriages or failed embryo transfers. There are other medical reasons a woman cannot carry a baby to term, such as when a woman has undergone a sex reassignment surgery or a hysterectomy.
An individual or a couple may have social reasons for seeking a child using gestational surrogacy. Individuals or a couple may choose to use a surrogate and an egg donor to have a child. They may also choose to go through reciprocal IVF, which is a process wherein a woman donates her eggs and another woman carries the baby to full term.
How many people are involved in gestational surrogacy?
Gestational surrogacy can be complicated, but it doesn’t mean that the process has to be stressful. It’s important that everyone involved is aware of the relationships of the individuals involved.
Some cases can involve up to five parent relationships: the two intended parents, the egg donor, the sperm donor, and the gestational carrier. A situation like this can be rare. For most surrogacies, one or both of the intended parents are also the sperm and/or egg donor.
Does gestational surrogacy have a high success rate?
Compared to other fertility treatments, the success rate of gestational surrogacies and births is relatively high. However, this largely depends on the egg donor’s age and other factors.
Are legal and financial counseling needed?
While choosing a gestational surrogate may do away with some of the complications of a traditional surrogate, each party must still be represented by a lawyer that specializes in assisted reproduction. With almost all gestational surrogacy pregnancies, a woman will deliver a baby where she will have no legal claim. The child’s intended parents will be the full guardians and this arrangement needs to be carefully detailed and laid out in a legal contract.
A lawyer will help iron out the financial and legal details of the contract. This often includes compensation agreements as well. While intended parents will not usually encounter issues with being put on the child’s birth certificate, it’s important to have a legal professional who is familiar with the local laws.
If you’re interested in learning more about gestational carrier compensation, All Families Surrogacy lists compensation details here.
Do involved parties have to go through a screening process?
Every individual involved in a gestational surrogacy pregnancy will have to go through at least one type of screening. The carrier herself goes through the most rigorous screening process. Whether a couple uses a surrogate who they know personally or chooses one provided by an outside organization, the surrogate will be thoroughly screened for their psychological, emotional, and physical health. This is to ensure that intended parents and surrogates have the best chances of a successful pregnancy.
There are strict testing guidelines put into place by the FDA for sperm and egg donors who use a gestational carrier. These guidelines help minimize the risk to the surrogate and prevent the accidental spread of disease.
Psychosocial counseling is provided for intended parents, whether or not they donate the sperm or eggs. This helps the IPs understand how the pregnancy will affect community dynamics and their other relationships. This is also when a plan is developed regarding contact with the gestational surrogate after the child is born.
Do you want to learn more about being a gestational surrogate or how a trusted surrogacy agency like All Families Surrogacy can help you through the process? We are here to help you on your surrogacy journey. To get more information about our services, contact All Families Surrogacy today at (503) 936-7960 or send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.