If you have been trying to get pregnant without success, are unable to carry a healthy pregnancy to term, or are in a gay male partnership, you may have considered surrogacy. In this section you'll learn all about surrogacy, including the differences between traditional surrogacy and gestational carrier arrangements.
There are two types of surrogacy: traditional surrogacy and using a gestational carrier. Here is how the two situations differ:
- In a traditional surrogacy arrangement you identify a woman who will become pregnant through artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization (IVF). She becomes pregnant when her own egg is fertilized by the parent’s sperm or sperm from a donor. In this situation, the child is genetically related to the carrier.
- Gestational carrier arrangements are more common nowadays. In this arrangement, the egg from the intended mother or an egg donor is fertilized by sperm from the intended father or a sperm donor. This is done through IVF. The carrier will not be the genetic parent of the baby.
Whichever procedure you choose, expect the process to take between 14 to 18 months before you are holding your new baby in your hands.
Before you begin surrogacy, factor in the costs for medical workups, legal fees, and fertility treatments. Surrogacy can get pretty expensive. Look into health insurance options for your surrogate to help you with the cost. (Some policies exclude surrogates from coverage). You will also want to work with a fertility clinic you trust. Research clinic IVF success rates to help you decide.
Choosing a surrogate or gestational carrier
Do you already have a surrogate in mind? Perhaps you have already asked a relative or friend to carry your child. If not, you may want to look online or get help from a surrogacy agency. Whichever route you take, secure sound legal guidance to help you avoid complications along the way. Review your situation with an attorney, an agency, or other professionals. Be fully prepared and avoid any potential problems with a surrogacy arrangement.