Due to fertility issues or lifestyle, you may be looking for a non-traditional way to build your family. In many cases, gestational surrogacy allows you to have a biological child without an intended parent carrying the pregnancy. If fertility issues prevent the use of your sperm or eggs, gestational surrogacy is still an option for you through the use of egg/sperm donors.
What is gestational surrogacy?
Gestational surrogacy is the most common form of surrogacy used in the United States today. This process involves selecting a gestational carrier (surrogate) to carry an embryo fertilized through In vitro fertilization (IVF).
After the embryo is successfully transferred to the surrogate, she will carry the baby as any other pregnancy, and the intended parents will have full custody following his/her birth.
Who should consider using a gestational surrogate?
Gestational surrogacy is a great pregnancy alternative for a woman who is unable to carry children due to a previous hysterectomy, a uterine abnormality, multiple IVF failures, or a medical condition that could result in harm to her or her baby during pregnancy. It is also a way for same-sex male couples to conceive a biological child.
How does a surrogate mother get pregnant?
In the case of gestational surrogacy, a surrogate mother gets pregnant through in vitro fertilization (IVF). During this process, eggs and/or sperm from you and/or your partner (or a donor) will be retrieved to perform IVF. Various combinations of egg and sperm can be collected, depending on your desire and/or ability to have biological children, and the resulting embryo will be comprised of one of the following:
- Egg and sperm from the intended parents, both of whom will be genetically related to the child
- A donated egg with sperm from the intended father, in which case the intended father would be genetically related to the child
- The intended mother’s egg with donor sperm, in which case the intended mother would be genetically related to the child
- A donor embryo made of donor egg and sperm, meaning there would be no genetic link to the intended parents
After the eggs and sperm are collected from you and your partner or an egg/sperm donor, the eggs will be fertilized in our lab and allowed to mature for 5 days. Once the fertilized eggs, now called embryos, have matured, we will work with you to select the highest quality ones for transfer and insert them into your surrogate’s uterus.
Once inside the surrogate’s uterus, the embryo follows the natural process of implanting itself into the uterine wall. It will be around 10 to 14 days before pregnancy can be detected and the transfer declared a success.
How is gestational surrogacy different from traditional surrogacy?
Gestational surrogacy differs from traditional surrogacy in that the surrogate mother has no genetic tie to the child. With traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother’s own eggs are fertilized through intrauterine insemination (IUI) rather than IVF as in gestational surrogacy. Traditional surrogacy makes for a more complicated legal situation due to the biological connection the surrogate shares with the baby. For this reason, traditional surrogacy is not allowed in the state of Texas.
Can a surrogate mother decide to keep the baby?
Before surrogacy is pursued, a proper legal contract is put in place to protect everyone. Once the contract is signed you can rest easy knowing that the baby is yours to keep from birth. At Inovi we will work with you to ensure the highest level of legal protection before beginning any procedures.
Ready to pursue gestational surrogacy?
If you believe gestational surrogacy is the right choice for you, we want to help. Give us a call at 713-401-9000 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Stephan Krotz today. We can guide you through the process of selecting a surrogate, evaluating your eggs/sperm for use with IVF, finding egg/sperm donors and performing the procedures that will allow your baby to become a reality.