Gestational Surrogacy in Houston, Texas
Due to fertility issues or lifestyle, you may be looking for a non-traditional way to start your family building. In many cases, gestational surrogacy allows you to have a biological child without you, the intended parent, carrying the pregnancy. Gestational surrogacy is often used by same sex couples (male) to conceive. If fertility issues prevent the use of your sperm or eggs, gestational surrogacy is still an option for you through the use of donor eggs or donor sperm. Gestational surrogacy is coordinated through a fertility clinic and requires the use of assisted reproductive technology.
What is gestational surrogacy?
Gestational surrogacy is the most common form of surrogacy used in the United States today. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is both the egg donor and the person who carries the pregnancy, so the surrogate is the biological mother. Traditional surrogacy is no longer a common practice. In gestational surrogacy the intended parents or individual decides to create embryos and the pregnancy is carried by another person, the gestational surrogate.
The gestational surrogacy process requires the intended female parent or an egg donor to provide the egg, and the intended male parent or sperm donor to provide the sperm.
Embryos are then created through the fertility treatment known as In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) at a fertility clinic. Intended parents then find a gestational surrogate through a surrogacy agency or a family member can serve as surrogate. An embryo transfer is then performed to allow the gestational surrogate to carry the pregnancy. At birth, the intended parents will gain full custody of the baby.
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 In vitro fertilization (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 couples (male) 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 combined during In vitro fertilization (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 are from the intended parents, both of whom will be genetically related to the child
- Egg donation 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 donor 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 or sperm donor, the eggs will be fertilized in our lab using assisted reproductive technology and allowed to develop for 5 days. Once the fertilized eggs, now called embryos, have developed, we will work with you to select the highest quality embryos for embryo transfer and transfer them into the gestational carrier’s uterus.
After the embryo transfer to the gestational carrier’s uterus is complete, the embryo will implant into the uterus. A pregnancy test will be performed 10-11 days after the embryo transfer. Once pregnancy has been confirmed, your fertility specialist will continue to follow the gestational carrier and the pregnancy until 9-10 weeks, when the risk of miscarriage is significantly reduced and the hormone medications can be tapered off. At that time, your gestational surrogate will referred to an obstetrician gynecologist to be followed through the full term of the pregnancy.
How is gestational surrogacy different from traditional surrogacy?
There are two types of surrogacy. A gestational surrogate differs from traditional surrogate in that the gestational surrogate mother has no genetic tie to the child and is not the biological mother. 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 and to address the expectations, medical risks and parental rights of the intended parents and gestational surrogate for the full term of the pregnancy. The state laws in each state vary so it is important to review them with your legal representative prior to proceeding. Once the surrogacy contract is signed you can rest easy knowing that the baby is yours to keep from birth. At Inovi Fertility & Genetics Institute, your health care providers 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 and review treatment options with Dr. Stephan Krotz today.
We can guide you through the process of evaluating your eggs or sperm for use with IVF, finding egg or sperm donors, coordinating egg donation, setting up an appointment with a mental health professional (required in all third party reproduction), finding a surrogacy agency, developing a surrogacy arrangement and performing the procedures that will allow your baby to become a reality.