Several Forms of Gestational Surrogacy
The term gestational surrogacy describes several variations in surrogacy. Gestational surrogacy uses In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) to create an embryo using the ova/eggs from the prospective mother or donor and sperm from the father or donor that is then implanted in a surrogate. This allows the intended parents to have a genetically related child. Parents use gestational surrogacy for several reasons, such as inability of the mother to carry a pregnancy safely and successfully, of the parents to produce ova/eggs or sperm, or of the mother to implant an embryo. Our agency has two gestational surrogacy programs that use in vitro fertilization (IVF) techniques.
Gestational Surrogacy Using Mother's Ovum / Egg and Father's Sperm
The most common version of gestational surrogacy uses the intended mother's ovum/egg and the father's sperm, with a surrogate carrying the baby to term. This requires the mother to be able to ovulate and produce viable eggs. In vitro fertilization (IVF) techniques are used to retrieve the wife's eggs that are subsequently fertilized by the husband's sperm. The resulting embryos are transferred to the surrogate's uterus. Because the baby is genetically related to both parents, they do not usually need to go through the stepparent adoption process. In some states, parentage can be established prior to birth, and the wife's name is listed as the mother on the baby's original birth certificate. Our IARC attorney and director counsels parents on how to establish parental rights in this type of gestational surrogacy and connects them with attorneys in their home state when needed.
Gestational Surrogacy Using Donor Ovum / Egg or Sperm
Another form of gestational surrogacy uses a donor's ovum/egg. This is used when there is poor quality because of illness or advancing age or the woman is unable to carry a pregnancy. Parents can select from many ovum/egg donors; the egg is fertilized with the father's sperm (or in some cases a donor's sperm) and implanted in the surrogate's uterus. The surrogate is unrelated to the child, although some states may require the mother to adopt the child. Our agency will connect prospective parents with competent attorneys who can advise about the laws regarding adoption in the parents' home state so that the birth records reflect the intentions of the parents.
Children Born Through Gestational Surrogacy Are Not Related To The Surrogate
In both types of surrogacy, the gestational carrier is unrelated to the child. We have found that this approach works best for the surrogate, the parents, and the child. However, we also facilitate traditional surrogacy, in which the father's sperm is implanted in a surrogate who uses her own eggs. This option is less expensive, as it requires no medical fertility treatment. Our attorney-director handles the adoption process required to give the mother parental rights and cancel those of the surrogate. We work with parents to develop programs like these and others that meet their needs and pocketbooks.
For more information about gestational surrogacy, contact our Minnesota office at 763.494.8800.