Medicine today offers many infertility options for those who want to become parents but are unable to conceive or carry a pregnancy for various reasons. Understanding the many available options can help a couple or individual decide which of the many infertility options is the right one for their situation.
One of the most popular of these options is having a child through a surrogate mother, a woman who carries another woman’s child for her. There are two types of surrogacy: traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. A traditional surrogate mother carries her own child, often conceived through artificial insemination, with the intent of relinquishing the baby to the intended mother at birth.
In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate carries a child to which she has no biological relationship. This is accomplished through using IVF – in vitro fertilization – to fertilize another woman’s egg, then implanting it in the surrogate’s womb to be carried until birth. The egg donor for this type of surrogacy is often the intended mother, in which case the child carried and delivered by the surrogate is the intended mother’s own biological child. This makes it an ideal solution for mothers who have healthy eggs, but have issues that prevent them from conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to term.
Advances in medical technology have increased the success rate for IVF, and as the success rate has increased, the popularity of gestational surrogacy has grown. Today, it is the most popular form of commercial surrogacy in the United States for many reasons, some of them emotional and some of them legal.
A Couple can Have Their own Biological Child Even if they Can’t Succeed with a Traditional Pregnancy
Many prospective parents shy away from traditional surrogacy, adoption and other traditional infertility options because they don’t know the biological legacy of the child. For some, the biological connection to the child is important emotionally. Others are simply uncomfortable with the genetic uncertainty.
The Surrogate Often Finds it Easier to Release a Child That is not Biologically Her Own
With gestational surrogacy, the surrogate mother knows that the child is not her own biological child. Even in cases where the couple chooses a combination of egg donation and gestational surrogacy, the growing fetus has no genetic connection to the surrogate.
The Laws Favor the Intended Parents in Gestational Surrogacy
In states that recognize gestational surrogacy, the laws are clear that the intended parents are the legal parents of the child. That legal clarity prevents the biggest nightmare for parents who choose gestational surrogacy out of the range of infertility options: the gestational mother – the surrogate – has no legal standing to change her mind about relinquishing the baby.
Choosing among the many infertility options available to today’s parents can be confusing. The more you know, the easier it is to make those important decisions. For more information about gestational surrogacy and other infertility options, contact a birth or fertility center that specializes in helping individuals and couples become parents.