23 Jul An Overview of Third Party Parenting (Surrogacy) from US Fertility Network
Third party parenting (surrogacy) is an option for building a family. When either the man or the woman (or both) are infertile, our clinics offer the option of third party parenting.
What is egg donation?
When a female faces infertility, one option is to use an egg donor. Egg donation has been used in the United States since 1986, and is a proven safe means of assisting couples with a successful pregnancy.
Who may need to use an egg donor?
Egg donation can increase the possibilities of pregnancy for:
- Women who are in the older reproductive age group (35 to 50 years)
- Women with premature ovarian failure
- Women who have poor egg quality
- Women with genetic diseases or chromosomal translocations they do not want to pass on to offspring
How long does the egg donor process take?
Our fertility specialists ensure that each couple is actively involved in the egg donation, and they provide a nurturing, positive experience. The options for egg donation include using a known egg donor, choosing from a list of anonymous donors, or going with an outside egg donor agency. The process of egg donation is between 6 and 10 weeks, depending on what screening tests are required.
What is a traditional surrogate?
A traditional surrogate is a woman who becomes pregnant using her own eggs and the sperm of the male partner in a couple who cannot conceive. The woman’s eggs are fertilized using intrauterine insemination (artificial insemination), where the sperm is provided by the intended father. A sperm donor may be used when male infertility is an issue. The traditional surrogate is biologically related to the child she delivers, but gives it to the intended parents upon delivery.
What is a gestational carrier?
When a couple chooses to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF), the egg and sperm are combined and make an embryo. When the mother cannot carry to baby to term, the couple can choose to use a gestational carrier. Also called a gestational surrogate, this woman is not biologically related to the child. The eggs are retrieved from the intended parent through a medical procedure known as egg retrieval. Once the eggs are fertilized with the sperm of the intended father to create the embryos, the embryos are then transferred to the uterus of the carrier.
Who may need a gestational carrier or traditional surrogate?
Couples who may need to use a gestational carrier include:
- Women with uterine abnormalities
- Women who have medical conditions that make pregnancy risky to their health
- Anyone with immunological abnormalities that increase the risk for miscarriage
- Anyone who has suffered repeat miscarriages
- Couples who have failed on IVF and IUI
- Couples diagnosed with unexplained infertility
- Women who have had a previous hysterectomy
- Women with certain blood disorders
What is a surrogate contract?
There are many financial, legal, ethical, and psychological issues to consider with surrogacy. We encourage couples to work with our agency to select a surrogate mother that meets their requirements. The contract between the intended parents and the surrogate should cover:
- How many embryos will be transferred?
- What happens when multiple pregnancy occurs?
- Will the surrogate mother allow termination of an abnormal fetus is applicable/
- Who pays for what aspects of the pregnancy?
- What are the agreements regarding travel, nutrition, and other behaviors?