Gestational surrogacy is the most common type of surrogacy; one which the surrogate is not related to the child she is carrying. Thousands of families have enjoyed success through this type of surrogacy, as they put their unborn child in the safe “belly” of another person. While statistics are hard to find, gestational surrogacy is surprisingly common, and couples do choose to go down this route.
This article will focus on the most important things related to gestational surrogacy, in the off chance that you might be interested in one.
We mentioned that the child is not biologically related to the person carrying it. A gestational carrier carries the child through IVF (in vitro fertilization), using both the eggs and sperm of the intended parents. This type of surrogacy is also known as host surrogacy or full surrogacy, and at least one parent has to be related to the child. In gestational surrogacy, there is no stepparent or second-parent adoption involved, making the process less legally complicated than others.
This type of surrogacy is mostly considered by the following people:
- People that have or are struggling with fertility
- Single parents that want a child
- Couples of sex-same relationships
- People that are interested in surrogacy, but don’t want a direct biological link between the child and the surrogate mother
- Mothers that biologically cannot carry a full pregnancy
How Does it Work?
There is a lot of information available out there on the process of gestational surrogacy since it is the most widely performed and most common type of surrogacy. As said by Creative Love, a surrogacy agency, the process involves finding a surrogate mother, filling up legal contracts, and safely transferring a fertile embryo to the surrogate mother.
In gestational surrogacy, couples may choose to find a surrogate on their own, but they must be assisted with a legal representative that will assist in reproductive law. However, in most cases, parents go down the route of hiring an agency to take care of all legal and non-legal things related to the process.
So, How Does the Process Begin?
Gestational surrogacy starts with the parents enquiring about a potential surrogate that will carry their child. Once a match is identified, both the surrogate and parents will work on the legal things. Each party will be notified of any legal risks and responsibilities, and of course, compensations to the surrogate. Once all parties are happy with the terms, the surrogate is taken to a clinic where they will transfer the IVF embryo.
The IVF embryo transfer can be created in one of the following ways:
- Both the egg and sperm can be from the intended parents, where both parents will be biologically related to the child
- The sperm from the intended father and a donated egg can be combined, where only the father will be biologically related
- The egg from the intended mother and donated sperm can be combined, making the mother the only biological link to the child
- Or a donated embryo or an embryo created through donated eggs and donated sperm, in which case none of the intended parents will be biologically linked to the child.
After the egg is successfully planted into the surrogate mother, the surrogate will carry out the pregnancy like any normal pregnancy. After the baby is born, the intended parents will welcome it and have full custody over it.