If you are finding that your fertility treatments have been unsuccessful, or if they are emotionally or physically draining, you may want to explore the idea of surrogacy. Surrogacy is becoming more and more popular, especially amongst couples who wish to have a child that is genetically their own.
Though surrogacy can be a very complex and expensive process, it often provides great happiness for hopeful parents-to-be.
What is Surrogacy?
Surrogacy is a fertility option that is beginning to gain much support in both the United States and abroad. Surrogacy involves having another woman carry and birth your baby for you.
A surrogate, also known as a gestational carrier, is impregnated through intrauterine or in-vitro fertilization, and then carries the baby to term. Upon birth, the surrogate relinquishes parental rights, and you become your baby’s legal parents.
Types of Surrogacy
There are two main types of surrogacy. If you decide to pursue surrogacy, you will have to decide which type of surrogate birth you would like to have.
- Traditional, or "straight," surrogacy used to be the only types of surrogacy available to couples. Though it is used less often now, it is still a good option for many infertile parents.
- Traditional surrogacy involves using a surrogate’s own eggs to conceive a child. Through IUI, your gestational carrier will be impregnated using the intended father’s sperm. This sperm will be retrieved and prepared beforehand, to increase the chances of fertilization. In some cases, donor sperm may be used. In traditional surrogacy, your child will be biologically related to your surrogate mother.
- Gestational surrogacy is now becoming more popular than traditional surrogacy. This is because it allows infertile couples to conceive their own biological child. An egg is retrieved from the intended mother and fertilized with the sperm from the intended father. Once an embryo forms, it is implanted into the surrogate’s uterus through IVF. For women and men who cannot produce viable eggs or sperm, donors can sometimes be used in this process.
Traditional (Straight) Surrogacy
Gestational (Host) Surrogacy
The Benefits of Surrogacy
Because of the benefits that it offers, surrogacy is chosen by many couples struggling with infertility.
- Surrogacy can often give you the opportunity to have a child that is genetically related to you.
- Surrogacy allows the intended parents to become highly involved in the pregnancy and birth of their child.
- Surrogacy is associated with very high success rates.
- Surrogacy is often a faster process than adoption.