A gestational carrier (or gestational surrogate) is a woman who bears a child who is genetically unrelated to herself for an individual or couple who intends to raise the child and be their legal parent(s). The “intended parents” contract with the gestational carrier and can be the source of one or both of the gametes (egg or sperm). The intended parents can also choose to use donor egg and donor sperm to create embryos. An IVF cycle is required to first create the embryos and an agreed upon number of embryos are then transferred to the uterus of the gestational carrier. The gestational carrier needs to have her uterus primed with hormones prior to the embryo transfer.
With third party reproduction, we follow the recommendations of ASRM (American Society for Reproductive Medicine) that require psychological evaluation and counseling for all parties involved (intended parent(s) and gestational carrier). In addition, both parties should have separate legal counsel with attorneys that are familiar with reproductive law.
Situations where a gestational carrier would be needed include:
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