Gestational carriers, sometimes called surrogates, are women who carry a baby and deliver for another individual or couple.
Since the egg used to produce the embryo does not come from the gestational carrier, there is no genetic link between the carrier and the child. The egg may come from the woman the gestational carrier is carrying the pregnancy for, or it may come from an egg donor.
Women who are unable to safely carry a pregnancy due to a medical condition, who do not have a uterus or who have had difficulty carrying a pregnancy in the past may consider using a gestational carrier.
The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, SART, recommends gestational carriers meet the following guidelines:
- Successfully carried at least one term pregnancy
- Have fewer than two previous cesarean sections or five vaginal deliveries
- Have a supportive family environment
For a complete list of guidelines for gestational carriers at Texas Fertility Center of New Braunfels, please contact out Third Party Reproduction Coordinator.
Gestational carriers who meet guidelines will undergo a thorough medical history and physical exams and be tested for sexually transmitted diseases and other viruses, including HIV and hepatitis. Psychological counseling is also required.
Most gestational carriers are contracted through agencies. Friends or family members may also be carriers. These arrangements may be less expensive but may also be more complicated.
Legal aspects of gestational carriers
A qualified attorney will draw up a legal contract before a couple enters into a gestational carrier agreement. This contract should protect the rights of both the gestational carrier and the parents, and should address issues such as compensation, number of embryos transferred, obstetrical care, delivery, fetal testing and abnormal test results.
Since laws vary from state to state, the attorney should be familiar with the laws in the states where both parties reside.
Dr. Hudson at Texas Fertility Center of New Braunfels has guided many infertile couples through the surrogacy process with sensitivity and compassion. Find out how your dreams of a family can become a reality – call today.