California couples have many options to become parents. Gestational carriers, one of those options, are commonly confused for surrogates.
What is the difference between gestational carriers and surrogates?
A gestational carrier is a woman who carries a child for someone else. She doesn’t have a genetic link to the child. An embryo is implanted in a carrier so she can ultimately deliver the child to the biological parents. That embryo is created using the egg and sperm from the couple, a donor egg or donor sperm or both.
Surrogacy and donation agreements are required when a couple chooses a surrogate when they want to start a family. The surrogate uses her own egg while the man’s sperm is used to fertilize it through intrauterine insemination or IUI. Surrogates have a genetic link to the child. However, they have an agreement that the child is to be raised by a chosen couple.
Why is gestational surrogacy the better option?
With surrogacy and donation agreements involving a gestational carrier, the surrogate doesn’t have a biological relationship to the child. However, a traditional surrogate shares a biological link to the child. This can create problems after the birth, even if there is a contract signed by all parties. The surrogate could become attached to the child and not want to give the baby to the intended parents. This problem doesn’t exist with gestational surrogacy due to the lack of a genetic relationship.
Why use a gestational carrier?
Couples who are unable to have their own baby naturally may want to consider using a gestational carrier. If the mother has certain medical conditions, has had a hysterectomy or has a history of complications from prior pregnancies, it may be advised to use alternative means to have a child. Fertility issues are common reasons to use a gestational carrier.
LGBTQ couples may choose a gestational carrier if they prefer having a child that has a genetic relationship to them instead of adopting.