Surrogacy is one fertility option for California couples who need help starting a family. With surrogacy, a woman carries a baby for a couple but has no genetic relation to that baby.
How does surrogacy work?
Depending on the couple’s circumstances, egg or sperm from one member might be used to conceive the child through IVF. Sometimes, a donor egg or donor sperm might be used. For example, if the couple is heterosexual but the woman is older or has a risky utero environment, they might opt for a donor egg and use the man’s sperm to fertilize it. The embryo is then implanted into the surrogate so that she can carry the baby to term.
There is confusion over surrogacy as it’s often mistaken for a gestational carrier. While a gestational carrier uses her own egg, this is not the case with a surrogate.
It’s possible to find a surrogate through an agency or even privately. If a couple knows someone such as a family member or friend who has used a surrogate to have a baby, this is a good place to start. Once the couple finds the ones they like and who has the credible experience, they can begin the process.
Surrogacy requires a stringent contract in order to be legal. The contract outlines all the expectations of both parties. It’s created after the surrogate undergoes thorough medical exams.
Why do people choose surrogacy?
Choosing surrogacy is a personal decision. There might be issues with infertility, prior pregnancy complications or a history of multiple miscarriages. Gay couples who want a family may choose this route. Women who have had hysterectomies or those born without uteruses can also benefit from surrogacy.
Although it’s not cheap, surrogacy can be a rewarding way to have a baby. Couples and their surrogate can work together to create an agreement that benefits everyone involved.