When Californians struggle with fertility and wish to start a family, they’re lucky enough to have options. One of them is surrogacy. If you’re interested in having a surrogate, you should know what it means and how the process works.
What is surrogacy, and what are the different types of surrogates?
A surrogate is a woman who agrees to carry a baby for another person or couple so that they can achieve their dream of having a family. However, there are different types of surrogates.
Traditional surrogacy involves a woman who is genetically related to the child. In other words, her egg is used and she carries the baby for someone else under the agreement that they will be the baby’s legal parents. This option is not as widely used due to potential legal issues such as the biological mother changing her mind and wanting to keep the child.
Gestational surrogates are women who carry a baby for someone else but share no genetic relationship with the child. Legally, this type of surrogate is preferred.
Depending on the surrogate, they may or may not be compensated. Surrogates found through agencies are paid, but if a family member agrees to carry a baby for someone, they are not compensated. The latter is known as compassionate surrogacy.
What is the process of surrogacy?
With a traditional surrogate, the woman’s own egg is often fertilized through intrauterine insemination (IUI). Sometimes, IVF can be used if IUI is unsuccessful.
The gestational surrogacy process occurs when the egg and sperm of the couple are combined in a lab to create an embryo. If there is a single person or an LGBTQ couple, the process might involve eggs or sperm from an intended parent and a donor egg or donor sperm to create embryos. Once an embryo or embryos are formed, the surrogate undergoes IVF.
Surrogacy could be the best way to start your family. Explore your options to know what’s right for you.