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What is third-party reproduction, and what does it entail?

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2023 | Surrogacy Law |

All families are different, and some in California are created through fertility assistance. Couples and individuals who have infertility issues can opt for third-party reproduction options to have children. This is what it means and what it entails.

Understanding third-party reproduction

Some third-party reproduction methods rely on surrogacy and donation agreements. It means that couples or individuals unable to conceive through conventional means use donor eggs, sperm or embryos to start their families. Once they enter into an agreement to obtain donor gametes or embryos, they can undergo assisted reproduction procedures like intrauterine insemination or in-vitro fertilization or hire a gestational carrier to carry their child to term.

When third-party reproduction is necessary

Depending on the situation, couples or individuals might need third-party reproduction to have children. Egg donation and gestational surrogacy are good options for gay male couples. Women who are infertile due to having hysterectomies, health problems, menopause or unknown causes are good candidates for egg donation; in some cases such as those without a uterus due to hysterectomies or genetics, a gestational carrier is also appropriate.

Lesbian couples, other LGBTQ couples or individuals, single women and straight couples where the man has infertility problems are good candidates for donor sperm to conceive.

Embryo donation could be appropriate for anyone struggling with fertility issues. In some cases, this third-party reproduction option can be combined with gestational surrogacy. In other situations, the woman looking to become a parent can undergo IVF and carry the baby to term herself.

Traditional surrogacy means a woman’s own egg is fertilized by donor sperm or an intended father’s sperm. It’s a less-preferred option because of the genetic link the surrogate shares with the child and its legal implications.

These options involve contractual agreements so that the intended parents have all legal rights to the children born through them. In some situations, third-party reproduction is the most appropriate path toward parenthood.