What is Gestational Surrogacy? In gestational surrogacy, a woman (the “gestational carrier”) carries an embryo that is not genetically related to her. The gestational carrier literally offers the use of her womb to carry a child for the intended parents. Generally, the intended parents are also the genetic parents. An embryo created through IVF, with the mother’s egg and the father’s sperm, is transferred into the gestational carrier’s uterus. Alternately, the intended parents may use either a sperm or egg donor, or a donated embryo.
Is there a difference between Gestational Surrogacy and Traditional Surrogacy? In traditional surrogacy, a surrogate is inseminated with sperm from the intended father. The surrogate provides the other half of the genetic material and carries the child to term. If the intended parents are married, the wife can adopt the child after birth through a stepparent adoption. Traditional surrogacy carries a number of inherent risks. First, the agreement between the surrogate and the intended parents is frequently not enforceable. If the surrogate gives birth and chooses to parent the child, the custody of the child will be disputed. Additionally, if the surrogate accepts compensation, the parties may run afoul of state adoption laws prohibiting the payment of monies to a birthmother.
Are there laws regarding Surrogacy in the US? Most states do not have provisions regarding surrogacy in their laws leaving the door open for couples wanting to enter into surrogacy contracts. There are also some states that only allow or enforce uncompensated contracts or contracts for married couples only. The District of Columbia and New York are the only territories that expressly prohibit surrogacy contracts. Contacting an attorney in your state that is familiar with Assisted Reproductive Technologies is suggested before you enter into any contract with a surrogate.
Once you have a clear understanding of the legal ramifications of assisted reproduction, choose the route you’re most comfortable with, and know how your parentage will be recognized, you’ll be ready to embark on your family-building–and child-rearing–journey.
Why do some families choose International Surrogacy? International surrogacy is usually half the cost of surrogacy in the US and many families feel there is less legal risk involved with international surrogacy.
What is International Surrogacy? International surrogacy is when the intended parents travel to a foreign country to find a gestational carrier. The most popular countries for international surrogacy are Russia, Ukraine, India and Guatemala. The health care in these countries is very good and the costs are significantly lower than in the United States. For International surrogacy, the intended parents provide all or half of the genetic material which is then implanted into the gestational carrier. The Gestational carrier is then housed fed and cared for by the medical staff overseas. The majority of international surrogacy pregnancies are successful.