Family planning has truly come along way, from fertility treatments to surrogacy options, but many of the options can leave some of you confused. So let’s start with some definitions to help educate about Surrogacy.

A traditional surrogate is a biological mother, while the gestational surrogate is not.
In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate’s eggs are combined with donor sperm, while in gestational surrogacy, both sperm and egg are donated (or provided by the intended parents). A traditional surrogate, on the other hand, is the biological mother. This typically means the child is conceived traditionally or through artificial insemination (AI) using the father or sperm donor’s sperm.

The most common form of modern surrogacy is achieved with a gestational carrier (GC), is also called a gestational surrogate. When using a gestational carrier, the eggs used to make the embryos do not come from the carrier. Because the eggs will be retrieved from one woman and implanted in another, this technique requires the use of in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination.  IVF is when eggs are fertilized in the laboratory and a limited number of resulting embryo(s) are transferred into the uterus of the carrier.  That means the woman carries and delivers a child for another couple or person (intended parent[s]).

Having a gestational carrier may be considered for women who have a history that suggests a problem with her uterus such as recurrent miscarriage or IVF failure or when a female partner is absent (single male or gay couple).
Wondering who would make a good gestational carrier or already have someone in mind? The ideal GC is a healthy woman between the ages of 21 and 45 who has had a successful term pregnancy and has a supportive family environment to help her cope with the added stress of pregnancy.  The carrier should have no more than five previous vaginal deliveries or two previous cesarean deliveries. Prior to becoming pregnant, the GC should talk about the risks of pregnancy with her healthcare provider.

Because gestational surrogacy does not involve a genetic link, it has become a far safer and more popular means of starting or growing a family.

My patients often remark the forever bond they have with their Gestational Surrogate. It’s one of the many miracles in our field.

Dr C