What is surrogacy?

Asurrogateis a woman who agrees to carry a pregnancy for another person or couple, called theintended parent(s). The current and more accurate term for surrogate iscarrier. NAFG conductsgestationalsurrogacies, in which the carrier is implanted with an embryo created from either sperm and/or egg from the intended couple or a donor. The baby has no genetic relationship to the carrier, who is only responsible for gestating the baby until birth. Certain states have a legal structure for obtaining apre-birth order, which allows the names of the intended parents to appear on the baby’s original birth certificate. In other cases, a step-parent adoption takes place. Either way, the intended parents take the baby home from the hospital.

Why would someone choose surrogacy over adoption?

Adoption is a wonderful choice for many people. However, surrogacy has a number of practical and medical advantages. When egg and/or sperm from the intended parents are used, there can be an actual genetic relationship to the child. In gestational surrogacies, embryos are created outside the womb throughin vitro fertilization(IVF).Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis(PGD) is a critically valuable innovation practiced at the more sophisticated medical centers. Before implantation occurs, PGD can detect certain chromosomal abnormalities in the embryo typically discovered mid-pregnancy. Moreover, unlike in most adoptions, intended parents closely monitor the health and progress of the pregnancy and birth. The carrier’s obligations and compensation are governed by contract, which provides a distinct measure of security to all involved. In contrast with adoption, the carrier in a surrogacy has significantly diminished to non-existent parental rights once the baby is born.


How are surrogacies arranged?

A number of professionals work with the intended parents and carrier to create a successful outcome. Social workers, psychologists, physicians, and lawyers evaluate the carrier for suitability and make appropriate matches with intended parents. Counseling is provided throughout the process. Medical specialists are required for obtaining the eggs and sperm, implanting the embryo(s) in the carrier, monitoring the health of the pregnancy and delivering the baby. Lawyers are required to negotiate egg donation and surrogacy agreements and prepare other legal documents beginning from before conception and extending until after the birth (if post-birth procedures are necessary).