What is a gestation carrier?
A gestational carrier or GC is a non-biological carrier of pregnancy who is found through a surrogate agency. Often referred to as a surrogate, the GC is hired for pregnancy through childbirth.
Costs of a gestational carrier
The total cost to the couple who wishes to use a gestational carrier (or surrogate) can be up to $150,000. There are many different options and factors that go into this cost, including but not limited to the agency fees, medical costs, travel, and money that goes directly to the surrogate.
A surrogate’s base fee is received in monthly installments and begins with the first heartbeat of the baby. Before the first heartbeat, there is compensation for travel, medical tests, and signing the contract.
Does the Gestational Carrier see the baby after delivery?
During the 9 months, the GC and the soon to be parents do get close since it is a team effort. The decision on whether the Gestational Carrier and couple stay friends after the pregnancy is totally up to both sides. If either side wishes to not have a friendship after, this should be put into the contract prior to IVF.
How much information does the GC give about their medical history?
The couple and the agency would want to know about all aspects of the gestational carrier’s lifestyle. Some of the most common considerations are as follows:
- Health (existing conditions or disease)
- Family medical history
- Drug and alcohol consumption
- Certain legal considerations
- Safety to carry the pregnancy
- Counseling before the final decision
What are the risks of being a surrogate?
- Physical: regular pregnancy symptoms such as nausea, weight gain, and muscle strain should all be considered. The additional risks that may occur can be an infection, bleeding, gestational diabetes, hormonal imbalances, and other symptoms that are less common. Ask a physician for any physical concerns before becoming a Gestational Carrier.
- Psychological: attachment to the unborn child
- Family: husband or significant other, existing children, parents whom can also become attached to the unborn child
- Employment: time away from work due to appointments, possible bed rest, and actual childbirth
What is the risk of a surrogate wanting to keep the baby?
Gestational carriers cannot change their minds to keep the baby because of the following factors:
- They are carefully screened and usually have families of their own.
- Extensive counseling is required of all surrogates.
- The baby is not genetically linked to the GC in any way.
- Before IVF begins, there is a signed legal agreement between both parties (this document is carefully written by a fertility lawyer to ensure the protection of both the Gestational Carrier and the couple involved).