What is a surrogate?
A surrogate is a woman whose eggs and body are used to carry and birth a child. The surrogate may be impregnated traditionally or through artificial insemination. Genetically, the baby will have both the surrogate and the inseminator’s DNA. Since the eggs biologically belong to the surrogate, the person has a legal right to the child. Couples wanting to use a surrogate may consult with a lawyer to ensure that all parties are clear on the surrogacy agreement. The surrogate may also be solely responsible for medical costs. Many states have outlawed traditional surrogacy and instead encourage couples to opt for gestational carriers.
Is a gestational carrier a better choice?
A gestational carrier has no genetic ties to the child. The egg is from the intended mother and the sperm from the intended father. The carrier is impregnated through in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI). This option works best for parents that want a genetic connection to the child. Laws surrounding gestational carrying can still be a bit murky, but the carrier does not have as much right to the child as a traditional surrogate. In either case, couples should have a lawyer to help make expectations clear at the beginning of the gestational carrier relationship.
Choosing between the two options
The choice between a surrogate and gestational carrier depends on the legalities of the state the intended parents reside in, along with the health of the intended mother. Using a gestational carrier may work best for couples who both struggle with fertility issues. Ultimately, the choice is up to the couple.
Speak with a physician
A healthcare provider can provide the necessary information and support that couples need to make a final decision. Schedule an appointment with a fertility specialist to discuss options and undergo testing.