Fertility Advancements

Using a Gestational Carrier in LGBTQ+ Family Building

A photo of two proud fathers holding their happy child with the sunset in the background.

Gestational carriers are a great option for those born without a uterus or who have a medical condition preventing an embryo from developing. It can be used by both individuals and couples and is a great way for LGBTQ+ individuals or couples to become pregnant. 

Over the last few decades, more and more couples have chosen to use a gestational carrier to help them build their family. About 750 babies are born each year via gestational surrogacy, which accounts for about 2% of all assisted reproductive technology cycles—like IVF—during that time period.

Going through a gestational carrier is one option available to LGBTQ+ couples who are unable to conceive on their own. In many cases, this avenue is chosen because neither partner in the couple has a uterus, or there are medical circumstances that would increase risk to the pregnant partner. 

What is a Gestational Carrier?

A gestational carrier is someone who carries a pregnancy for another individual or couple. The gestational carrier doesn’t have any genetic connection to the baby, but they do agree to be legally responsible for the child until it is placed in its intended parents’ custody. 

The gestational carrier candidate may need to provide written consent to transfer legal rights and responsibilities within a set time period. This process is often done with the help of a lawyer, a gestational carrier agency, and/or a fertility clinic like Fertility Centers of New England.

The benefits of a gestational carrier include the following: 

  • Gestational carriers offer couples, including LGBTQ+ couples, a way to build a biological family, rather than using a donor egg or sperm.
  • For those who are unable to become pregnant due to medical conditions or other circumstances, gestational carriers can provide a safe and secure method for conception. 

Choosing a Gestational Carrier

For LGBTQ+ families, gestational carriers can be a great option for same-sex couples or transgender people who are looking to become parents. 

For those considering gestational carriers, it is essential to remember that they are people helping make your dream of becoming a parent come true. Respect, communication, and trust are key components throughout the process.

When selecting a gestational carrier, it is important to consider your own personal preferences, as well as any legal requirements in your state (which specialized agencies can help you navigate). Additionally, couples should have an open and honest conversation about their expectations for gestational carrier relationships and continue to check in with each other throughout the process. 

Overall, gestational carriers provide an excellent opportunity for LGBTQ+ individuals or couples to become parents when they may not have been able to otherwise. With the right gestational carrier, couples can enjoy the journey of building a family with confidence. 

What is the Process? 

To create optimal conditions for a successful embryo transfer, all parties must be synced together. Egg retrievals and medication cycles that go along with it will need to be timed to the anticipated time of implantation.  

Egg and sperm donor testing should be conducted in advance of the procedure. The gestational carrier usually undergoes a medical screening process to make sure they’re medically fit for pregnancy, consents to regular check-ups, and will also need to complete an IVF cycle before implantation can occur. After the egg is fertilized, preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) is often performed to ensure the greatest chances of a successful pregnancy. 

Legal documents should be drawn up prior to birth so that biological parent(s) may formally “adopt” their child, as many states consider the person giving birth as the legal mother by default. 

Gestational carriers are an incredibly special gift and are true heroes in the process of building a family for many LGBTQ+ individuals and couples. With gestational carriers, dreams can indeed come true! It takes time, energy, and commitment to make it a success, but it is definitely worth every step.  ​​

Fertility Centers of New England is Here to Help

At Fertility Centers of New England, we are passionate about helping people build families. We specialize in gestational carrier services for LGBTQ+ individuals/couples and understand the unique needs of gestational carrier arrangements. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about gestational carriers and how they can help you achieve your dream of becoming a parent. 

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