Sometimes it takes more than just two people to create a family. When a medical condition affects a woman’s ability to carry a baby to term or when a single male or a gay male couple wants to have a child, they can turn to a gestational carrier after an embryo has been created. Fertility Centers of New England has helped many couples to pursue this path toward parenthood and is experienced in guiding you through every step.
What Is a Gestational Carrier?
A gestational carrier is a woman who becomes pregnant through IVF using the eggs of the intended mother (or egg donor) and the sperm of the intended father (or sperm donor). The embryo is not genetically related to the gestational carrier. The gestational carrier carries to term an embryo conceived by the biological parents and transferred to the carrier’s uterus.
Sometimes a gestational carrier may also be termed a surrogate mother, but the term “traditional” surrogate is different from gestational carrier or surrogate. The difference is that a traditional surrogate carries an embryo created from her own egg or oocyte, so the embryo and child is genetically related to her. Traditional surrogate cycles are no longer performed.
Who Is a Good Candidate for a Gestational Carrier?
A gestational carrier can help women who were born without a uterus, or have another condition which prevents an embryo from developing within her uterus achieve their dream of having a child. Gestational carriers have also helped women who are unable to carry a pregnancy to term because it would be too great a strain on her health, and are an option for gay male couples who wish to have a child.
How Does It Work?
Working with a gestational carrier first requires synchronization of all parties to ensure proper timing in the days between obtaining the egg via IVF and transferring the embryo to the surrogate. The gestational carrier must be hormonally synchronized to the biological mother, and assurances are taken to eliminate any hormonal involvement or contribution from the gestational carrier’s own eggs. Gestational carriers are also used in frozen embryo transfers.
In many states, the woman giving birth to the child is considered the legal mother. Although the gestational carrier has no genetic ties to the child being born, the biological parents will have legal documents prepared in advance of the birth to “adopt” their own biological child.