What Does Surrogacy Entail?

Infertile couples in New York, New York or in other parts of the country often feel discouraged when they find that they are unable to get pregnant or would find it extremely difficult. For many, assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and artificial insemination are the recommended treatments to help women become pregnant. But for some, surrogacy in which a surrogate carrier carries the child to term for an otherwise infertile couple may be the best option. Prior to deciding on a treatment, couples will consult with a fertility specialist to go over the cause of their infertility and counsel them regarding which procedure or treatment may provide best results.

There are two types of surrogacy: traditional and gestational. In traditional surrogacy, the eggs of the surrogate carrier are used to produce embryos for transfer to the uterus. The surrogate carrier will then carry the child to term if she becomes pregnant. Some use donor sperm instead of the sperm of the male partner wishing to have a child with his partner. Gestational surrogacy utilizes sperm and eggs belonging to the couple. The surrogate carrier in the former case will be biologically related to the child; in the latter case, the surrogate carrier is not biologically related to the child.

Candidates for treatment include women who are having trouble getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term, and women who have abnormalities in their uterine lining. Other candidates include women who have had a hysterectomy (removal of uterus), gay male couples who wish to have a child that is genetically related to one of the partners, and women who are over the age of 45 and unable to get pregnant. Women for whom pregnancy may be a health risk or may cause complications may also be considered candidates, as well as couples who have unexplained causes of infertility.

Prior to the start of treatment, it is important that all parties—the couple and the surrogate carrier—work out the various financial, medical, and legal issues involved. A lawyer should be consulted regarding this part of the process, and many services exist that provide such assistance. What's more, some fertility clinics offering surrogacy treatment and procedures will provide assistance or connect couples and surrogate carriers with the appropriate assistance. Hammering out the details prior to beginning the process protects all of the parties involved.

Learn more about surrogacy in New York, New York.

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