For many who dream of building a family, surrogacy is a necessary step. But how exactly does it work? What are the different types of surrogacy available? More importantly, could surrogacy be right for you?
With so many options to consider, it’s important to consult a professional from the very beginning. Here, Mark Severino, MD at SIRM Las Vegas, answers a few frequently asked questions from individuals who are just beginning to explore the idea of surrogacy.
What are the first steps?
The first step in the surrogacy process is to schedule a consultation with a fertility specialist to discuss your individual situation and desires. If you both agree that involving a third party to carry out your pregnancy is the correct course of action, the specialist will then work with you to determine which types of surrogacy are best for you.
What are the different types of surrogacy available?
Generally speaking, there are two types of surrogacy: Traditional Surrogacy and Gestational Carriers.
In Traditional Surrogacy, the surrogate is the biological mother of the child. Sperm from the biological father is used to impregnate the surrogate via IUI or IVF, who then goes on to carry the pregnancy.
In Gestational Surrogacy, the eggs are provided by the intended mother or an egg donor, and the surrogate has no genetic relationship to the baby. Embryos are formed using those eggs and sperm of the intended father which are then carried by the surrogate. Women who can produce healthy eggs but cannot carry a pregnancy for medical reasons often use this approach without an egg donor to have children to whom they are genetically related.
What are the legalities of surrogacy?
Laws surrounding surrogacy can vary greatly from state to state. Because of this, it is important to discuss your options with a professional familiar with the state where surrogacy will take place to ensure that your individual needs are met.
In some states, it is illegal to compensate a gestational carrier. In this case, a compassionate carrier – often a friend or family member – may carry the pregnancy. In any event, there are agencies that you can work with to match you with a surrogate in the many states that allow compensated carriers. At SIRM Las Vegas, we are happy to work with you and/or connect you to one of our expert surrogacy partners.
Who is surrogacy a good fit for?
There are a great number of reasons why surrogacy might be right for you. Surrogacy is a wonderful option for couples who have explored various infertility treatments and have learned that they are unable to have children on their own. For same-sex male couples who would like to start a family, gestational surrogacy with egg donation is a very good option.
Are there online forums for questions and support?
The surrogate community is a supportive one. You will find many online resources where you can ask a question about pursuing surrogacy or find other valuable resources about agencies, financial services and more. SIRM Las Vegas has close relationships with RESOLVE, Path 2 Parenthood, Men Having Babies and many more organizations that can assist you with your exploration of surrogacy.
For more information about surrogacy in Nevada and to schedule an appointment with one of our fertility specialists, call 702-892-9696.