For some people, the dream of having a baby feels out of reach. Maybe they have fertility issues or they’re a same-sex couple. These are just two examples, but in these and other situations, the gift of a baby from a gestational surrogate is a dream come true. But what is gestational surrogacy exactly?
Gestational surrogacy is when a woman carries a baby for a couple or individual (the intended parent/s) who can’t have a baby on their own. In this type of surrogacy, the surrogate has no genetic ties to the baby. That means the egg didn’t come from the surrogate herself — it came from either the baby’s intended mother or an egg donor.
What’s the Difference Between Traditional Surrogacy and Gestational Surrogacy?
With traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is biologically related to the baby (using her own eggs) and carries the baby for the intended parent(s). The difference between traditional and gestational surrogacy is all about genetics — a gestational surrogate (also called a gestational carrier) is not biologically related to the baby because her eggs are not used.
How Common is Gestational Surrogacy?
Between 1999 and 2013, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 13,380 deliveries and 18,400 infant births among gestational surrogates. Traditional surrogacy is rare in the U.S. Most surrogate births come from gestational carriers.
How Does Gestational Surrogacy Work?
The gestational surrogacy process involves a handful of steps. The gestational surrogate:
- Fills out a short application
- Is matched with intended parents
- Has a physical evaluation, psychological screening, and criminal background check
- Enters into a legal contract with the intended parent(s)
- Prepares for the embryo transfer
- Gets pregnant
- Carries the baby to term
- Gives birth
The process of getting pregnant as a gestational surrogate is a bit different than the traditional way. Because she doesn’t use her own egg, the gestational surrogate goes through in vitro fertilization (IVF) using a fertilized egg of the intended mother or an egg donor. A successful round of IVF ends with a positive pregnancy test and an ongoing pregnancy.
How Much Does a Gestational Surrogate Get Paid?
A gestational surrogate’s base fee ranges from $35,000- $65,000. The money is paid in installments over the course of the surrogate’s pregnancy. This is the average amount that a surrogate receives depending on her experience, insurance situation, location, etc.
Can a Gestational Surrogate Keep the Baby?
No. Since the gestational surrogate is not the baby’s biological mother and shares no DNA with the baby, they cannot keep it. During the gestational surrogacy process, the intended parent/s’ attorney will create a legal contract that outlines all parties’ responsibilities. This contract also outlines custody matters for after the birth of the baby.
When the baby is born, the names of any legal parents are placed on the birth certificate. They assume all responsibility for the child.
How Do You Become a Gestational Surrogate?
The first step is to meet all the requirements for becoming a surrogate. Next, fill out a short online questionnaire that takes about 5 minutes. After the form is submitted, one of our surrogate coordinators will contact you. If you qualify, we will send the paperwork to get started.
When gestational surrogates and intended parent(s) come together to form new life, they’re also creating new bonds and unique families. Gestational surrogacy is a chance to make a dream come true that otherwise wouldn’t happen. It’s a priceless opportunity to create or complete a family.
Surrogacy and Egg Donor Services
Since 2004, The Fertility Agency has helped bring over 1100+ babies into the world. We work with all intended parents, surrogates, and egg donors no matter their sexual preference, relationship status, ethnicity, location, etc. Our personal experiences and years of expertise provide us with the perfect balance of business and passion. Contact us for more information.