Basically a gestational carrier means that there is another woman who will carry the baby for you.
The arrangement could be set up through independent adoption or an agency and it is a legally complex and intense arrangement. It is legal in only a few states; in the others it is still illegal.
Is a surrogate mother suitable for you?
Choosing this solution may be the perfect one for you if you aren’t able to have a baby on your own because your uterus has abnormalities or it is missing or in case you tried different fertility methods and none of them worked as you hoped.
What to expect?
Although you will have a surrogate mother, you and your partner will still go through ART or assisted reproductive technology like IVF or in vitro fertilization through which the specialists will create an embryo that is yours from a biological point of view.
In some cases this isn’t possible because of the reason of infertility.
If this is the case you could still have a gestational carrier and use donated sperm, eggs or embryos.
Once this is done, the embryo will be transferred into the uterus of the carrier and the baby will develop in her uterus. At the birth of the baby, she will hand over the little one and she will give up her parental rights.
In case having a surrogate mother is legal in your state, you could set the arrangement up as an independent adoption, but it is more common to be using an agency. The doctors specializing in cases like this could help you with the arrangements.
The truth is that having a gestational carrier is quite expensive because you have to pay for the expenses including housing and doctor visits, not to mention the legal, service and agency fees in case you have a legal contract. It is important to know the law in your state.
The length of the treatment
When looking for a surrogate mother, it may take months or years to find someone who is willing and healthy.
In the past the couples have been using the services of agencies, but they also asked around friends and family or they used the internet.
Once you find the gestational carrier, you will have to try with IVF for 3-4 months. According to specialists, it isn’t indicated to try for longer than this period because the chances of success drop significantly.
If the pregnancy is carried by a surrogate mother it is also impossible to give a numeric success rate since there are so many factors involved. If you manage to find a carrier, her getting pregnant and giving birth on term depend on factors such as egg quality, sperm count and the success rate or ART like IVF.
According to official information regarding gestational carrier, about 10,000 babies were born in the last 35 years this way. Nonetheless it is impossible to assess an exact number because in some cases the arrangements are kept private, especially in the states in which they are illegal.
The best thing about having a surrogate mother is that even though you and your partner can’t have a baby on the natural way, you will still have one that comes from your egg and sperm so he or she will be your biological child. This is an idea that is tempting for people.
If the gestational carrier accepts an open arrangement, you can be there at every step of the process to witness the baby’s development and you have a word to say in the decisions.