Intended parents share in a gestational carrier’s pregnancy closely, and may be able to have a child genetically related to both parents.
People may come to surrogacy after exhausting other options and learning that they cannot carry a pregnancy to term, and it is often a first choice for single men, male couples, or women who have had medical complications. Some people are wary because of myths about surrogacy and stories in the popular press, but the press usually focuses on those cases that go wrong. Sharing a pregnancy with a gestational carrier (the woman carrying the child) allows the intended parents to retain a genetic link to their child if their sperm and eggs are viable (donor embryos or donor eggs and/or donor sperm may also be used). Parents are usually closely involved with the prenatal care and are present for the child’s birth.
“We chose a sperm donor based on his medical history, characteristics, and a photo. We met our gestational carrier through an online surrogacy board, then got to know her. She had been a carrier before.”
—A PARENT through sperm donation and gestational surrogacy
Some families still pursue traditional surrogacy, a less-expensive option whereby the surrogate’s own eggs are fertilized with sperm from the intended father. But most couples who build their families through surrogacy today choose gestational surrogacy…