Debunking gestational surrogacy myths
There are many gestational surrogacy myths. For women and couples who are unable to conceive due to an irregular or absent uterus, gestational surrogacy may be able to help. Gestational surrogacy (a.k.a. gestational carriage) is when the woman carrying the pregnancy is not genetically related to the child. This is legal in the state of Texas. Traditional surrogacy, where the surrogate is genetically related to the child, is illegal in Texas.
The process of surrogacy
In the process of gestational surrogacy, eggs come from the intended mother or a donor. Then, our lab fertilizes them with the intended father’s sperm. We then place the resulting embryo into the uterus of a gestational carrier. This individual then carries the pregnancy until delivery. At this time, the baby and the parents reunite.
Tens of thousands of children have been born as a result of gestational surrogacy. This is exciting to think about considering that the technology that enables us to perform gestational surrogacy has only been around for less than 30 years.
It is becoming more common to discuss infertility issues more openly – including scenarios of gestational surrogacy. Some ‘famous’ people who have disclosed using a gestational surrogate recently include Elton John, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Nicole Kidman.
Exploring gestational surrogacy myths
It is still common, however, to have misconceptions about the process. Here are some of the more common gestational surrogacy myths:
Myth: You have to know the surrogate who will carry your pregnancy.
Fact: If you are in need of a surrogate, your options could be either having someone in your life (i.e. sister or friend) in this role – or you could work with an agency that can provide a qualified surrogate for you.
Myth: Most surrogates will not want to give up the baby.
Fact: In most cases, surrogates already have children of their own. It is often the love for their own children that drives women to give other couples the same possibilities that they had in experiencing parenthood.
Myth: Any woman can become a gestational surrogate.
Fact: Even though most women could biologically carry a pregnancy for intended parents, there are a number of criteria that a gestational carrier must possess before being selected by a reputable agency or clinic. A woman has to have delivered a child in the past – and undergo extensive screening including bloodwork, ultrasound, physical, and psychological evaluation. It is imperative that the surrogate is a good fit for the intended parents and the process.
As Texas state law only affords statutory legal protection to married couples using gestational carriers. However, we are unable to offer gestational surrogacy to either same sex couples or to unmarried heterosexual couples.
If you have further questions about whether gestational surrogacy myths and whether it may be right for your particular case, contact us.