Austin, Texas – January 21, 2011– Recently, celebrities like Nichole Kidman and Elton John have made headlines for welcoming babies via non-traditional methods. In the case of Kidman and her husband, Keith Urban, the couple used a gestational carrier, who provided a host uterus to carry their biological child for nine months. John and his partner, David Furnish, announced the arrival of their son via a surrogate in December. Although these famous parents made the news with their little blessings, alternative options also allow the Texas Fertility Center (TFC) to help couples achieve their goal of creating or expanding their families.
[Add doctor here], a partner with TFC explained, “While we have patients who will choose the help of a gestational carrier so that they can have a child, we also have an extensive donor services program. Options like donor sperm, donor eggs and gestational carriers have enabled us to help patients who were unsuccessful with more common fertility therapies.”
With TFC’s donor programs, patients may utilize donor eggs or donor sperm. In these cases, couples who may not be able to conceive because of conditions like diminished ovarian reserve, previous cancer treatment, or low sperm count, or for those who could potentially pass along genetic diseases to a child, have an excellent chance at becoming parents. Some couples have no problems with eggs or sperm viability but the host environment, the uterus, is not conducive to supporting a pregnancy. For these couples a gestational carrier gives the greatest chance for a family.
Often, people confuse the terms “surrogate” and gestational carrier. A surrogate uses her own eggs in addition to carrying the baby for another couple. Gestational carriers have no biological link to the child and only provide the womb. In the state of Texas, true surrogacy is not allowed by law.
“With donor services and gestational carriers, we have been able to help couples welcome babies in to their families who might not have had success otherwise,” [add doctor here] stated.
A Double Blessing
Austin couple Deepa and Jamie Eveleigh have firsthand knowledge of the gestational carrier program at TFC. Eleven months ago, they welcomed twin girls with the help of a good friend, a gestational carrier, who carried and nurtured their growing daughters.
“We had been married for three years and were ready for kids.” Deepa said. “So we were willing to do whatever it took to have a child.”
The path to parenthood was not an easy road for the Eveleighs. Deepa has severe endometriosis, a condition that produces uterine tissue outside the uterus and can cause infertility. After several failed IVF cycles, the couples’ reproductive specialist, Dr. Lisa Hansard, explained that Deepa might not be able to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term. The couple shared their story with friends and family. Jamie’s sister offered to serve as a gestational carrier and although she became pregnant through IVF, that pregnancy was lost in a late-term miscarriage.
“It was really tough,” Deepa explained, “but a close friend saw what we were going through and offered to act as our gestational carrier so that we could try again.”
This time, Deepa and Jamie were twice blessed. In February 2010, they joyfully celebrated the birth of fraternal twin girls. Though it took an unconventional option to give them the family they desired, Deepa has no regrets.
“We are both scientists, so we are familiar with emerging technologies and medical progress. Jamie and I hoped that where nature left off, science could pick up.”
About Texas Fertility Center
Texas Fertility Center (TFC), one of the nation’s leading full-service infertility practices, provides advanced Infertility and Reproductive Endocrinology services to patients throughout Texas, the Southwestern United States, and the Americas. Since 1980, TFC has been recognized nationally for outstanding pregnancy rates, cutting-edge laboratory procedures, and innovative research programs. For more information, please visit www.txfertility.com.
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