Gestational Surrogacy

Learn how gestational surrogacy can make parenthood possible

Gestational surrogacy is a form of third party reproduction. The process involves a woman (known as the surrogate mother or the gestational carrier) who carries and gives birth to a baby who isn’t biologically related to her. Providing this service to another human being is one of the most meaningful gifts anyone can give. Our Southern California fertility center team is proud to guide individuals, couples and generous surrogates through this process.

Who should consider gestational surrogacy?

If you and your partner have struggled with infertility, you may want to consider surrogacy to help grow your family. It’s also a wonderful option for the following patients.

  • Same-sex couples
  • Single men who are ready to start a family
  • Women who have had multiple miscarriages or can’t carry a baby to term
  • Women who had a hysterectomy (surgery to remove their uterus)
  • Patients who have medical conditions that make it too risky to conceive and deliver

Every situation is unique. If you need help making the decision to use surrogacy, our Southern California fertility center team can help guide you.

How does the process work?

We partner with many agencies that specialize in gestational surrogacy. These agencies recruit potential surrogate mothers, perform thorough physical and mental health screenings, and guide the surrogates through delivery. If you’re ready to look for a surrogate mother, let us know.

Once a surrogate mother is chosen and all parties have signed the legal contracts, we work with the surrogate to prepare her uterus to receive an embryo. We do this by prescribing medication that causes the uterine lining to develop. When the timing is right, we transfer an embryo to her uterus and perform a pregnancy test 10 days later.

Ways to create an embryo

No matter what the scenario is, the process is the same. A sperm fertilizes an egg and that resulting embryo gets transferred to the surrogate’s uterus. How the embryo is created differs depending on your situation.

  • A biological father’s sperm can fertilize a donor egg.
  • Donor sperm can fertilize the biological mother’s egg.
  • The biological father’s sperm can fertilize the biological mother’s egg.
  • Donor sperm can fertilize a donor egg.

We’ve successfully worked with gestational surrogates at our Southern California fertility center for more than two decades. When used with egg donors, the pregnancy rate has been greater than 90%. When the intended mother’s eggs are used, success rates are comparable to the IVF pregnancy rates for women of a similar age.

Considerations for surrogacy

The decision to use gestational surrogacy or to become a surrogate mother should not be taken lightly. Both parties have to agree with the terms of a legal contract. For example, surrogates usually don’t have any contact with the baby after it’s born. They must be able to avoid getting emotionally attached to the baby. To prevent this from happening, surrogates go through rigorous psychological screening and have already had their own children. They know what it means to bring a child into this world, and they want to help others experience that same joy.

If you’re ready to explore surrogacy at our Southern California fertility center, contact us.