Gestational Carriers and Surrogacy
Sometimes a woman cannot become pregnant because of an absent or damaged uterus, or a medical condition that prevents her from safely carrying her own baby to term. This may be because she has uterine abnormalities that cannot be corrected surgically, or because of damage from procedure such as cancer chemotherapy or radiation. She might also have other conditions, such as a history of breast cancer or a blood-clotting disorder, which might put her health at risk if she became pregnant.
A surrogate is a woman who carries a baby to term and delivers for the infertile couple. There are two types of surrogates: gestational and traditional. In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate carries the infertile couple’s embryo produced from an IVF cycle. The embryos are transferred to the gestational carrier after her cycle has been synchronized with the wife’s menstrual cycle using hormonal medications. This is done to prepare the gestational carrier’s endometrium to support a developing embryo.
The child resulting from a gestational carrier arrangement will have the genetic makeup of the mother and the father. Gestational surrogacy arrangements have been protected by legislation in Texas that allows the names of the husband and wife to be placed on the birth certificate if proper procedures are followed.
In traditional surrogacy, the gestational carrier becomes pregnant using her own eggs in conjunction with IUI using the husband’s sperm. The resultant child will have the genetic makeup of the father and the surrogate mother. These arrangements are uncommon and are not protected by statute in Texas.
Surrogates may be designated by the couple, or can be obtained by an agency that specializes in providing surrogates. Surrogates are sometimes compensated for their time and efforts, and many chose surrogacy for altruistic reasons and to help infertile couples. There are many legal issues involved in the surrogacy process.
A lawyer that is familiar with infertility arrangements must always be consulted when making surrogacy arrangements. We assist women who require a gestational surrogate in every way possible, and are available to answer any questions.