Surrogate Pregnancy Vs. Personal Pregnancy

If you’re considering becoming a surrogate, then here’s everything you need to know about how a surrogate pregnancy compares to a personal pregnancy.

It’s common to wonder how a surrogate pregnancy compares to a personal pregnancy. Many potential surrogates ask if the experience is any different from when they carried their own children, especially when it comes to the emotional aspects of the process. Will I miss the baby? How can I go through the process without becoming attached?

These concerns are normal, but know that a surrogate pregnancy significantly differs from a personal pregnancy. Although there are some similarities in the process, here’s what you can expect from a surrogate pregnancy.

To learn more about the journey toward becoming a surrogate, check out this article.

Surrogate Pregnancy vs. Personal Pregnancy [3 Key Differences]

There are many differences between a surrogate pregnancy and a personal pregnancy. From emotional aspects to financial differences, we’ll help you understand everything you need to know to help you embark on a surrogate journey with confidence.

Physical Aspects

When you become a surrogate, there are certain surrogate requirements you must meet to qualify. Unlike a personal pregnancy, surrogate pregnancies often involve a screening process that ensures you’re prepared to complete a successful surrogacy journey.  These surrogate requirements are meant to protect everyone involved, providing peace of mind as you navigate this journey.

Also, a gestational surrogate pregnancy often involves in-vitro fertilization to create embryos using the intended parents’ own genetic material or an egg donor’s. This means that as the surrogate, you won’t share any DNA with the baby like you would with a personal pregnancy.

Because the process uses IVF to achieve a pregnancy, there are also certain fertility medications you’ll need to take to prepare for the embryo transfer process.  After becoming pregnant, the physical symptoms are similar to those that occur during a personal pregnancy.

Financial Aspects

Unlike personal pregnancies where you’re responsible for medical and pregnancy expenses, surrogate pregnancies include surrogate compensation that covers every step of your journey. You’ll also receive additional compensation that recognizes your commitment to helping a couple build their family.

First-time surrogates have the chance to earn $50,000-$90,000 while second-time surrogates can earn $60,000-$110,000. Although your cost of living and current income can affect how much you earn, our goal is to help you get the highest surrogate pay possible.

Mental and Emotional Aspects

Personal pregnancies come with a lot of preparation, from picking out names to getting the nursery ready. With a surrogate pregnancy, the emotional experience is completely different than if you were preparing to give birth to your own child. For some gestational carriers, the main focus becomes sharing all the important milestones with the intended parents.

Whether that’s facetiming during appointments or sending sonogram pictures, you’ll have a front row seat watching a family grow right before your eyes. If you happen to experience difficult emotions post-partum, your specialist will be there to help you every step of the way.

If you’re ready to become a surrogate or have questions about the process, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. With over 30 years of experience building families, we know what it takes to help you feel confident as you embark on this life-changing journey.

What to Know About Egg Donor Surrogacy

If you’re interested in growing your family, working with an agency that has an egg donor and surrogacy program can help prepare you for a successful surrogacy journey.

As surrogacy gains popularity as a family-planning option, many egg donor and surrogacy programs are starting to move to the forefront of the conversation. If you’re intended parents struggling with female infertility, a same-sex couple or a hopeful single parent, utilizing an egg donor and surrogacy can help you achieve your dreams of parenthood.

If you’re trying to grow your family and have questions about egg donor surrogacy, you can get connected with our surrogacy specialists today.

Finding the right egg donor and surrogacy program is a big component of the surrogacy journey, so it’s important that everyone involved feels confident and informed. This article will break down the key points of using an egg donor and surrogacy to grow your family.

Egg Donor Surrogacy [What to Know]

Many intended parents utilize an egg donor and surrogacy to start their families. There are typically three parties involved in egg donor surrogacy:

  • The intended parents
  • The gestational carrier
  • An egg donor

To get started, intended parents will need to identify an egg donor for surrogacy. This can be done through a separate fertility clinic or an agency that has an egg donor and surrogacy program. Intended parents want to be as involved as they can in bringing their baby into the world, which is why they’ll be able to choose a donor who has qualities that align with their surrogacy goals.

Viable eggs are taken from the donor through the egg retrieval process and then fertilized through the IVF process with the sperm of the intended father or a donor. The embryo will then be transferred to the gestational carrier for her to carry to term.

Benefits of Using an Egg Donor and Surrogacy

Using an egg donor and surrogacy to grow your family is a great option if you:

  • A couple experiencing female infertility
  • A same-sex couple
  • A single hopeful father

When you work with an agency that has an egg donor and surrogacy program, you’ll have both the comfort and convenience of having almost all the necessary services and resources for your surrogacy journey in one place. Your surrogacy specialist will be able to help you find an egg donor that matches your preferences so that you can feel in control of your surrogacy journey.

Choosing Your Egg Donor and Surrogacy Program [Questions to Ask]

When it comes to finding the right egg donor and surrogacy program, you’ll want to make sure you’re adequately prepared for the egg donor and surrogacy process. Below are a few of the questions you should be asking yourself about any egg donor and surrogacy program you’re considering.

What are you Looking for in an Egg Surrogacy Donor?

You’ll want to make sure you have a clear vision of what you’re looking for in an egg donor. Think about medical history, genetics, blood type, background, etc. You’ll also need to think about whether you want an anonymous or identified egg donor.

Are You Prepared for Egg Donor Surrogacy and Cost?

You can’t put a price on family, but because egg donation is such an intricate process, egg donor surrogacy can be an expensive process. In addition to surrogacy costs, you’ll want to have enough money set aside for all necessary costs. When you work with an agency that has an egg donor and surrogacy program, you may pay a lower cost than if you went through a separate agency.

Are you Prepared to Raise a Child Conceived from an Egg Donor and Surrogacy?

We know that you’ll love your child, regardless of their genetic makeup. But it’s important that you’re prepared for the unique challenges that come with raising a donor-conceived child. At some point, your child may ask about their surrogacy story and how they came to be. They may even have questions about who their donor was. You’ll want to be prepared to have these conversations.

Next Steps

If you have questions about the intricacies of egg donor and surrogacy programs, our specialists would be happy to answer them. Get connected with our surrogacy specialist today.

Can I Choose Surrogacy for Non-Medical Reasons?

We believe everyone deserves the chance to experience parenthood, but there are reasons why we only work with intended parents who are unable to conceive.

For infertile couples, LGBT couples and single individuals, surrogacy bridges the gap to parenthood. While medical reasons and physical limitations often drive intended parents toward this path, some hopeful parents may consider surrogacy for alternative reasons.

With over 40 years of experience in creating families, we prioritize helping those who can’t reach their dreams of parenthood on their own and safeguarding our surrogates’ wellbeing.

One way we do this is by requiring a medical diagnosis, not as a barrier, but as a way to preserve the integrity of the surrogacy process. To learn more about whether surrogacy is a family-building option for you, contact us today.

Why Do People Choose Surrogacy?

Surrogacy is an opportunity to grow your family if doing so on your own is out of the realm of possibility. Everyone deserves the chance to have a family and you may decide to use a surrogate for reasons such as:

  • Infertility
  • Being a same-sex couple
  • Age
  • Being unable to carry a baby to term
  • Not wanting to pass on health conditions or genetic defects
  • You’re a single parent
  • Trauma during pregnancy or childbirth

What Is Elective Surrogacy?

Typically surrogacy is a family-building method for those who cannot physically conceive on their own for medical reasons or because they’re a same-sex couple.

Elective surrogacy is term used to refer to surrogacy chosen by intended parents who are able to become pregnant on t their own, but do not want to experience pregnancy or child birth, don’t want to take time off work, or they have a career or hobbies that don’t align with a safe pregnancy.

Can You Have A Surrogate Just Because You Don’t Want to Be Pregnant?

No. While we understand that pregnancy and childbirth are physically intensive processes that are not ideal or convenient for everyone, you cannot choose surrogacy for the purpose of avoiding pregnancy. The couples and individuals that we work with come to us because pregnancy is unlikely, impossible or dangerous for them.

Why is a Medical Diagnosis Needed?

Surrogacy with us requires a medical diagnosis because we want to commit our time and resources to helping couples who can’t become parents on their own finally have the family they’ve always wanted.

As a family-building agency, we have worked with infertile couples who, after painstakingly trying to become pregnant on their own, have had to accept that it would be improbable or even impossible and with LGBT couples who have yearned to become parents but have always known they’d only have a family through adoption or surrogacy.

Valuing Our Surrogates

The surrogates we work with share our goal of wanting to help others create families that cant on their own. We want to ensure that when they match with you, you know they’re making a brave decision to offer you the gift of experiencing what it’s like to be a parent.

We also want to protect our surrogates’ time and wellbeing by working with intended parents who truly value and appreciate the service our surrogates provide.

Possible Alternatives

If you want to grow your family, but don’t want to be pregnant, adoption may be an option for you. While you won’t be genetically related to your child, you will have the opportunity to be chosen as adoptive parents by mother who wants to give their child the best possible future with an amazing family. You can reach out to our adoption specialists today to learn more.

While we only accept intended parents with a medical diagnosis, LGBT couples and single individuals, we believe everyone should have the chance to experience parenthood if they want to. To learn more about the options available to you, contact us today.

The Best Surrogate Apps in 2024

Learn how you can keep track of your surrogate journey with some of the best surrogate apps of 2024.

Becoming a surrogate involves a lot of moving parts, from managing your fertility medications to keeping track of your doctor’s appointments. Staying organized during your journey creates a smoother experience and can help you confidently move through the process.

If you have any questions about how you can become a surrogate, fill out our form to connect with us today.

With the advancement of technology, several surrogate apps can help you manage all aspects of your journey with the touch of a button.  From calendar apps to fertility apps for surrogates, this guide has you covered.

Here are some of the top-rated surrogate apps of 2024 that can make your path to surrogacy that much easier:

1. Fertility Friend

Fertility Friend is a comprehensive surrogate mother app designed to help you track their menstrual cycles, ovulation and fertility windows. By inputting daily information, such as basal body temperature and cervical mucus observations, surrogates can enhance their understanding of their reproductive health.

Download Fertility Friend on the App Store

Get Fertility Friend on Google Play

2. My Calendar

My Calendar is not just a period app but an overall tool that can be customized to suit your specific needs. It’s an easy-to-use tracker that helps you take control of different aspects of your menstrual cycle like ovulation, fertility, moods and other symptoms associated with your surrogate pregnancy.

Download My Calendar on the App Store

Get My Calendar on Google Play

3. Embie

Managing fertility treatments are a crucial aspect of the surrogacy process. Embie is a surrogate app that simplifies this by sending reminders for medication doses, tracking your medication protocol by cycle and providing educational resources to ensure you stay on top of your medication schedule.

Download the Embie on the App Store

Get Embie on Google Play

4. BabyCenter Pregnancy Tracker

BabyCenter is a widely used app that offers a supportive community and a wealth of information about fertility, pregnancy and parenting. It provides an ovulation calculator and a kick counter to help you track the baby.  You can connect with other surrogates and intended parents, sharing experiences, pregnancy tips and stories to gain insights into your unique journey.

Download BabyCenter on the App Store

Get BabyCenter on Google Play

5. Calm

Managing stress and maintaining mental well-being is crucial during the surrogacy process. Calm is the #1 app for meditation and sleep helping you discover a happy, healthier you during your surrogate journey. Calm is for everyone, whether you’re brand new to meditation or are a seasoned expert. It’ll help give you a mental break during your journey to help keep stress at a minimum.

Download Calm on the App Store

Get Calm on Google Play

Remember, the surrogacy journey is a unique experience, and these surrogate apps are here to support you every step of the way. Tailor these apps based on your preferences and needs, and feel empowered as you become the hero in your own story.

If you want to learn more about how to become a surrogate, check out this article or fill out our form to connect with a specialist today.

What Is Embryo Donation?

If you’re an infertile couple, LGBT couple or a single individual, embryo donation can reduce IVF costs on your surrogacy journey.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) plays a significant role in the surrogacy medical process. You may have already attempted IVF and have no embryos left or you may be new to the process and are intimidated by the associated costs.

Through embryo donation, you can receive multiple frozen embryos for your surrogacy journey without paying for the most expensive parts of the IVF process.

Embryo donation is the process in which couples or individuals who have had success with IVF and have completed their family can choose to donate their remaining frozen embryos to other hopeful intended parents like you.

We can help you determine how embryo donation can fit into your surrogacy journey. If you want to learn more about the surrogacy medical process, contact us today.

What is Embryo Donation?

IVF and gestational surrogacy are increasingly popular family-building methods for infertile couples, LGBT couples and single individuals.

For those that do not want to cover costs of the IVF process such as egg retrieval, embryo creation, cryopreservation or an egg or sperm donor (if applicable), embryo donation allows them to receive frozen embryos donated by patients who have completed their families.

What is the Difference between Embryo Donation and Embryo Adoption?

Both embryo donation and embryo adoption are used interchangeably to refer to the same process of the donation and reception of frozen embryos. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, embryo donation is the medically and legally accurate term.

However, there may be differences in the processes used by embryo donation programs that use one term over the other.

Embryo Donation

Embryo donation is the widely accepted term for the practice of a person’s or couple’s unused frozen embryos are donated to another person or couple.

There are many fertility clinics that have an embryo donation programs, as well as embryo donation agencies. While these programs may provide matching services, embryo donation is treated as a medical process, similar to egg or sperm donation.

Embryo Adoption

Embryo adoption, sometimes referred to as “snowflake adoption” is a term coined by a Christian adoption agency to refer to the donation of frozen embryos. This term may be used by those who see the embryo as a child, or by professionals that employ similar practices used in traditional adoption in their embryo donation process, such as home studies and judicial measures.

Embryo adoption is a misnomer because state adoption laws currently apply to the post-birth placement of a living child, not an embryo. Instead, donated embryos are typically protected under property law and Food and Drug Administration regulations.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) cautions against treating embryo donation the same as adoption, as unnecessary measures like home studies and judicial intervention can lengthen the process or create restrictions.

How Much Does Embryo Donation Cost?

Receiving a frozen donor embryo costs significantly less than both the average cost of an IVF cycle.

The average cost of an IVF cycle in the U.S., according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, is $12,400-$30,000.

While the cost will depend on the program you choose, receiving a donor embryo can be as low as $2,500-$4,000.

Using Embryo Donation for Surrogacy

The embryo donation process may vary depending on the clinic or agency you work with, but must follow the guidelines set in place by the Food and Drug Administration. All donors must complete FDA screening.

Many embryo donation programs facilitate anonymous donations where you will not know the identity of the donor. Some may have the option of a known or direct donation, where you receive the embryo of someone you know.

For anonymous donation, you will not have access to identifying information about the donor, but their profile will include medical history, physical characteristics, family history and background and often a photo of the donor(s).

Once you’ve found a donor match and complete any necessary paperwork, the surrogacy medical process will proceed as normal. Once your surrogate has completed a prescribe regimen of fertility medications, the donor embryo will be transferred to her uterus through a simple and minimally invasive procedure.

If you have questions about creating or receiving donor embryos for your surrogacy journey, connect with us today.

Surrogacy With Frozen Embryos [What to Know]

Frozen embryo transfers play a pivotal role in the IVF process for surrogacy, and can increase your chances of becoming a parent.

In 2021, more than 97,000 infants were born in the U.S. from more than 400,000 cycles of assisted reproductive technology. Of these cycles, 167,689 used eggs or embryos that were frozen for future use.

In-vitro fertilization (IVF) and frozen embryo transfers make gestational surrogacy possible, going beyond the traditional aspects of assisted reproductive technologies.

Using frozen embryos on your IVF journey not only enhances the chances of success in the surrogacy process but also brings about several advantages for intended parents who want to grow their family.

To learn more about what freezing your embryos might look like during the surrogacy process, fill out our form.

How Does Surrogacy With Frozen Embryos Work?

In-vitro fertilization plays a pivotal role in the surrogacy medical process. There are two main phases: Embryo creation and the embryo transfer.

Embryo creation

Your fertility specialist will perform a procedure to retrieve mature eggs. These eggs will be fertilized using the intended father’s sperm to create embryos. If you do not have viable eggs or sperm, you can use donor gametes.

 By creating multiple embryos at once, you increase your surrogate’s chances of becoming pregnant. Not every egg that’s retrieved will become an embryo and not every embryo is viable. With your consent, additional embryos can be frozen for future use.

 If you’ve attempted IVF prior to surrogacy, you may already have frozen embryos.

Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)

Once an embryo has formed, it will be transferred to your surrogate’s uterus for implantation.

If the first transfer doesn’t take, you can use one of your additional embryos without having to repeat the egg retrieval and embryo creation process, saving you time and money.

Frozen embryos are typically stored and monitored at hospital facilities, like labs or commercial reproductive medicine centers. They can be safely preserved for 10 years and even longer.

How are Embryos Frozen?

Embryos are frozen through a process known as vitrification. This is done in two stages:

  • The embryo is exposed to cryoprotectant agent to the embryos, which acts like antifreeze and prevents ice crystals from forming.
  • The embryos are quickly placed into liquid nitrogen at -321 Fahrenheit and stored in straw-like containers.

Benefits of Frozen Embryo Transfers In Surrogacy

1. Controlled Implantation and Reduced Risks

One of the key benefits is the ability to implant embryos one at a time, reducing the risks associated with multiple pregnancies. This approach not only safeguards the health of the surrogate but also minimizes potential complications during the pregnancy.

The risk of Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS) is also significantly reduced, ensuring the surrogate’s well-being throughout the surrogacy journey. OHSS is a potentially life-threatening response to fertility medication resulting in fluid in a women’s abdomen and comes with the risk of blood clots getting into the lungs.

2. Increased Chances of Success:

Surrogacy with frozen embryos offers a strategic advantage by increasing the overall chances of success. In cases where the initial transfer doesn’t result in pregnancy, having additional frozen embryos allows for subsequent attempts without the need for repeated egg retrieval.

The higher success rates associated with frozen embryo transfers in surrogacy underscore the effectiveness of this method, providing you with increased confidence and optimism on your journey to parenthood.

3. Cost-Efficiency and Convenience

Storing and using frozen embryos eliminates the need for repeated egg retrieval or acquiring them from a donor. This not only reduces the financial burden but also streamlines the surrogacy process, making it more convenient.

What Happens to Unused Frozen Embryos?

Once your surrogate is pregnant with your baby, you may have leftover embryos. You have 3 options for how to handle your unused frozen embryos:

  • Store them for future use: If you plan on having more children, you can store your embryos for your next IVF or surrogacy journey.
  • Disposal: If you feel your family is complete, you can request that your remaining embryos be destroyed.
  • Donation: You can donate unused embryos to a hopeful couple or individual like you who is growing their family through IVF or surrogacy.

How Are Frozen Embryos Destroyed?

Typically conducted under the guidance of fertility clinics or medical professionals, the common method involves thawing the embryos to room-temperature, rendering them non-viable. The cellular material is then disposed of according to lab policy, or handed over to you for burial if your state’s laws allow.

Using Frozen Embryo Donation

If couples have leftover embryos after IVF, they can donate them to others who want to grow their family.

If you have not yet created embryos or are unable to due to medical reasons, you can choose to receive a donor embryo through a fertility clinic or agency. The process will likely vary depending on the professional you work with, but here’s what you should know:

  • You will have access to donor info such as medical and family history, ethnic background and physical traits.
  • You get to choose the donor or approve the match if a donor chooses you.
  • Some clinics or agencies may allow degrees of openness in the donation where you can have a contact arrangement with the donor. Others only perform closed or anonymous donations where you will have no identifying information about the donor.
  • An attorney can help you negotiate an agreement where the donor relinquishes their parental rights, allowing you to become the legal parents.

Whether you’ve already tried IVF or have your heart set on surrogacy, if you have frozen embryos contact us online now to begin your journey to parenthood.

What Does Alabama’s IVF Ruling Mean for Surrogacy?

The Alabama Supreme Court’s recent IVF ruling has raised questions among intended parents in the state about whether their surrogacy journey will be affected.

On February 16, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that embryos created through IVF can be considered children under the state’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act.

“…to all unborn children without limitation. And that includes unborn children who are not located in utero at the time they are killed.” Read more about the ruling.

Following the ruling, many fertility clinics in Alabama suspended IVF services until it is clear how the ruling would affect IVF patients, clinics and providers. Because IVF is a significant part of the surrogacy process, there have been concerns about how this ruling may affect those pursuing surrogacy in Alabama.

Below we’ll break down what you should know about IVF in Alabama following the ruling and how your journey may be affected.

This is an ongoing story that will be updated upon new developments.

The IVF Process for Surrogacy

IVF and surrogacy are both popular family building methods utilized by couples struggling with infertility, same-sex couples or single individuals who are ready to have a family.

In gestational surrogacy, a gestational carrier or surrogate carries and gives birth to a baby for the intended parents. Because of the role IVF plays in the surrogacy medical process, one or both parents can be biologically related to their child.

Embryo Creation

Intended parents create their embryos using their eggs and sperm or a donor’s. This process involves retrieving multiple eggs from the intended mother, or acquiring donor eggs, which are then fertilized with sperm from the intended father or a donor.

The egg retrieval portion of IVF makes up the bulk of the cost, which makes it more economical to create multiple embryos at once. If you tried conceiving through IVF before surrogacy, you may already have frozen embryos.

Embryo Transfer

One or more embryos are selected and then transferred to the surrogate’s uterus. Since her eggs are not used, the baby does not share DNA with the surrogate.

The first transfer doesn’t always take. Being able to freeze multiple embryos increases your chances of success.

How Does the Ruling Affect IVF and Surrogacy in Alabama?

The ruling did not ban IVF in Alabama nor mention surrogacy explicitly. However, it does set a precedent that IVF providers and patients could face criminal and civil penalties if unused embryos are destroyed.

Many times after an embryo transfer is successful and the parents do not intend to have another child, the unused embryos are discarded.

In the days following the ruling, the many fertility clinics in Alabama paused IVF services out of concern that staff and patients may face criminal or civil liabilities. In an attempt to resume IVF services, Alabama legislature approved bills that would legally protect IVF providers and fertility clinics.

What Can I Do With Leftover Embryos After IVF in Alabama?

When it’s confirmed that your surrogate is pregnant with your child, there’s a chance you will have unused frozen embryos. If you feel your family is complete but you are worried about the legal implications of frozen embryo disposal, you have two options:

You have two alternative options:

  • Indefinite storage: You have the option of keeping your embryos frozen indefinitely. If this is the route you take, you should be aware that it can become expensive over time. Fertility clinics might have a storage fee of $500-$1,000 a year.
  • Donation: You can donate your unused embryos to an infertile or gay couple, or an individual who intends to use surrogacy and/or IVF to grow their family. This can be done through an agency or your fertility clinic.

How We Can Help

If you want to grow your family through surrogacy in Alabama, we can provide you with the necessary support and resources for your journey.

All of our intended parents partner with an ART attorney when creating their surrogacy contract. Your attorney will be able to advise you on matters pertaining to how to handle your unused embryos.

If you are prepared to travel for your surrogacy journey, we can connect you with a fertility clinic in a nearby state such as Florida, Georgia or Tennessee.

If you have questions about IVF in Alabama and your journey to parenthood, we’re here for you. To get the support you need, fill out our easy form or call 1-800-875-2229.

The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is essential to consult with a qualified attorney or legal professional regarding specific legal matters related to in vitro fertilization (IVF).

How Embryos are Handled in Surrogacy and IVF

In IVF and surrogacy, life is created from embryos created outside of the body. Learn more about how these embryos are handled.

Surrogacy is becoming an increasingly popular way to start and grow families, and IVF is an important part of the process.

Read on to learn the details of how IVF in surrogacy works, and how embryos are handled during and after the surrogacy IVF process, or click here to get help from a surrogacy professional now.

Surrogacy IVF Process

While you can use IVF without a surrogate, IVF and surrogacy go hand in hand—surrogacy in the United States almost always uses IVF. Once you have chosen surrogacy and gotten matched with a surrogate, the medical process of surrogacy can begin.

In this medical process, your surrogate will have a final screening and begin pre-pregnancy medications, then your surrogacy medical team will help you complete the following steps:

Retrieve Gametes

To create an embryo, you will need sperm and eggs, otherwise known as gametes. Your medical team will help you retrieve these and preserve them until they are used, or you can use gametes that have been saved previously. You may be able to use your gametes, or you can use donor sperm or eggs.

Create an Embryo or Embryos

Next, your medical team will combine the gametes to form an embryo or embryos.

Embryo Transfer in Surrogacy

The surrogacy embryo transfer process comes next. During surrogacy embryo transfer, the embryo or embryos are placed in the surrogate’s uterus by a medical professional using assisted reproductive technology.

Confirm Pregnancy

After embryo transfer, your medical team will confirm pregnancy, and the rest of the exciting process can begin.

Do you Use All Gametes and Embryos in Surrogacy?

In both IVF and surrogacy, there is a possibility of having unused gametes or embryos at the end of the process.

Some families choose to freeze gametes or embryos for future use as a couple. Some others may choose to discard unused gametes and embryos. Others still may choose to donate unused gametes or embryos to another couple that is struggling with infertility.

How Do You End Up with Unused Embryos or Gametes?

It is not uncommon to have 15 or more eggs and many (possibly millions) more sperm after gamete retrieval.

As your medical team combines gametes to form an embryo, you may lose some embryos or sperm—not all gametes can become a healthy embryo.

In some cases, you may end up with only a single healthy embryo, or with no healthy embryos. In some cases, you can end up with multiple healthy embryos without using all of the gametes that were retrieved.

Can I Use All of My Embryos?

If you have multiple embryos, you may have the option to transfer all embryos at the same time, but in some cases, this may not be possible because it can result in an unsafe pregnancy of multiple embryos.

If you choose to transfer a smaller number of embryos, a healthy pregnancy may happen, resulting in unused embryos. In some cases, though, the pregnancy can be unsuccessful.

In cases of an unsuccessful pregnancy, having more embryos ready and waiting can mean you have another chance at conception with another embryo transfer.

What Happens to Unused Gametes and Embryos in Surrogacy?

Each medical provider has their own procedures for handling gametes and embryos, and some medical providers may already ask each patient what their preferences are for unused embryos or gametes and give you options.

These are some of the common options:

Discard gametes and/or embryos: Choosing to discard gametes or embryos means that they will be handled as medical waste. Processes for this option may vary among medical providers.

Freeze gametes and/or embryos: Freezing gametes or embryos can mean you have the option to have another child by IVF or surrogacy in the future.

Donate gametes and/or embryos: If you know that you will not have another cycle of IVF or another surrogate pregnancy, but you don’t want your embryos or gametes to be discarded, you can choose to donate the gametes or embryos to other individuals or couples who may want or need gametes or embryos.

This may mean that you will have another genetically related person in the world in the future, which deserves consideration.

I am Against Having Unused Embryos. Can I Still Do Surrogacy?

Some people see embryos as simply tissue, or a few cells that have divided, while others believe that life begins at conception—when the gametes meet and form an embryo—and that each embryo is a life. If this is an ethical or moral concern, both IVF and surrogacy may still be possible.

One option for those who are against having unused embryos is to do IVF or surrogacy with a donor embryo. When other couples complete IVF or surrogacy, they may freeze unused embryos and offer their embryos to other couples who are struggling with infertility. If you do this, you will help others use embryos that have already been created, and you will not create any embryos that you do not use.

Another possibility is to find a medical provider who can handle your gametes and embryos in a way that you find ethical. Each medical practice may have slightly different processes for gamete and embryo storage and usage, and you can find a medical provider who shares your concerns or is able to work with you to find a solution.

What Should I Do If I’m Concerned about Having Unused Embryos in Surrogacy?

Ultimately, this decision is yours and comes down to your personal ethical and moral convictions.

The good news is that you can always talk through this part of the process with a surrogate professional and your medical team to find a solution if you have concerns about the use of embryos in surrogacy. Get help now here.

How Does a Surrogate Get Pregnant?

Have questions about how a surrogate gets pregnant? We explain how the surrogacy process enables you to be genetically linked to your child.

Many people have questions about how a surrogate gets pregnant and the biology associated between the surrogate mother and the child. We are here to dispute any concerns you may have about the process and explain how you will share DNA with your child.

If you have specific questions, contact us today. We know the process of having a baby is an important and heartfelt journey. Your own path to becoming a parent is deeply personal and our surrogacy specialists are ready to help.

Common Myths About Surrogacy And DNA

Myth #1: The child will share DNA with the surrogate.

No, your child will not share DNA with the surrogate mother. The surrogate mother is solely carrying the embryo to term. The embryo will be created through IVF at a fertility clinic before being implanted in the surrogate.

Myth #2: Surrogacy involves intercourse.

No. Surrogacy will never involve intercourse. The father of the child and the surrogate will not have intercourse to become pregnant. The whole process of pregnancy is achieved through IVF, which will be conducted at a trusted fertility clinic.

Myth #3: The gestational surrogate will grow attached and want to keep the baby.

Your surrogate will fully understand the scope of surrogacy. While surrogacy is an emotional process, the legal process helps protect everyone’s rights throughout the surrogacy. You will not have to worry about your legal right to your child.

Surrogacy and the IVF Process

The IVF process involves taking an egg from the intended mother or egg donor, and fertilizing it with the sperm from the intended father or sperm donor. You will decide whether you are using our own egg and sperm, or whether it will be more beneficial to use a donor’s. This will be something you determine in your surrogacy plan with your surrogacy specialist.

The whole IVF process is done in three steps.

Step 1: Egg Donation – A few eggs are extracted from the intended mother or an egg donor.

Step 2: Fertilization – The eggs are then fertilized with the intended father’s sperm or a donor’s in a lab to create the embryos.

Step 3: Embryo Transfer – Leading up to the step, the surrogate will take fertility drugs to prepare her body for the embryo transfer. Once an embryo has been created, it is then transferred to the surrogate’s uterus through a simple procedure at a fertility clinic.

Whether you are using your own egg and sperm or a donor’s will determine whether you are biologically related to your child. No matter which route you choose, your gestational surrogate will never share DNA with your child. Many people choose to go through surrogacy over other options like adoption because it means they will have a biological connection to their child. This is another topic to discuss with you surrogacy specialist as you are creating your plan.

Begin Your Journey to Parenthood

The journey to parenthood can be hard, and if you have come to surrogacy, we know you have likely been down a long road. We are ready to help you begin the surrogacy process today.

Contact a surrogacy specialist today.

5 Questions for Infertile Couples About Choosing Surrogacy

Discover how to pursue surrogacy for infertile couples and how surrogacy can be a great family-building alternative when you’re struggling with infertility.

Struggling with infertility can be an emotionally taxing and lengthy journey. After months or even years of fertility treatments without success, you may be wondering what steps to take next.

For some, surrogacy for infertile couples becomes an option when traditional methods like in-vitro fertilization haven’t worked. However, deciding to transition from infertility treatments to surrogacy is a tough choice, particularly if you still hope to experience pregnancy yourself.

You can always reach out to us now to learn more about choosing surrogacy for infertile couples. We’re always here to help you explore your options.

Ultimately, it’s up to you whether or not you want to pursue surrogacy for infertile couples. If you feel stuck and uncertain about the chances of success, you can explore remaining options, such as surrogacy or other assisted reproductive treatments. If you’re contemplating surrogacy options for infertile couples, then here are some factors to consider.

What to Know About Surrogacy for Infertile Couples

Determining whether you’re ready to shift from infertility to surrogacy varies for everyone. Each individual’s infertility journey is unique, influencing the decision to explore alternative treatments.

Often, those who choose surrogacy for infertile couples have already gone through extensive, unsuccessful fertility treatments. This prolonged effort drains their time and energy, leading to stress that can have an impact on their relationship.

If you and your partner feel drained from continuous unsuccessful attempts, you might want to reconsider your current infertility treatment strategy. If you think that you’re ready to explore other family-building alternatives, then here are some answers to the questions you may have about infertility and surrogacy.

1. If you’re infertile, can you use a surrogate?

Yes, if you’re infertile you can use a surrogate to help fulfill your dreams of becoming parents. In gestational surrogacy, the medical process involves using IVF to complete an embryo transfer. If you’re infertile then a donor’s egg or sperm may be used.

Before choosing surrogacy for infertile couples, you’ll need to consider whether your infertility treatment plan is giving you the results you need. Choosing surrogacy after infertility means putting all your focus and determination into the process.

2. Are you interested more interested in experiencing parenthood than surrogacy?

Surrogacy for infertile couples involves someone else carrying your baby for you. IVF or gamete donation can give you a chance at being pregnant while surrogacy does not. If you feel that being a parent is more important than experiencing pregnancy, you may be ready to explore surrogacy as an alternative family-building option.

3. Are you okay with someone else carrying your baby to term?

When you choose surrogacy after infertility, you may experience a loss by not being in control of your baby’s development. Although there will be a contract that will protect the rights and interests of all parties involved, you must be comfortable knowing that you can’t be there for every minute of your surrogate’s pregnancy.

But don’t worry. All surrogates are thoroughly screened to ensure that they’re emotionally and physically ready for the surrogacy process. If you’re ready to relinquish control, then surrogacy for infertile couples can be an option for you.

4. Do you have embryos leftover from your infertility treatments?

Those who choose surrogacy for infertile couples have embryos remaining from their infertility journey. Instead of taking another chance of failure with other infertility treatments, some choose to transfer an embryo to the uterus of a surrogate. Many intended parents see this as a chance to preserve their remaining embryos.

5. Do you and your partner agree on surrogacy?

This is by far one of the most important questions you should ask yourself when considering surrogacy for infertile couples. If you’re not on the same page about the process there will likely be feelings of resentment, anger and disappointment. Make sure you’re both committed to the surrogacy process before you commit to pursuing surrogacy.

Once you’ve taken these questions into account, you’ll be on the right track toward building the family you’ve always dreamed of. Your journey to parenthood can be one of the most beautiful, life-changing experiences you’ll ever have. With our help, you’ll become parents in no time.

Reach out to us today to pursue surrogacy for infertile couples. Our specialists are ready to help you begin the process.