What is Gestational Surrogacy?

And How Does It Work?

What is gestational surrogacy and how does it work? Whether you're a prospective surrogate or intended parent, here's what you should know about the gestational surrogacy process.

In most cases, when people talk about surrogacy today, they are talking about gestational surrogacy. This is by far the most common and preferred type of surrogacy today; in fact, most surrogacy professionals — including American Surrogacy — are only able to complete gestational surrogacies. But what is gestational surrogacy, and how exactly does it work?

Here are some common questions about gestational surrogacy, and what you should know if you’re considering becoming a gestational surrogate or expanding your family through the gestational surrogacy process:

Gestational Surrogacy Definition

“What is gestational surrogacy?”

The answer is fairly simple: in this type of surrogacy, the gestational surrogate, who is also sometimes called a gestational carrier, is not biologically related to the baby she carries for the intended parents.

One or both intended parents may be genetically related to the baby in gestational surrogacy (sometimes also called “full surrogacy,” “IVF surrogacy” or “host surrogacy”). The intended parent(s) and/or gamete donors (if one of both of the intended parents doesn’t have viable gametes) will contribute to an egg and sperm to create an embryo using IVF in a fertility clinic. That embryo is transferred to the gestational surrogate’s uterus to carry and, eventually, deliver.

Gestational surrogacy is the more common method of surrogacy, and is less legally and emotionally complex than its counterpart, traditional surrogacy.

Gestational Surrogacy Process

“How does gestational surrogacy work? What’s the gestational surrogacy process like?”

When you choose to complete a gestational surrogacy, a professional like American Surrogacy will be there to guide you through every step of the process. While these steps can vary depending on your specific circumstances, here’s a simplified version of the process for surrogates and intended parents, step-by-step:

  • Step 1: Meet the eligibility requirements, either as a surrogate or as an intended parent, and complete the screening processes for surrogates and intended parents.
  • Step 2: Match with your ideal surrogacy partner.
  • Step 3: Create a surrogacy contract together.
  • Step 4: Begin the medical steps (these can vary slightly), which ultimately lead up to an embryo transfer.
  • Step 5: Once a transfer is successful and the gestational surrogate is stably pregnant, you can prepare for the baby’s arrival together.
  • Step 6: Complete any post-birth legal measures if necessary (this depends on your state laws), with the guidance of your surrogacy attorney.

There are plenty of smaller processes within that larger process, and again — everyone’s journey is unique, so yours might involve different steps. This can all seem a little overwhelming at first, but don’t worry. The surrogacy specialists at American Surrogacy are here to walk you through it all and help make this an enjoyable (and life-changing) experience for you and your future surrogacy partner!

Gestational Surrogacy Cost

“How much is gestational surrogacy?”

The total cost of gestational surrogacy for intended parents will vary depending on a number of variables. There are many professionals involved in the gestational surrogacy process, and the varying laws and medical needs that are applicable in your situation can all affect your total costs.

For surrogates: Although altruistic (unpaid) surrogacy is an option that some surrogates choose, most surrogates accept some amount of compensation for the time and effort they sacrifice to their surrogacy journey. Additionally, gestational surrogates are not expected to pay for their pregnancy- and surrogacy-related costs. Those expenses are the responsibility of the intended parents.

For intended parents: Understandably, the gestational surrogacy costs will fall on the intended parents. The cost of gestational surrogacy can be high, ranging from $100,000–$140,000, but these numbers account for everything needed throughout your surrogacy process. American Surrogacy offers fixed surrogacy fees and transparency on costs from day one to help intended parents afford their surrogacy journey.

Gestational Surrogacy Laws

“Is gestational surrogacy legal where I live?”

Each state has its own surrogacy laws. Some states prohibit surrogacy altogether. You’ll need to consult with American Surrogacy and your attorney to navigate the gestational surrogacy laws in your state. Fortunately, gestational surrogacy is the least legally complicated type of surrogacy, and it’s usually fairly simple for both the intended parents and the gestational surrogate.

Again, every situation is different, so contact us now and we can talk to you about all your legal options. We can also refer you to the experienced surrogacy attorneys you will need for the legal steps of your gestational surrogacy process.

Is Gestational Surrogacy Right for You?

“What are the gestational surrogacy success rates? Are there gestational surrogacy statistics that can help me decide?”

Surrogacy is still a relatively new family-building method, and there aren’t many statistics or measurable numbers published yet. Ultimately, only you can decide if gestational surrogacy is the right path for you.

American Surrogacy always encourages prospective parents and gestational surrogates to learn about the different methods of surrogacy, the requirements and processes involved and the pros and cons of each. That way, you can feel confident about moving forward with your choice, and you can be ready to commit yourself fully to this exciting journey.

Have more questions about gestational surrogacy? Want to begin the gestational surrogacy process as a parent or as a gestational carrier today? Contact us now at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) for more information about gestational surrogacy.