What to Know About Surrogacy, Termination of Pregnancy and Selective Reduction

For many surrogates, abortion and selective reduction are complicated and sensitive issues. Before you become a gestational carrier, you should learn as much about these topics as possible.

If you are considering becoming a surrogate, abortion and selective reduction may not be something you have thought hard about. After all, in an ideal surrogacy situation, these medical procedures would be no more than passing conversations — but the fact is, when you are becoming a gestational carrier, you will need to discuss these sensitive topics with your surrogacy professional, your surrogacy lawyer and your intended parents.

Surrogacy can be a complicated process on its own, even when everything works out perfectly. Pregnancy termination and selective reduction are just a few of the topics that play a role in how a surrogacy progresses. Therefore, it’s important that all prospective surrogates fully understand what these procedures are and why they may be required in a surrogacy process.

Remember, your surrogacy specialist is always here to answer any questions you may have about the medical requirements of surrogacy and what will be required of you during your surrogacy journey. Don’t hesitate to call your specialist at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) for more information.

Why Does Termination of Pregnancy and Selective Reduction Occur in Surrogacy?

In the ideal surrogacy situation, a termination of pregnancy or selective reduction of implanted embryos isn’t necessary. However, because intended parents and surrogates want to have the most successful surrogacy possible, these procedures are sometimes necessary to protect the integrity of the transplanted embryos.

When intended parents work with a surrogate mother, abortion and selective reduction are often last efforts employed in the surrogacy medical process. However, there are a few reasons why these procedures may be used — all in the efforts of creating the most successful surrogacy journey possible:

  • An embryo is not developing properly: Even if an embryo has successful implanted in a surrogate’s uterus, it may not be a healthy pregnancy. If an embryo is developing abnormally, intended parents may choose to terminate the pregnancy to save the time and emotions that may be lost if they chose to wait for a natural miscarriage later on.
  • A fetus has life-threatening disabilities or developmental issues: Sometimes even genetically tested embryos result in genetic or congenital malformations. This is because pre-implantation genetic screening does not test for everything, and some issues can arise during a fetus’ development that are unrelated to genetic and chromosomal issues. If a doctor has told intended parents that a fetus would not be able to survive on its own after birth, the intended parents may make the decision to terminate.
  • A carrier’s life in is immediate danger: Sometimes, unexpected pregnancy complications arise, even for women who have had healthy, successful pregnancies in the past. If a complication arises that puts a gestational carrier’s life at risk, both parties may choose to terminate to protect her health and prevent the risk of death — which would affect all members of her family, not just her.
  • More than two embryos implants: Many reproductive endocrinologists today will only transfer one embryo to a gestational carrier, but some will still transfer multiple embryos. If more than two embryos take (or one embryo unexpectedly splits to twins), intended parents may choose to selectively reduce the number of embryos to two. Carrying multiples is much riskier for the gestational surrogate, and reducing the pregnancy to a singleton or twin pregnancy may increase the chance that a healthy baby will be born.

What Happens When I Work with American Surrogacy?

Decisions regarding a surrogate and abortion or selective reduction will not be made without proper foresight. When you match with intended parents, your beliefs on these medical procedures will be taken into account. Your surrogacy specialist will talk with you about your preferences for undergoing these procedures while pregnant and try to help you find intended parents who share your preferences.

Before the medical process of surrogacy even begins, you will complete a surrogacy legal contract with the intended parents. Both you and they will be represented by separate surrogacy attorneys, who will negotiate sensitive issues like termination and selective reduction. You will discuss at length the situations in which either of these procedures would be acceptable and come to an agreement with the intended parents.

If you want to learn more about how your opinions on these procedures might affect your ability to be a surrogate, we encourage you to reach out to a surrogacy specialist at American Surrogacy for more information.

Where Can I Learn More About These Topics?

As with every aspect of surrogacy, it’s important that you are fully educated about these complex topics before deciding what is right for you. Remember, a surrogacy specialist is always available to talk about how intended parents, a surrogate, abortion and selective reduction work within the program at American Surrogacy. You can also read more about these topics in these articles:

The opinions presented in the articles above do not in any way represent the stance of American Surrogacy or its staff members. For information about how these procedures work within our surrogacy program, please call 1-800-875-2229(BABY).