Is Surrogacy Right for You?

For couples struggling to conceive a child, there are important options to explore. An estimated 12 percent (1 in 8) of couples in the United States have sought services relating to fertility and assistance in conceiving a baby. One option families may choose to pursue is surrogacy.

What is surrogacy?

Surrogacy refers to the process of a woman serving as a gestational surrogate to carry a baby to term for another person or couple.

There are two types of surrogacy:

Traditional surrogacy

Gestational surrogacy

Traditional surrogacy involves the surrogate donating her eggs to be fertilized by the father or sperm donor via intrauterine insemination. The surrogate is biologically related to the child she carries, but the baby is raised by the person or couple who hired the surrogate.

Gestational surrogacy is the process of using a father’s sperm and a mother’s egg to create an embryo through in vitro fertilization (IVF). The embryo is then transferred into the uterus of the surrogate (also called the gestational carrier). In this case, the surrogate is not biologically related to the baby she carries.

How does surrogacy work?

Individuals or couples may choose to use a surrogate to have a baby for medical reasons, like infertility, or because carrying a child is risky to the health of a woman who wants to become a mother.

There are a few different ways that families or individuals go about finding a surrogate. One is through a surrogacy agency that makes arrangements to match individuals or couples to available surrogates. Another path to surrogacy is asking a family member or close friend. Depending on the state in which you live there are legal issues you must address when entering into a surrogacy agreement.

What are the costs associated with surrogacy?

The costs associated with surrogacy depend on factors like whether you use a surrogate agency, the type of compensation fees you agree to, and the health insurance of the surrogate mother. In some cases, surrogacy can cost over $100,000.

To learn more about surrogacy and your options, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.