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Surrogacy/Gestational Carrier

NOVA IVF

Fertility Specialists & Individualized IVF Protocols located in Mountain View, CA

About 3% of women are unable carry a pregnancy due to problems with their uterus or another medical condition. Richard Schmidt, MD, FACOG, and Meera Shah, MD, FACOG, at NOVA IVF help every woman find the best way to have a baby, including using in vitro fertilization to create an embryo that’s carried by a gestational carrier, sometimes called a surrogate. Whether you’d like to learn more about surrogacy or you need an infertility evaluation, call the office in Mountain View, California, or schedule an appointment online.

Frequently Asked Questions About Using a Gestational Carrier

What is gestational surrogacy?

Gestational surrogacy occurs when another woman carries your baby, often giving couples the only chance of having a child. The surrogate, or gestational carrier, does not donate an egg. She carries an embryo created through in vitro fertilization using your egg and sperm (or using a donor egg and/or sperm).

When might I need to consider surrogacy?

Your doctor at NOVA IVF determines if you may need a surrogate after performing a comprehensive medical exam, and in most cases, after implementing other treatments to help you overcome infertility.

Women often need a surrogate for reasons such as:

  • Recurrent pregnancy loss
  • Gynecological disorders that damaged their uterus
  • A medical condition that puts the health of you or the baby at risk
  • A medical condition treated with a hysterectomy

Gestational surrogacy is often a good option for women with congenital conditions that affect their uterus and those with structural problems that prevent them from carrying a baby.

How do I find a gestational carrier?

You may have a family member or friend who wants to be your surrogate, but many women find their gestational carrier through a surrogacy agency. NOVA IVF works closely with a selection of vetted and screened agencies. If you have your own surrogate, they perform testing to ensure the potential surrogate is healthy, and then the team performs the in vitro fertilization.

Under California law, you need a notarized surrogacy agreement. Additionally, the intended parent(s) must establish their legal rights as parents before the baby’s birth.

Though your attorney files your surrogacy agreement in a court of law, your records are sealed to everyone except to the intended parents, the gestational carrier, the attorneys, and the Department of Social Services.

What happens after I find a gestational carrier?

After you sign a contract with your surrogate—and depending on your unique family situation—the intended parents go through in vitro fertilization. Individuals using their own eggs take medication to increase the number of eggs that mature in their ovaries. At the same time, the surrogate takes medications that prepare the uterus to nurture your embryo.

As soon as your eggs mature, your doctor at NOVA IVF removes them using a needle inserted through the vagina and into the ovary. Then the eggs go to the on-site lab, where they are fertilized with sperm, and then implanted into the surrogate’s uterus (it's the same provess if you opt to use an egg donor, sperm donor, go through embryo adoption or use a frozen embryo). 

If you’d like to explore using a gestational carrier, call us or schedule an appointment online.