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).
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:
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.
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.
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).