In a recent blog on Mom.me, Te-Erika Patterson discussed gestational surrogacy, covering its proponents and detractors. A gestational carrier, or gestational surrogate, is a paid volunteer who carries a pregnancy for someone who cannot otherwise carry a pregnancy for herself. The eggs and sperm are derived from the intended parents (or through an egg and/or sperm donation) through the process of in vitro fertilization (IVF), with the fertilized embryo being transferred into the uterus of the gestational carrier.
Since the child is not biologically related to the gestational surrogate, there are some who are very vocally opposed to the process. To combat these allegations, Patterson put a human face on the debate, interviewing a young woman who was the product of gestational surrogacy. “I would not have been born without surrogacy,” Malina Simard-Halm shared. “My parents fought for nearly a decade to have me, and it was surrogacy that came through.” Gestational carriers have helped many couples to become parents, including women who are unable to carry a pregnancy and LGBT couples.
While there are clear benefits for the intended parents, those who are against gestational surrogacy allege that the gestational carriers themselves can be emotionally and physically harmed by participating in assisted reproduction. According to Gilbert L. Mottla, M.D. of Shady Grove Fertility’s Annapolis, MD office, “Negative experiences in the context of being a gestational carrier are quite rare. Comprehensive medical and psychological screening of gestational carriers and intended parents greatly minimize complications.” Abby Estwick, a former gestational carrier, looked back on her experience very fondly, saying that “There is a unique sense of joy that comes with giving the gift of parenthood.” Read more about her experience at Mom.me.
At Shady Grove Fertility, the Gestational Carrier Program represents another way for our patients to overcome infertility. SGF has extensive experience coordinating all aspects of the gestational carrier cycle, from working with agencies and attorneys to medical/psychological testing for intended parents and gestational carriers. Intended parents are also eligible for our unique Shared Risk 100% Refund Program when using a gestational carrier. With this program, the intended parents may attempt up to six IVF or donor egg cycles (with the gestational carrier) for a flat fee. The couple either takes a baby home from the hospital upon a successful treatment cycle or, if all six attempts are unsuccessful or they opt out of the program, 100% of the fee is refunded.
While there are dissenters to the Gestational Carrier Program (like those mentioned in the blog), we make absolutely certain that our intended parents and gestational carriers are well taken care of. Find out more about our program here.
For more information about Shady Grove Fertility’s Gestational Carrier Program or to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians, please contact our New Patient Liaisons by calling 888-761-1967.