Surrogacy offers couples and single people an opportunity to become parents when they may be unable to carry a child to term themselves. Building a family through the surrogacy process requires a lot of teamwork, trust, and coordination between everyone involved, including the intended parents, the surrogate, an agency, your lawyers, and your medical team. With the right people offering the right support, though, surrogacy can be a rewarding way to build your family and welcome your baby into the world.
Choosing a Gestational Carrier
In surrogacy, a woman agrees to carry a baby for a person or couple who are the intended parents. The intended parents may use their own eggs and sperm, donated eggs and sperm, or a combination of the two to create an embryo. The embryo is then transferred into the surrogate’s uterus, and she will act as a host for the baby until birth. Although she carries the pregnancy, the surrogate does not have a biological connection to the baby.
From a practical standpoint, the potential surrogates should have good physical health and is preferably younger than 40. Texas law also requires her to have at least one uneventful and successful pregnancy. Surrogates will need to go through a psychological evaluation to make sure they are comfortable with the emotional, physical, and mental toll of carrying a pregnancy for another person.
You can opt to find a surrogate in two different ways:
- Finding a surrogate privately. A friend or family member who meets the legal and medical criteria may act as a surrogate for you.
- Using an agency to find a surrogate. An agency will recruit and carefully interview potential surrogates. They can help you choose someone who aligns with your gestational needs and beliefs.
Agencies can help take care of the legalities of surrogacy and offers you a layer of protection and peace of mind. Agencies can gather important information on a potential surrogate, too. This includes information about their feelings on selective reduction and how much contact they wish to have with the intended parents during the pregnancy. Choosing a surrogate who has the same expectations that you do can make the process more successful and enjoyable for everyone involved.
If you choose to use an agency, IVFMD can provide you with a list of those we recommend both in Texas and across the United States.
What are the laws regarding surrogacy in Texas?
Under Texas law, a woman wishing to be a surrogate must have at least one successful pregnancy with a live birth.
While laws vary across the United States, Texas is a surrogacy-friendly state. Thanks to Texas’ progressive laws, the name of the intended parents can go directly onto the birth certificate without a lengthy adoption process. Through a court order, the intended parents can be recognized as the legal guardians of a baby before the child is born. This is great for surrogates, too, as it’s very rare that they’ll need to appear in court later on or have further obligations after the birth of the child.
The Gestational Surrogacy Process
Briefly, after a period of synchronization of the donor and recipient cycles using birth control pill, the intended mother (or in some cases an egg donor) starts the IVF process by taking injectable medications to produce multiple eggs. At the same time, the gestational carrier takes estrogen to stimulate the growth of her uterine lining while using another medication (Lupron) to make her ovaries dormant. In another word, in the intended mother we focus on stimulating the ovaries while in the surrogate we prepare her uterus for implantation.
The intended mother then undergo egg collection from the vagina under light anesthesia and the eggs are then combined with the father’s sperm or donor sperm the lab to create the embryos. After a culturing period of 5 days, one embryo is transferred into the uterus of the surrogate and hopefully, the pregnancy test will be positive 10 days later.
Third-party surrogacy is a complex process, so finding an experienced fertility clinic to assist you is important. IVFMD is a fertility clinic in the Dallas Fort Worth area with extensive experience with this method of family building. Our doctors can help create a plan to make the surrogacy process go as smoothly as possible, and assist you in your journey to becoming a parent. If you’d like to learn more about the role IVFMD can play in surrogacy, get in touch with our team to book a consultation today.