Depending on your fertility history and family building goals, some need the help of a gestational carrier to help expand their family. While surrogacy laws vary from state to state, California is one of the most surrogacy-friendly states throughout the United States and has a history of supporting surrogacy agreements.
There are several reasons why some may want to consider this path to parenthood:
- Medical Issue Related to the Uterus: The intended mother may have a medical issue with their uterus, or she may have had to have her uterus removed due to an illness like cancer.
- General Medical Condition: You may not have a diagnosis that directly affects your fertility or ability to conceive but you may have a medical condition that could make pregnancy a high risk for you such as heart disease or high-risk diabetes.
- Infertility: If you’ve gone through various forms of treatment including in vitro fertilization (IVF) and/or have exhausted other options like genetic testing, Dr. Wilcox may recommend exploring this as an option.
- Same-Sex Male Couples: Men in a same-sex relationship often pursue expanding their family with the help of an egg donor and gestational carrier.
There are also several kinds of surrogacy agreements and/or partnerships you can enter into and you may want to consider the most feasible or what you and your partner are the most comfortable with. They are as follows:
- Compensated Surrogacy: This is a surrogacy agreement in which the surrogate is paid an agreed upon amount for her services.
- Compassionate Surrogacy: Compassionate surrogacy may also be referred to as altruistic surrogacy. It’s when the gestational carrier carries a baby for an individual or intended parents and does not receive any compensation for her services.
- Gestational Carrier: Gestational carriers are not genetically related to the baby they will be carrying. The child will be conceived through either using the intended mother’s eggs, donor eggs and the intended father’s sperm or a sperm donor.
- Traditional Surrogacy: Most health professionals including surrogacy attorneys and clinics do not support traditional surrogacy. It is when the surrogate uses her own eggs and is genetically tied to the baby. There are several concerns (legal, long-term parentage issues, etc.) so it’s not recommended.
When you pursue working with a gestational carrier, you could ask a close friend or relative, you could work with an agency or you could pursue finding a gestational carrier on your own. What’s important is that anyone who decides to serve as a gestational carrier must meet basic requirements to make certain that this journey is a healthy one that everyone will be able to support. The basic surrogate requirements are:
- She is in between the ages of 21-40 years old
- Has given birth to at least one child
- Has had uncomplicated pregnancies
- Her BMI is between 18 – 30
- Is a non-smoker
- Does not have a history of mental illness
- Not currently on any kind of governmental financial support
Now that we’ve unpacked who should consider working with a gestational carrier, the different kind of agreements that exist and what qualifications a woman needs to meet in order to be a gestational carrier, one of the biggest questions is cost.
There are many factors and variables and not easy to give a definite number. It can depend on whether you use an agency or not, if your surrogate carries one or two babies, if you need to cover travel or hotel costs (for yourself or your carrier), legal fees, if the surrogate needs to be on bed rest and you need to cover lost wages, etc. Overall, it can be anywhere from $100,000 and up.
For more information on the numerous fertility treatments and family building options offered at Wilcox Fertility, please continue to review other areas of our site or to inquire about financial information, please don’t hesitate to contact us via our online form or call us at 626.657.9327.