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Fertility

Gestational Carriers (Surrogacy)

In the instance where a woman is not able to carry a pregnancy on her own, the couple may decide to use a gestational carrier (also called surrogate or host uterus). Patients who may benefit from using a gestational carrier are women who have severe uterine anomalies, have had a hysterectomy, or who have been advised against carrying a pregnancy for medical reasons.

Keep in mind that the timeline for gestational carrier is usually longer than other fertility treatments because the male partner's sperm must be frozen in quarantine for six months prior to fertilizing an egg that is transferred into a gestational carrier. If you are considering gestational carrier, please speak with a clinical case manager in our donor egg department to learn about the details involved in preparing for this type of cycle. Click here to schedule a consultation.

Here at the Genetics & IVF Institute, we have offered gestational surrogacy since 1988. Patients from around the world visit us for this treatment, and we are experienced in minimizing inconveniences and time away from home for out-of-town and international patients. Virginia law is especially suitable for facilitating surrogate arrangements, and independent legal advice on this issue can be provided to appropriate couples through our consultant network.

What is gestational surrogacy (host uterus)?
Gestational surrogacy is an infertility treatment appropriate when normal embryos can be formed, but it is medically desirable or necessary for these embryos to develop within the uterus of a gestational carrier (host) rather than the egg source (female partner or egg donor). Gestational surrogacy can be a highly effective treatment but, as with conventional IVF, all the risks and benefits associated with IVF need to be considered.

What special issues should be considered in selecting a gestational carrier (host)?
It is recommended but not required that the gestational carrier be a woman of proven fertility, under the age of 40, and with at least one healthy, living child. A gestational carrier may be a relative, a friend, or an individual previously unknown to the couple considering gestational surrogacy, and should be highly committed to fulfill her surrogate obligations. GIVF advises all individuals contemplating gestational surrogacy arrangements to consult legal counsel prior to involvement in this program, and we will facilitate such legal counseling upon request. GIVF does not become involved with the financial arrangements, if any, between the parties.

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