What is a Gestational Surrogate?
If you're reading this blog, you're likely familiar with what surrogacy is. But chances are, you may not be as familiar with the different types of surrogacy methods out there. In the world of surrogacy, terms like compassionate carry, gestational surrogacy, and traditional surrogacy, are thrown around frequently- and this can feel overwhelming if you're new to the topic. If you're feeling this way, you've come to the right place.
At Vermont Surrogacy Network, we guide families throughout Vermont and Greater New England through the process of surrogacy with an ethical, affordable, and supportive environment. A large part of what we strive to do is educate and inform readers on important surrogacy processes, terms, and answer any frequently asked questions. Our goal is to help you become well-informed before making these huge life-changing decisions.
In this blog, we will be covering what a gestational surrogate is, as well as important parts of the gestational surrogacy process as a whole.
Gestational Surrogate Definition
A gestational surrogate is a woman who carries a baby to term for another person, she does not provide any of the genetic material for the baby. This is in contrast to a traditional surrogate, where the surrogate's egg is fertilized with either the father's sperm or donor sperm.
A gestational surrogate is not biologically related to the baby she is carrying. A traditional surrogate would be genetically connected. At Vermont Surrogacy Network, we do not offer traditional surrogacy. We focus on Gestational Surrogacy only.
How Does Gestational Surrogacy Work?
The gestational surrogacy process can be an incredibly rewarding experience for all involved- from the surrogate who is generously giving the gift of life, to the intended parents who are finally able to have a child of their own.
The process of gestational surrogacy varies slightly from state to state, but at Vermont Surrogacy Network, we typically follow this process:
Work with a professional surrogacy agency
After you submit your inquiry to a trusted surrogacy network, you’ll be set to have a phone interview with the agency. After your phone interview, you'll complete an in-depth online application to set you up for your initial screening from the surrogacy agency. From there, you'll be connected with a fertility specialist who can help you figure out what next steps are best for you.
The screening & matching phase
The matching phase begins once both the carrier and intended parent have been screened, during which a series of interviews will be conducted to match them appropriately. The gestational carrier will then undergo further testing to ensure that the pregnancy may be carried to term safely and successfully.
Prior to matching with a surrogate, the intended parents have already gone through the fertilization part of an IVF cycle in order to create embryos. Those embryos may also have been tested to confirm that they are chromosomally normal.
Once the surrogate has been medically cleared and the contracts are complete, she will prepare for the transfer, where the embryo is placed in her uterus to implant into the uterine lining.
Pregnancy and beyond
About ten days after the embryo transfer, the surrogate will have a blood test to determine if the transfer was successful. A positive blood test indicates that the gestational carrier is pregnant. An ultrasound a few weeks later will confirm that the pregnancy is viable and able to be carried to term for the intended parents.
The surrogacy agency will then help with the delivery and post-delivery plan, and go through the plan with everyone involved to ensure that the needs of all parties are met.
Benefits of Gestational Surrogacy
There are many benefits to gestational surrogacy, here are some of our favorites:
Gestational surrogacy offers a way for intended parents to still have a genetic connection to their child when they are not able to carry a pregnancy on their own.
The gestational surrogate does not have any genetic relation to the child.
The legal process is typically much simpler in comparison to an independent journey without an agency involved.
The gestational surrogate is fairly compensated.
The gestational surrogate gives the gift of parenthood to those in need of assistance in making their dream of a family come true.
Gestational Surrogacy Laws
Currently, in the United States, there are no federal regulations for gestational surrogacy.. Surrogacy requirements and regulations are left entirely up to each state to determine on their own. While a majority of states do not have any requirements governing gestational surrogacy, some states - like Vermont - have clear and safe laws in place. That's all the more reason to work with a trusted surrogacy agency in Vermont. You can be assured that all aspects of your surrogacy journey will be handled with the utmost compassion, care, and legality.
Ready to take the next step?
If you're considering gestational surrogacy, it's important to work with a professional and trusted surrogacy agency. Vermont Surrogacy Network is here to help make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible for all involved. We have years of experience helping intended parents find the gestational surrogate that's right for them and provide support through every step of the journey.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you start the journey of a lifetime, and grow your family through surrogacy!