A gestational carrier (GC) is one of several options for couples who want to expand their family but aren’t able to carry or give birth themselves. Often referred to as gestational surrogacy, this may involve a known carrier (friend or family member) or can be arranged through our office using an in-house GC or through a gestational surrogacy agency. We can help match a gestational carrier (a woman who carries a pregnancy for someone else) with the intended parents. In Vitro Fertilization is the process used to create embryos that will then be transferred to the Gestational Carrier’s uterus. Either the intended parent’s sperm and eggs can be used or donated sperm and eggs may be utilized. The Gestational Carrier’s eggs are not used which differs from traditional surrogacy.
The Gestational Carrier (GC)
The carrier will need to undergo preparation for an IVF transfer to make sure that the uterine lining is thin and the ovaries are free from any cysts. After two weeks, she will come in for additional blood work as well as another transvaginal ultrasound to ensure that the uterine lining is developing properly. Next, she will receive estrogen and progesterone (in that sequence) through intramuscular injections. This prepares her uterine lining to receive the implantation, where she receives the embryo along with a pregnancy blood test after 10 days. She will then go on to carry the developing baby (or babies) for 40 weeks.
There are legal requirements that must be completed to protect all parties involved in a gestational carrier cycle. Utah Fertility Center works hand in hand with experienced, knowledgeable attorneys to assist in the legal process. Thanks to gestational surrogacy, women can become mothers even if they were born without a uterus or have another medical condition prohibiting pregnancy, and for same-sex couples to realize their dream of parenting.
Who Contemplates Gestational Surrogacy?
There are various people who take the surrogacy route to expand their family:
- Couples who can’t conceive
- Intended mothers who aren’t able to carry a baby
- Intended parents struggling with a hereditary defect or medical condition they don’t want their child to inherit
- Same-sex couples wanting a genetic link to their child
One thing we have noticed is that money is rarely the driving force behind women who become gestational surrogates. For most, it’s because they love being moms and feel that family is one of the biggest blessings in their own lives. Another common reason is that they want to contribute something extraordinary to someone else’s world, whether it is for an extended family member or a complete stranger. We have seen firsthand that those offering surrogacy are altruistic by nature.
There are different ways to grow your family when unable to physically carry a baby. Adoption and foster family care are also both great options. With gestational surrogacy, both singles and couples can experience a hereditary link to their baby (or babies). It also allows intended parents to be directly involved in their pregnancy and birth, including embryo creation on the day of the delivery while cementing a relationship with their surrogate along the way. They can receive updates and pictures after having chosen who will be the surrogate to carry their baby. In this way, gestational surrogacy allows the intended parents to play a memorable part in the pregnancy process.
If you are considering becoming (or finding) a gestational carrier in Ogden, Murray, Pleasant Grove, and St. George, Utah, please contact Utah Fertility Center at 801-785-5100 to learn more.
Watch this heartwarming video of one of our employees as a gestational carrier
How to Become a Gestational Carrier