IVF with a gestational carrier is a reproductive collaboration among intended parents and a woman who carries and delivers a baby on behalf of the intended family. The process involves the creation of embryos through IVF and transfer of an embryo or embryos to the uterus of the gestational carrier. Though often casually referred to as “surrogacy,” the important distinction between true surrogacy and IVF with a gestational carrier is that the gestational carrier is genetically unrelated to the pregnancy. The gestational carrier pregnancy is established using the egg and sperm of the intended parents or a donor. Surrogates, on the other hand, are genetically related to the pregnancy. They conceive with their own egg with the intent to give parental custody of the resulting child to the intended family. Traditional surrogacy arrangements are not legal in Arizona. ACFS therefore participates only in gestational carrier IVF cycles.
Gestational carrier IVF may be considered in a variety of circumstances, including:
The gestational carrier, ideally, should be a family member or close friend—someone that the intended parents fully trust to care for the pregnancy as if it were her own and to give up all parental rights following the birth. Some intended families do not have the option of a family member or close friend and may use an agency, word-of-mouth, or online groups/web resources to find a gestational carrier. Once an intended family has identified a potential gestational carrier, we will guide both parties through extensive evaluations to ensure that there are no apparent obstacles to her safe and successful participation in the process.
Patients considering IVF using a gestational carrier should consult a family law attorney to familiarize themselves with all applicable laws in their state. In Arizona, most intended families will file to adopt their child through a pre-birth order or will complete an adoption following the birth. In order to protect the legal rights and interests of all involved, we require our patients to obtain legal counsel prior to the initiation of the gestational carrier cycle.
ACFS has successfully helped hundreds of families to grow through IVF with a gestational carrier. While the process is complex and involves the coordination of multiple parties, intended families and gestational carriers alike should be reassured by the personal attention and expertise that they will receive while going through treatment with ACFS. In addition, our exceptionally high IVF success rates mean that our patients are more likely to find success on their first attempt. If you are interested in IVF with a gestational carrier, call your ACFS fertility team today!
“Dr. Lipskind and his entire staff did an incredible job start to finish, and the result is our newly born girl who is very healthy. We used a surrogate and ACFS was amazing in preparing our surrogate, developing embryos and having a successful pregnancy on the first try. They are kind and did so well answering all of our many questions :)”