The world is changing and options for couple who want kids are rapidly expanding outside of adoption. In fact, the number of adoptions are falling while alternatives are on the rise. Some of the options now available are: Donor eggs (anonymous or from a known donor), Donor Sperm (unknown or known), Donated embryo, Gestational Carrier (a variety of combinations include: client’s sperm and egg; client’s sperms and donor egg; client’s egg and donor sperm or donor embryo), and Traditional Surrogate
Just because these are now scientific possibilities, it doesn’t mean that all jurisdictions are friendly to contacts that govern them. Check your local laws to make sure and consult with the appropriate professionals.
A few terms will be useful to know:
- Assisted Reproductive Technology: treatments where the egg and sperm are joined outside the body.
- In Vitro Fertilization: this is where a woman’s ovaries are stimulated to produce eggs, eggs are removed and fertilized outside the body, and the embryos created are then implanted in the uterus.
- Surrogacy: this is the process whereby a woman carries a pregnancy with the intention of placing the child with someone else for rearing and parenting.
- TS Surrogacy (aka “traditional” or “true”): here a woman becomes pregnant with her own egg and sperm from another (either the donated sperm of the intended father, or donated sperm). In many jurisdictions this type of birth will result in the surrogate being the birth mother, requiring formal adoption of the child after the birth
- Gestational Carrier: here the woman becomes pregnant but with an embryo that has no genetic connection to her.
- Cryopreservation: the process whereby sperm, eggs, or embryos are frozen in liquid nitrogen and used in the future.
- ICSI: this acronym stands for Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection which is the process of inserting a sperm into the nucleus of an egg.
The most common types of surrogacy agreements are:
- Egg Donor Agreement (female donates egg)
- Sperm Donor Agreement (male donates sperm)
- Embryo Donor Agreement: (a fertilized embryo is donated)
- Surrogacy and Gestational Carrier Agreements
When entering surrogacy agreements its important to know the potential cost for the required procedures. Typically, IVF ranges from $8,000 – $12,000 where a donor egg may cost upwards of $25,000. Gestational carries often require $30,000 and some much more. ICSI ranges from $1,500 to $2,000 plus the cost of IVF.
Surrogacy contracts should be simple and easy to understand. They are basically a contract with the provisions of the surrogacy laid out in logical order. Be sure that the agreement contains: termination provisions, procedures for modifying the agreement, governing law, choice of forum (where the case will be litigated), notice requirements, and the duration of the agreement.