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The Surrogacy Process

Posted Jun 05 2009 5:06pm

Surrogacy involves potential risks associated with pregnancy as well as any medical processes required. It is the responsibility of the surrogate to understand and investigate any and all risks, and to discuss the procedures and implications with her physician.

There are two types of surrogacy arrangements: traditional and gestational.

Traditional surrogacy occurs through artificial insemination. This method is used when the intended mother does not have her own, viable eggs. The sperm of the intended father is placed into the vaginal canal or directly into the uterus of the surrogate. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate has a biological relationship with the baby because she uses her own eggs.
Note: Due to the legal issues and other complexities, Open Arms Consultants does not handle traditional surrogacy at this time.

Gestational surrogacy occurs through In Vitro Fertilization / Embryo Transfer (IVF/ET). In this process, the baby can be the complete biological child of the Intended Parents when the eggs are retrieved from the intended mother and fertilized with the sperm of her husband. The embryos are placed into the uterus of the surrogate. If the intended mother is unable to use her own eggs, donated eggs will be used. However, the donated eggs are not from the surrogate.

The Surrogate begin a regimen of birth control pills to align her cycle with the intended mother’s. She will take Lupron to suppress ovulation, estrogen to prepare for implantation and pregnancy, and then progesterone for the health of the baby and to help maintain the pregnancy. During this time, she will be monitored by blood tests and ultrasound to determine hormone levels and the appropriate development of her uterine lining. Three to five days after egg fertilization, a number of embryos are inserted into the surrogate’s uterus. This simple procedure only takes a few minutes, and the surrogate remain at the clinic for an hour or two. A successful pregnancy can be confirmed in two weeks.

Surrogates must understand that injections with a very small needle are involved in the process. She will be taking Lupron by subcutaneous injection, and will need supplemental estrogen and progesterone which may be administered in a variety of ways, determined by the clinic.


Open Arms Consultants cannot be held responsible for the intentional acts of donors, surrogates, Intended Parents or the medical or legal professionals associated with activities arising from assisted reproduction.
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