For many women who dream of building a family but cannot carry a pregnancy to term due to a medical condition or previous hysterectomy, surrogacy is a necessary step. It is important to consult a professional from the very beginning and discuss your individual situation.
Types of Surrogacy
Generally speaking, there are two types of surrogacy: Traditional Surrogacy and Gestational Carriers. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is the biological mother of the child. Sperm from the biological father is used to impregnate the surrogate via insemination, who then goes on to carry the pregnancy. This type of surrogacy is not available in most states because the surrogate is legally the mother of the child. In Gestational Surrogacy, the eggs are provided by the intended mother or an egg donor, and the surrogate has no genetic relationship to the baby. Embryos are formed using those eggs and sperm of the intended father which are then carried by the surrogate. Women who can produce healthy eggs but cannot carry a pregnancy for medical reasons often use this approach without an egg donor to have children to whom they are genetically related.
Laws and Surrogacy
Laws surrounding surrogacy can vary greatly from state to state. Because of this, it is important to discuss your surrogacy options with a professional familiar with the state where surrogacy will take place to ensure that your individual needs are met. In some states, like Oklahoma, it is illegal to compensate a gestational carrier. In this case, a compassionate carrier, often a friend or family member may carry the pregnancy. In any event, there are agencies that you can work with to match you with a surrogate in the many states that allow compensated carriers. At SIRM Dallas, we are happy to work with you and/or connect you to one of our expert surrogacy partners.
It is legal in Texas under The Uniform Parentage Act (Texas Code Section 160.754 et seq.) to compensate a gestational carrier. Texas Law enforces all legal rights of the intended mother and relinquishes all rights of the surrogate as a parent. For this Gestational Agreement to be enforceable, however, it requires the intended parents to be married and the prospective gestational mother to have had at least one previous delivery. Gestational surrogacy is still legal and may require postnatal adoption when these criteria are not fully met.
Who is surrogacy a good fit for?
There are a great number of reasons why surrogacy might be right for you. Surrogacy is a wonderful option for couples who have explored various infertility treatments and have learned that they are unable to have children on their own. For same-sex male couples who would like to start a family together, gestational surrogacy with egg donation by the other partner is a very good option. For gay men, surrogacy with egg donor is an excellent option.
Are there online forums for questions and support?
The surrogate community is a supportive one. You will find many online resources where you can ask a question about pursuing surrogacy or find other valuable resources about agencies, financial services and more. SIRM Dallas has close relationships with RESOLVE, Path 2 Parenthood, Men Having Babies and many more organizations that can assist you with your exploration of surrogacy.
For more information about surrogacy in Texas or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Saleh, please call us at 972-566-6686 or click here to schedule an appointment.