Understanding the gestational carrier program

The technology of using a gestational carrier has become headline news since reality stars Giulana and Bill Rancic have reported they will be using a gestational carrier to have children.

Similar to surrogacy, a gestational carrier carries an infertile couple’s baby throughout its entire pregnancy.  The difference though, lies in the DNA.

A gestational carrier is in no way linked to the baby by her DNA.  Instead, the baby is the product of an embryo generated from donor egg and sperm, typically from the prospective parents.

By using this option, the parents have the option to be genetically linked to their child.

Couples may opt to use a gestational carrier if pregnancy would be difficult or impossible for the mother.  For example, women who have had their uterus surgically removed from cancer, fibroids, severe endometriosis, or a hysterectomy could have a need for a carrier.

Often times, women with a non-functional uterus may still have intact ovaries, allowing for her eggs to be retrieved and fertilized by her partner’s sperm.

The legal implications of using a gestational carrier program can be complex and vary by state.  Therefore, it’s important to work with a reproductive attorney to ensure the outcome is desirable for all parties.