How Does the Surrogacy and IVF Process Work?
Gestational surrogacy and IVF have become popular infertility options in recent years. Both allow couples and individuals to have biological children when it wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. If you’ve come across this resource, you might be an intended parent or a surrogate mother seeking more information on what surrogacy and IVF entails.
Gestational surrogacy is a long process with multiple steps. As an intended parent or surrogate mother, it’s important that you know each step and understand why it’s important to the overall surrogacy process. As a surrogacy agency, we want you to be well-prepared. We want you to understand how gestational surrogacy works so you can feel confident and get the most out of your experience.
Here’s everything you need to know about the surrogacy and IVF process.
IVF and Gestational Surrogacy
Gestational surrogacy is different from traditional surrogacy. During traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is impregnated through a process called artificial insemination. She uses her own egg and is the child’s biological mother.
The surrogate doesn’t use her own egg for gestational surrogacy. The egg is collected from the intended mother or acquired from a donor. (Likewise, the sperm is collected from the intended father or a donor.) After the egg and sperm are collected, they are used to create an embryo in a laboratory. Viable embryos are then implanted into the surrogate through a process called in vitro fertilization or IVF. If the embryo sticks, the surrogate will carry to full term and deliver the child.
Finding a Surrogate Mother
The first step in the surrogacy process is finding a surrogate mother. Sometimes intended parents have a friend or family member become their surrogate, and sometimes they find a surrogate through surrogacy agencies.
Women interested in becoming surrogate mothers through a surrogacy agency must apply for the role. Certain age and health requirements to ensure a woman’s health and fertility. Adoption and Surrogacy Choices of Oklahoma considers women between the ages 21 and 39. A woman who has children – a woman who has had uncomplicated, successful pregnancies and deliveries – is more likely to be considered for the role. A woman carrying sexually-transmitted diseases can’t become a surrogate mother due to the risk of passing the disease over to the child.
Preparing for the IVF and Embryo Transfer
It takes time to prepare the intended mother for egg retrieval, the process in which her eggs are removed from her ovaries. The eggs are removed surgically. Prior to the surgery, the intended mother takes hormone injections. These hormones help prepare the ovaries and make it easier to remove the eggs. The intended mother receives these injections for about two weeks before the egg retrieval process. If a donor is used instead of the intended mother, she’ll have to undergo the same process.
Once the eggs are retrieved from the intended mother or the donor, they can be used in the IVF process.
Before IVF can officially take place, the surrogate mother must prepare for the embryo transfer. She must undergo blood tests, screenings, and hormone injections. The blood tests and screenings are to ensure she is healthy enough to go through the IVF process. The hormone injections help prepare her uterine walls for the transfer. They’re to ensure that the embryo will stick.
Are You Ready to Begin the Surrogacy and IVF Process?
Adoption and Surrogacy Choices of Oklahoma will be with you throughout your entire surrogacy journey. From finding a surrogate mother or intended parent, to retrieving the eggs, to conducting the IVF, to performing the embryo transfer.
If you’re considering gestational surrogacy and would like to know more about the various steps, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re prepared to answer any remaining questions.
Adoption Choices of Oklahoma is a private adoption agency, licensed by the state of Oklahoma and leader in the adoption community. We have been assisting birth parents, children, and adoptive families in Oklahoma for over 19 years. Our staff members are committed to providing an ethical, empowering, and personalized adoption experience to all involved in the adoption process. If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us.
Meet the Author: Heather Valenzano is an up-and-coming content creator with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and a minor in English. After graduating from Iona College in 2019, she got an internship – and then a part-time job – writing blogs and managing social media accounts for Hip New Jersey, a lifestyle website owned by Long Shot Productions. She has also produced website and social media content for CommonPage, an external collaboration platform.
When she isn’t working, Heather enjoys watching crime shows like Forensic Files or posting book reviews to OnlineBookClub.org under the username “LavenderLiterature2.”