Using a Gestational Carrier at CC
The term gestational carrier is often confused with the word “surrogate.” A traditional surrogate is a woman who donates both the use of her eggs and her uterus. A traditional surrogate is therefore, the biological mother of the embryo, even if she provides the baby to the intended parents upon delivery. There are no laws recognizing traditional surrogacy in North Carolina and therefore is not a recommended form of treatment by Carolina Conceptions and the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.
A gestational carrier is a woman who carries a pregnancy for someone else’s embryo. The carrier is not biologically or genetically related to the child she agrees to carry. She provides her uterus for the fetus to grow, and after she delivers, the baby legally belongs to the biological or intended parents.
In 2015, Carolina Conceptions had a pregnancy rate of 86% with our gestational carrier program and 60% live birth rate. In 2016, we ended the year with a stunning 92% pregnancy rate. 2016 live birth rate will be reported next year once available.
How Does the Gestational Carrier Program at Carolina Conceptions Work?
After a couple decides to use a gestational carrier, Carolina Conceptions will provide assistance in selecting a reproductive law attorney and a gestational carrier. Intended parents can choose to use a family member or friend who meets the physical requirements, or they can view profiles of women who offer their services through Carolina Conceptions.
Before making any decisions, watch these videos (Gestational Carrier 101 and 201) from reproductive law attorney, Jennifer Tharrington, to better understand the legal aspects of a gestational carrier with intended parents. It is essential for patients considering a gestational carrier to protect themselves with an attorney who specializes in local, reproductive law.
After a prospective carrier is selected, she and the intended parents will meet to determine compatibility. If all agree to work together, they will complete psychological screening to make sure all parties involved understand the process. Next, they will consult with an attorney and draw up a contract outlining their relationship as well as expectations regarding compensation for the carrier’s time and medical expenses through delivery.
After the contract is signed by all parties,
medical testing and treatment begin for both sides:
- Physical Exam for Gestational Carriers & Intended Parents including a uterine evaluation for the carrier. Intended parents and the gestational carrier’s partner (if applicable) are all screened for infectious diseases to protect all parties, including the embryo.
- Medical Treatment for a Gestational Carrier includes a uterine ultrasound to check the lining of her uterus along with medication of estrogen and progesterone to prepare her uterus for embryo implantation.
- Medical Treatment for Intended Parents is completed while the carrier is preparing her uterus for implantation. Intended parents complete an IVF cycle (or obtain donor eggs and/or donor sperm), including egg retrieval, and fertilization of the retrieved eggs with the intended father’s sperm in the lab.
- Embryo transfer into the Gestational Carrier will take place after all parties discuss and agree upon the number of embryos to transfer into the uterus of the carrier.
- The carrier will be given a pregnancy test in our office 2 weeks after the transfer date. If pregnant, she will continue progesterone medication for the first 10 weeks of pregnancy and be monitored in our office via labs and ultrasounds through week 8, before being transferred to an OB/GYN for continued care and delivery.
- Upon Delivery, the carrier will relinquish all parental rights to the baby as stated in the legal contract.
Why choose the Gestational Carrier Program at Carolina Conceptions?
Carolina Conceptions is a local clinic with a proven program. We have completed successful pregnancies for women with conditions such as Asherman’s syndrome, blood clotting disorders, adenomyosis, hyperemesis gravidarum, and heart disease. Carolina Conceptions has also helped same sex couples achieve parenthood through its carrier program.
Carolina Conceptions has gestational carriers ready to be matched with potential parents. Carriers have met strict criteria to be included. Each carrier is under the age of 38, has a Body Mass Index less than 30, and has to have had a successful, term, uncomplicated delivery.
If you are interested in using a gestational carrier, please contact our office to make a consult appointment with one of our physicians. After you make a deposit for our program, you will be given a password to view the profiles of our available carriers.