March is Surrogacy Awareness month…so this is a hot topic on social media right now. We all know that social media can be a source of very helpful connections and information, but it is not always the best source of truth.
Here are some of the myths surrounding surrogacy/gestational carriers and embryo adoption that we have heard that we want to clear up!
MYTH: The term “surrogacy” and “gestational carrier” are interchangeable.
If a woman is a “surrogate”, that means that she is biologically related to the baby she is carrying. A “gestational carrier” does not share any genetics with the baby she carries. Therefore, an embryo adopting couple that are not carrying the child themselves will always use a “gestational carrier” because there is no genetic link between the embryo and the woman carrying the baby to term.
MYTH: The DIY method to find a gestational carrier is a great way to save money!
When considering the gestational carrier option, the cost can be prohibitive unless you happen to know someone who is willing to be a gestational carrier on your behalf. Even then the costs can be high, and this is not an area where saving money should be the biggest priority.
MYTH: I need to adopt embryos before the gestational carrier agreement is drafted by an attorney.
It is important that the details of the gestational carrier agreement be settled before an embryo adoption match is made. Why? Because the adoption program will want to know you have secured your gestational carrier before matching. An attorney will very likely be needed to finalize a gestational carrier agreement.
MYTH: What my Facebook friend in California knows about gestational carriers and how to navigate the process must apply to me in Illinois.
Be really careful here… The laws surrounding surrogacy and gestational carrying are very specific and very different state to state.
If you are considering embryo adoption using a gestational carrier, be encouraged. Embryo adoptive families have managed this in the past without issue…just be aware that there are still a few hurdles to jump.
You can learn more about Embryo Adoption by downloading the Embryo Adoption and Donation eBook. The details of gestational carriers are on pages 30-31. Learn more about embryo adoption and donation at EmbryoAdoption.org.