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Dear Patient Care Advocates: Can I Be a Surrogate Through IUI?

Dear Patient Care Advocates:

My brother and sister-in-law are having trouble staying pregnant. She has suffered four miscarriages in the last six years. I am considering being a surrogate for them, but I am a little unclear on a few things. Is there a difference between a surrogate and a gestational carrier? Can I do an IUI to get pregnant or do I have to go through IVF? I am a little nervous about the injections so any information you can provide is appreciated. We are located in Columbus, Ohio.


Hoping to Help

Dear Hoping,

What a generous gift you would be offering to your brother and sister-in-law!

Let’s start off by covering the difference between “traditional surrogacy” and “gestational carrier”. With traditional surrogacy, both the egg(s) and uterus of the surrogate are used to conceive and carry a pregnancy. Due to custody battles in the past, traditional surrogacy is illegal in many states. You see, the woman who is genetically linked to the child and carried the pregnancy could potentially have a case for custody in the court of law. (I’ll leave the rest of the legal explanation up to a reproductive law attorney!) Many states do, however, allow gestational surrogacy or gestational carriers where the egg(s) of the intended mother or an egg donor are fertilized and transferred into the uterus of another woman (the carrier). In order to help your brother, you would have to do IVF presumably with your sister-in-law’s eggs, your brother’s sperm, and your uterus. If you did an IUI, you would be using your eggs and uterus which may be illegal in Ohio (though Ohio laws on surrogacy are unclear). I highly recommend that you consult an attorney to truly understand the legalities involved and make sure each of you is protected in a surrogacy agreement.

Contact our Patient Care Advocates for information on Ohio fertility clinics and resources on surrogacy by calling 1-855-955-BABY (2229).

Baby Dust,


To learn more about the surrogate screening process and legal counseling, watch this video on

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