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Surrogacy, also known as gestational care, is a family building option for those who want a child with genetic ties and have not had success with other “first-line” assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatments. Surrogacy, in which a woman carries and gives birth to another woman’s baby, has a long history, dating back as far as the Old Testament story of Sarah and Hagar.

Traditional Surrogates and Gestational Surrogates

There are two types of surrogacy — traditional and gestational — that are practiced today.

In traditional surrogacy, a woman, called a “surrogate mother,” carries an embryo that was created with her own egg and the sperm of a man who, with his partner, wants a baby. Traditional surrogacy can be accomplished either by intrauterine insemination (IUI) or by in vitro fertilization (IVF).

In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate, called a gestational carrier, gives birth to a baby created with an egg and sperm from the "intended parents," or the embryo can be created from a donor egg or donor sperm. The majority of surrogates today are gestational carriers.

With gestational surrogacy, IVF is used to fertilize the eggs in a laboratory. If the fertilization is successful, a fertility doctor transfers some or all of the resulting embryos (often two or three) into to the surrogate’s uterus. If all goes well, the gestational carrier delivers the baby and immediately relinquishes him or her to the parent(s).

IVF, which came into practice in 1978, transformed surrogacy into a popular practice today.

Who Uses Surrogacy?

Candidates for surrogacy are:

  • Couples and single women who have had multiple miscarriages or difficulty conceiving and/or carrying a fetus to term. Surrogacy enables them to have a child genetically related to one or both.
  • Gay male couples who want a child with a genetic connection to one partner.
  • Couples or single women in which the woman has no uterus or a congenital anomaly of her uterus but has intact ovaries.

What to Consider with Surrogacy

Surrogacy involves many legal, ethical and financial considerations. Usually, potential parents pay the surrogate a fee for carrying the child, along with her medical expenses. Costs can start at $20,000 or more, up to $120,000. Legal contracts are required before the process begins to protect the rights and responsibilities of the parents, surrogate, and intended child. Both the third party and intended parents should have separate legal counsel.

Finding a Surrogate

Most people locate gestational carriers/surrogates through fertility clinics, websites, lawyers and private agencies. Most agencies require that potential surrogates already have had a child/children of their own, are healthy medically and emotionally, and are not motivated solely by financially considerations.

Comments (124)

I faced infertility, when I was 36 yo. My only chance to have children was surrogacy. My husband and I have got married when we were 26 (now we are 40). We decided to set aside kids issue for a couple of years and to take up our careers. But a terrible thing happened. I started to feel lower abdominal pain. I’ve lost 17 pounds for very short period of time. I felt exhausted and I was getting tired very fast. One night I woke up because of sharp pain in abdomen. I was diagnosed with cancer of the uterus. So the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries were removed. It was a big shock for our family. Accepting childless life wasn't a variant for us. My husband wanted a son very much. But I knew that I couldn't fulfill his wish. I was afraid that my dh will leave me for another woman, who will be able to bear a child for him. And I began to look for ways and exits, clinics and doctors. I wanted to do everything to save my family. After a long search, conversations with friends, reading of articles and reviews in the Internet, we decided to focus on surrogacy. But in our country it is, unfortunately, very expensive and we couldn't afford it. We began to look for clinics abroad. We wanted to find the best doctors and, at the same time, affordable price. It turned out that this procedure is legal in Ukraine. I've read many reviews about Ukrainian clinics and medicine. So we took this chance. We went to biotexcom for surrogacy procedure. Now we have a wonderful healthy boy. My husband and I are very happy and grateful. I've never regret about my choice. Now I can't imagine my life without my baby! Surrogacy changed our life for the best.

Hi, I'm 33yrs old and my husband is 30. We've been married 5yrs and together for 6yrs. We've been trying to have our own child for years and with no luck it has not happened. We've both been through testing, everything came back alright, I was put on a fertility pill (clomid) and still no baby. I dream of being a mother and wana make my husband a father! I want to take the next step and thinking that having someone carry our child is our last chance. Please let me know what all I have to do. Thanks!!

Hi, my name is Daniel, I am a couple of months short of being 31 and DESPERATE to have a child of my own, I know my situation is not the classic situation for a surrogate, Being that I am lets say a 31yr old Single man, But I am single by choice as most of my relationships the women have either not been ready or not wanted children, I have been silently pining for 10 years+ to have a child of my own, I have come from a large family and looked after siblings, cousins and nieces and nephews most of my life so I know pretty much everything about raising children. and doing all that has only made me want my own baby even more, Is there anyone out there who would be willing to be a surrogate for a single 31yr old man in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England, Who is so desperate to have my own child that I have an ache inside me that hurts so bad, I know I would be a wonderful dad if there is only someone willing to be a surrogate for me, Please contact me if you are willing to help, My phone number is 07546891826. Thank you. Daniel Walsh...

Hi my name is Seidy and I would love to be a surrogate for you. I have had 5 healthy babies of my own and am ready to help those who want to enjoy the feeling of having a bundle of joy of there own. My email address is Hope to hear from you soon

To whom it may concern: Dear (whomever may be reading this) , I'm a 20 year old healthy female with 2 children of my own (one on the way) and I would love to become a surrogate for someone ! What would I have to do? I just feel like children are a blessing & everyone should be able to experience it in someway , shape are form! Hope to hear from someone soon! Thanks in advance ! - Ms.Dixon (20)

I am looking for a surrogate. I've had 4 kids previously and have a new husband I would love to have a child with. I had a hysterectomy but my ovaries were left this past year. If anyone is willing to help please reply. Thank you!

Hi I am a healthy 21 year old. My friend and her husband have been trying for 2 years to have a baby. She just got the news that she will never be able to have kids the old way and asked me to be her surrogate. So I am on here to gather information on being a surrogate. So I do have a big question. If I do this. After the kid is born. I can resume my life like it was before.

Hello Jessie, in order to become a surrogate you must have had children prior or else you do not qualify to become a surrogate. Has your friend consulted with a Reproductive Endocrinologist? Was she told that she absolutely cannot carry a child or was IVF recommended to her? Feel free to email me directly at

Hey jenna i would like to know if it's possible to give a foetus to another woman or any options to give the baby life without me being pregnant because I'm now 2 weeks pregnant. Please help thanks

Hi Tamra, Thank you for contacting us with your fertility concerns. I have also received your voicemail and just sent you an email. Looking forward to hearing back soon, Jenna

Hello my girlfriend and I are hoping to create a family soon. We've always wanted twins and baased on all of these TLC shows about quadruplets etc I believe it is possible to harvest a set of twins. But my question is: Can we both use one of our eggs + a sperm donor to create twins with a different mother rather than a different father? I'm sitting here thinking, if a tein has a whole other father then it has to be possible to have different mothers and the same father. Just want a professional answer / opinion so I'd really appreciate any help given : ) Thanks for your time!

Hello Keirra,

Reproductive Endocrinologists can never guarantee that you or your partner will get pregnant with twins. They can do an egg retrieval on you and your partner and use the same sperm donor to fertilize one of your eggs and one of her eggs so that they become fertilized embryos but when they do the embryo transfer they cannot guarantee that either embryo will implant let alone both embryos.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) can cost anywhere from $10,000 - $15,000 for one cycle without medication. It is not a guaranteed procedure.

My daughter has had two difficult pregnancies, and now has two beautiful children. The doctors have told her that she must not get pregnant again. Can I be a surrogate for her? I am 65 and past menopause. I am healthy and willing. Thanks, Matty

Hi Matty,

I'm so sorry to hear about the difficulties your daughters experienced with her previous pregnancies. You would have to be evaluated by a Reproductive Endocrinologist to verify you meet the criteria. If you would like more information on becoming a surrogate, please feel free to email me at

Best of luck,

I have a son and my pregnancy was high risk and a lot of pain I threw up everyday. And lost a lot of fluid what would I do to find a surrogate? How old do you have to have to be to qualify as an intended parent since I'm a single mom.

Hi Ali,

I would be happy to help you with your options! Please send me an email at with your full name, date of birth/age, zip code, have health insurance (with who?) or self-pay and any other information you think might be helpful, this would include if you've seen a doctor previously or if you've been given any formal diagnosis.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Hi! I am a healthy 21 year old college student. I am considering Surrogacy as my own little boy has been such a blessing in my life. My only hesitant is uncertainty of qualifying.. My son was born at 32 weeks due to a rare congenital defect with a prevalence of 1/2500. I had to have a c section due to this fact.. would that disqualify me from any future of surrogacy?

Hi Faith,

You should talk to a local surrogacy agency to see if you qualify as a gestational carrier.

Best of luck,

realistically, what is the possibility of me becoming pregnant with assistance from fertility experts as i am 55 years old and one year since last period. mary

Hello Mary - I am not a doctor nor do I have any medical training but if you haven't menstruated in a year you may have gone through menopause. When a woman is over the age of 40, especially over the age of 45 her ovarian reserve (egg quality) begins to decline making it harder to achieve pregnancy naturally. When a woman goes through menopause it means that she no longer has any eggs left to conceive naturally. You may want to consider In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) with donor eggs. However, they would have to determine that you would be able to carry a child. You would also want to check and see if there is a donor egg cut off at the clinic. I hope this helps!

My son's wife has problems and are unable to produce eggs nor carry a baby full term. Is it possible that my son's sperm can be implanted in me, to fertilise one of my eggs so that i can have the baby for them, or will there be problems because it s my son's sperm an my egg. Are we too closely related? And I am 50 years old. Can you give me any advice please!

Really..? Isn't that illegal. Wouldnt that cause a lot of problems for the child before birth and especially when the child is born and god forbid peers hear that your mother is actually your grandma and your dad is your grandmas son. I would feel sorry for the child you give life too.

A mother could serve as a gestational carrier where she carries the embryo created of her daughter's egg and son-in-law's sperm. However, the son-in-law's sperm could not be put inside of her (as in IUI) because traditional surrogacy is illegal in many states. The egg donor and carrier can not be the same person.


I am about to have my ovaries removed and am very young. (18) I was wondering if I could still be considered to be a surrogate even though I won't be able to produce my own eggs and don't have children of my own. I can't have children of my own but would love to be able to give another family a chance at what I can't have myself.

Dottie - I'm sorry to hear that you have to have your ovaries removed. Did your doctor say that your eggs could be harvested and frozen prior to their removal? If you have cancer and/or will be undergoing chemotherapy it can harm the integrity of your uterus if they plan on leaving your uterus intact. However, I am not a doctor nor do I have any medical training so that is up to the doctor to decide what is best for you. Unfortunately, one of the main qualifications to be a surrogate is that you must have already had children before you can carry someone elses child.

I was wondering how it work me and my cousin been talking and she has agreed to carry a baby for me cause I keep having mc and I want to use my eggs and husband's sperms whwre would we start

Hi im in a same sex relationship and have been reading on the net if i can hav ivf i can carry my partners egg so we both take a part in it so would the child have my dna or my partners because it will be her egg ? Thank u xx

I would love to have a baby for other women, ive got 2 children and wouldnt want another child but would have a child for people that are desperite for a child, if anyone knows anyone that would need me im more than welcome to do it :) add me on facebook :) stephanie bowlas. :) xx

I am 26 years old women,and I have sterectomie 6 years ago ,so I would had to have children ,so I went to a doctor for ivf,after all the exam the doctor said my result is anti mullerian hormone was 20,9 (excessive response).my hunsband is 32,and the doctor all is exam result also is good,so we had a surrogate but after the fertilization the egg did not developed,so they do not do the transfer to a the doctor say will should try nowwith my egg and a donor egg.please my question is: is it possible for me to have a good eegg and I dont understand why the think doesnt work out.please help me I wont some explanation

I'm so sorry for the problems you've been having. It might make sense for you to get a second opinion if you're not feeling comfortable with the doctor's recommendation. I wish you all the best, Claire

My husband and I are looking for a surrogate but the cost is not feasible. I understand that there is a lot of risks involved and some say that having a child is priceless. I am a preschool teacher and my husband a machine operator we make decent money and just want to give love to a child of our own. We are going through Ivf process and in need of carrier. My mom has offered but how old is to old she is 59?

There have been other instances where mothers have carried babies for their daughters. You'll need to check with your reproductive endocrinologist to evaluate if she is fit to be your surrogate. I wish you all the best, Claire

There have been other instances where mothers have carried babies for their daughters. You'll need to check with your reproductive endocrinologist to evaluate if she is fit to be your surrogate. I wish you all the best, Claire

My husband is a transgendered girl to boy. We want kids, and I'm all for adopting, but I would just like to have one kid of ours, with both of our genes. I want the baby to resemble both of us, because my family doesn't know that he use to be a girl. Is there a way to do this, preferably discreet? Even if not, is there a way to do this period??

If your husband has a brother, or other male relative, you could ask them if they would donate sperm to you and then the baby would be related to both of you.

Because a transgendered male doesn't produce sperm, you could use a sperm donor that resembles your husband. But the child would not have both of your genes. Let me know if you would like more information. Best, Claire

I have 3 kids. ages 17, 15, and 11. I had to have a hysterectomy in 2011 because of health issues. My significant other doesn't have any kids at all. My ovaries (eggs) are fine as so is his sperm. I'm seriously thinking about the surrogate help. I really want to give him a child......

Hi I am fourty and would like to carry a child for a friends of ours who are gay. Been to two drs both say I am in good health to do this however they say my eggs are old and would have better chance with a donner egg. We were just going to use mine. I dont see the problem with using mine. I know the risks are greater but can it still be done? I have an appt with specialist next week. Thank you

Fertility declines with age. The doctor will do a workup to determine the quality and quantity of your eggs. It's safe to say there would be a better chance of pregnancy with donor eggs.

Does anyone have a sample contract that could be used for surrogacy in Missouri?

I am a transgender male, I haven't had a hysterectomy yet, I really want a biological child and me carrying it isn't an option for me. My little sister offered to carry my egg (I would have to go through some things to make that happen). Have anyone done this or heard of this being done? Any advice?

There are many transgender men who have biological children with the help of a sperm donor and a surrogate but it really depends on your specific situation. I would recommend a consultation with a fertility doctor who is GLBT friendly, and has worked with transgender individuals before. If you need help finding someone in your area, please contact our Patient Care Advocates at 855-955-2229 or email You may also want to connect with others who are in a similar situation. The GLBT forums on can provide additional support and information: All the best, Claire

You are right. At 60, you are too old to donate your eggs. Best, Claire


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