When it comes to genetic relationships between surrogates and the children they carry, there is still a lot of confusion out there. Surrogacy is a fairly new family-building method for many people — which means that outdated information and misconceptions about this process tend to spread like wildfire.
Those who are new to the surrogacy process often ask a few big questions:
Is a surrogate mother genetically related to the child she carries?
Can a baby look like the surrogate mother?
Does a surrogate mother transfer DNA to the baby she carries?
The most common answer to all of these questions? No.
Modern surrogacy is very different from the surrogacy of decades past. New advances in medicine have enabled family-building professionals to offer safe and effective surrogacy options that didn’t exist before. And, at the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson, we are here to provide the surrogacy options you want and the information you need to choose the best path for you.
Want to learn more today? Give our team a call at 864-573-5533 or contact us online.
In the meantime, we’ll answer one of the most important questions to help you get started: Are surrogate mothers related to the baby they carry?
First, a Note About the History of Surrogacy
When people ask, “Does a surrogate mother transfer DNA to the baby?” or any question of that nature, it’s typically because they are aware of the history of surrogacy. For decades, any surrogacy arrangement had to be a traditional surrogacy — that is, a surrogacy in which the woman carrying the child was genetically related to that child. The child was either conceived through the traditional way or through an artificial insemination. And, even after in vitro fertilization became possible, it was normal for a surrogate to donate her eggs for the IVF process.
It’s from this history that some of the biggest assumptions and misconceptions about the surrogacy process arise. Many people don’t know about modern surrogacy (more on that below), so they automatically assume that surrogate mothers are related to the baby they carry.
While this is the case in some surrogacy journeys today, it’s not at all as common as you might think.
Gestational Surrogacy: The Modern Way
At the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson, we are dedicated to providing the safest legal surrogacy options for all of our intended parents and gestational carriers. That means we solely work with clients who are interested in gestational surrogacy — that is, surrogacy in which surrogates do not contribute DNA or their own eggs to the embryo that they carry.
As you research your surrogacy options in South Carolina, you’ll find that journeys in which surrogate mothers are related to the baby are few and far between. This is for several reasons — but mainly for your safety during the entire process.
With the advance of assisted reproduction methods in the last few decades, traditional surrogacy has gradually been replaced with gestational surrogacy, in which the embryo is created through IVF using gametes from the intended parents and/or donors — not the gestational surrogate. Gestational surrogacy has become the widely accepted surrogacy path for intended parents and gestational carriers across the U.S. because:
- It reduces the likelihood of emotional complications possible when a surrogate places her own biological child with the intended parents.
- It reduces legal complications, as a traditional surrogate maintains parental rights to the child she carries — including the right to change her mind and keep custody.
- It gives a surrogate the right to receive base compensation for her services, if she so desires.
- It allows for a better relationship between intended parents and their gestational carrier, knowing that a surrogate is only “babysitting” the child she carries in her uterus.
So, Who is the Baby Related to in Gestational Surrogacy?
If you’re unfamiliar with how gestational surrogacy works, you may be confused to find out that a surrogate mother is not the biological mother of the child she carries. Instead, the baby born via surrogacy is either related to the intended mother (if her egg is used) or an egg donor (if there is no intended mother or her eggs are not viable).
A quick recap: Gestational surrogacy is a path in which the intended parents’ embryo is transferred to the carrier’s uterus after being created with the intended parents’ gametes or in combination with donor egg or sperm. With a gestational surrogate, DNA is not shared with the child she carries. If you are considering being a gestational carrier, you will need to take medication commonly used with in vitro fertilization to prepare your body for embryo transfer — but you will not need to go through the egg donation process. A ready-made embryo will be transferred to your uterus upon your reproductive endocrinologist’s approval.
If you choose to work with a surrogacy agency or matching program like ours, you can know that you will not be asked to be a traditional surrogate. Instead, the intended parents you are matched with will already have embryos ready to go — and you will be made aware of the medical situation involved as soon as you are presented with a prospective intended parent’s case.
So, no — in your case, the baby will not look like the surrogate mother, a baby does not get DNA from the surrogate mother, and the surrogate will never have to donate her eggs for the surrogacy process.
Start Your Gestational Surrogacy in South Carolina Today
Whether you’re an intended parent or gestational carrier wondering about surrogate genetics and biological relationships, know that the vast majority of surrogacy professionals you talk with will only complete gestational surrogacies. The Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson is part of that crowd. We are here to offer the safest legal surrogacy path and, over the years, we’ve found that to be gestational surrogacy.
When you work with our team of professionals, you can reach your surrogacy dreams knowing that you have professional protection every step of the way. For more information about the medical process of surrogacy (or the surrogacy process in general), please give our team a call at 864-573-5533 or contact us online today. We look forward to hearing from you.