Infertility Does Not Mean the End of the Road to Parenthood

By Meryl B. Rosenberg

Infertility strikes in many different ways and is highly prevalent in today’s society. Causes may include medical issues or age. It also impacts same sex couples, who often must turn to infertility specialists in order to have a family.

The good news is that being “infertile” no longer means that you cannot have children of your own. There are options to turn to when you cannot have a family through what we know of as traditional means. More and more people are choosing surrogacy and egg donation to create the family that they long for and dream of.

Surrogacy has actually been around since Biblical times – Sarah turned to her handmaid in order to give her husband Abraham the child he so wanted. However, only since modern times has surrogacy really become a more common method of having a family when couples are not able to do so otherwise. And it is more common than you think! There are hundreds of successful surrogacy arrangements occurring every year.

There are generally two types of surrogates. One is referred to as a traditional surrogate, where the surrogate is a woman who becomes pregnant through artificial insemination using the intended father’s sperm. The other is referred to as a gestational surrogate, or carrier; where the surrogate becomes pregnant through the in vitro fertilization process. In that case, usually (but not always) the intended father is the sperm donor and the intended mother or an egg donor provides the eggs.

When people first started choosing surrogacy as a path toward parenthood, most of the cases involved a traditional surrogate. However, as medical technology has advanced vis-à-vis in vitro fertilization (IVF), more and more people have elected gestational surrogacy rather than the traditional methods. It also appears that many choosing surrogacy are more comfortable not having a genetic tie to the surrogate. As well, many surrogates are more comfortable carrying a child for someone with whom they have no genetic tie.

In general, the medical world has embraced gestational surrogacy as a way to have a child when other options are not possible. Doctors often work very closely with surrogacy professionals to move intended parents along the surrogacy path. Even when the intended mother cannot produce her own eggs, or if there is not an intended “mother” in the picture, egg donation has provided the opportunity to have a child through surrogacy.

Of course, there are certainly many cases where the intended mother can carry a child herself, but needs to turn to an egg donor in order to have that child. These days, egg donors are available through most IVF centers and through a number of reputable donor agencies around the country.

The world of surrogacy and egg donation need not be a scary one. There are numerous qualified professionals in the field to turn toward to guide you through the maze of surrogacy and egg donation so that you are fully protected and confident in the process. If surrogacy or egg donation is right for you, your physician should be able to steer you in the right direction.

Your infertility journey may not take you on the route that you anticipated, but it is important to remember that the journey toward parenthood is an exciting and wonderful one that can have a happy ending.

Meryl B. Rosenberg, Esq. is the director of Parenting Options, a comprehensive program specializing in surrogacy, egg donation, and adoption. She has been working in the field of reproductive technology and adoption for close to thirteen years; assisting hundreds of people build their families through these pathways. She is also an active participant in furthering the education, development and expansion of the field of reproductive law. For more information contact her at 301-217-0074 or send an email to [email protected]





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