Surrogacy Definitions

Cryopreservation
This deep-freezing process is used to preserve and store extra embryos produced during the in vitro fertilization process. These frozen embryos can be thawed and used later, in future cycles.

Dear Surrogate Letter
You may need to create a parent profile or scrapbook to match-up with a prospective surrogate. You can think of it as a resume describing why you will make a great parent. You may be spending an intense nine months with you surrogate during her pregnancy, so compatibility is important. You may want to write a synopsis of your family goals and background, and include photographs or videos to demonstrate why you will be such a great parents(s). This is your chance to set yourself apart from other potential parents. Finding a surrogate can be competitive, so do your best to sell yourself. When a prospective surrogate is ready to choose a family, she will receive these documents from her surrogacy agency. You will then meet the surrogate, interview each other, and see if there is a match.

Egg Donor
Gay men using a surrogate will need to find an egg donor. There are numerous egg donor searchable databases online that provide full access to detailed donor profiles, including photos and videos. These sites operate like personals or matchmaking sites. Ideally, your egg donor agency will provide comprehensive screening of donors, and manage the legal, psychological, medical and financial aspects of the egg donation process. The egg donor can make more than five thousand dollars per egg-retrieval cycle. She will undergo the surgical removal of her eggs for fertilization and transfer to the gestational surrogate.

Oocyte or Egg Retrieval (Harvesting)
This is a surgical procedure, usually under general anesthesia, to collect eggs from the egg donor. A needle is inserted into each follicle to release the egg within. The eggs are then placed into a culture dish for insemination.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
IVF is an assisted reproductive procedure in which an egg is removed from a ripe follicle and fertilized by a sperm cell outside of the human body. The fertilized egg divides in a protected environment for about two days and then is inserted into the uterus the gestational surrogate. The surrogate will take injected or oral medications throughout the IVF cycle and the first trimester.

Gestational Surrogacy
For gay men, this the standard form of surrogacy. A gestational surrogate (or gestational carrier) is not biologically related to the child that she carries. The woman basically serves as a host uterus. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is used with the eggs of the egg donor and the father’s sperm. The fertilized embryos resulting from the IVF are transferred to the gestational surrogate. Upon birth, the surrogate relinquishes the child to its genetic parent(s).

Semen Analysis
One of the first things gay men will be asked to do during a surrogacy process is to provide semen. This can be done prior to the surrogate selection or preparation since the sperm can be frozen for later use. Your semen may be analyzed to test sperm count, motility, and morphology.

Second Parent Adoption
This is common among gay and lesbian parents. This occurs when the biological or legal parent of a child or children is in a relationship with another adult wanting to share parental rights and responsibilities. In contrast to stepparent adoption/domestic partner adoption second parent adoption is used only when the parents cannot marry or become domestic partners. The biological or legal parent consents to relinquish sole custody of the child so that his/her partner can become a second, legal parent. The process takes many months to complete and an attorney is typically involved to file the paperwork.

Traditional Surrogacy
A Traditional Surrogate is biologically related to the child that she carries. Her eggs are used with the intended father’s sperm via Artificial Insemination (AI).

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