Understanding the Gestational Carrier Program at NYU Langone Fertility Center
Did you know New York State legalized compensated Gestational Surrogacy on February 15, 2021? With the passing of the Child Parent Security Act (CPSA) many New Yorkers are one step closer to fulfilling their dreams of parenthood. NYULFC has been leading the way in New York City since we were founded, seeing the changes both social and technological that have made modern family building possible for all people – straight, gay, married, unmarried, partnered, or single – to achieve the dream of parenthood. We are thrilled to be able to provide patients unable to carry a pregnancy for any reason the opportunity to grow their family using a gestational carrier. Below, please find the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about the gestational carrier program at NYULFC.
What’s the difference between a “Gestational Carrier” and a “Surrogate?”
A Gestational Carrier has no genetic link with the embryo. A Gestational Carrier agrees to become pregnant by receiving an embryo transfer from an individual or couple who created an embryo. This means that the Gestational Carrier does not contribute any genetic material to the embryo. At NYULFC, patients may build their families with the help of a Gestational Carrier. In “traditional surrogacy” the Surrogate who carries the pregnancy is also the Egg Donor whose eggs are used to create the embryo. Traditional surrogacy is not offered at NYULFC.
When is using a Gestational Carrier recommended?
A Gestational Carrier may be recommended for individuals or couples who:
-Do not have a uterus
-Experience uterine problems
-Have experienced recurrent pregnancy loss
-Suffer from certain medical conditions that inhibit carrying a pregnancy to term
If you are unable to carry a pregnancy for any reason, NYU Langone Fertility Center can work with you to identify a Gestational Carrier to carry your baby.
What is an “Intended Parent?”
When talking about gestational surrogacy, an “Intended Parent” is an individual who wishes to build their family with the help of a gestational carrier. There is no “typical” intended parent, and NYULFC is committed to providing compassionate, data driven care to all those who wish to expand their family.
What is the process for using a gestational surrogate at NYULFC?
While each patient we work with receives a unique treatment plan tailored to their family building needs and goals, the below outlines the general process for using a gestational surrogate at NYULFC.
- New Patient Consultation: During this appointment you will work with your physician to develop an embryo creation plan. While the variety of options can seem overwhelming, don’t worry - you’ll work in partnership with your care team to determine which option works best for your family. Remember, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach.
- Meet With Our Team: Our team is ready to support and guide you through your journey. We will help you set up phone or in person appointments with each team member.
- Family Psychologist: an informational session to review and answer questions about working with a Gestational Carrier.
- Patient Coordinator: will help you prepare for your upcoming cycle by reviewing your treatment plan and timeline.
- Billing Coordinator: will explain the fees involved in your NYULFC treatments (your Gestational Carrier’s agency fees are billed separately) and explain payment schedules and options for financing.
- Genetic Counselor: will review your family history, evaluate any further testing advised, and will review the preimplantation genetic testing (“PGT”) of your embryos.
- Intended Parent Medical Screening: Prior to any embryo transfer into a gestational carrier, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires extensive screening for both the sperm and egg source, involving a questionnaire, physical exam, and blood tests.
- Embryo Creation: The embryo creation process looks different for each family. If you are using your own gametes (eggs & sperm), you will undergo In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) to create embryos. Once your embryos are created they will undergo preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) to identify the best embryo for transfer to your Gestational Carrier.
- Identify Your Gestational Carrier: Choosing a Gestational Carrier is one of the most personal and intimate decisions of this process. Take your time to thoroughly research your options. NYULFC requires that your work with a surrogacy agency such asCircle Surrogacy, ConceiveAbilities or Reproductive Possibilities, but does not recommend or endorse a specific agency. A legal contract between all parties involved in a Gestational Carrier cycle is required.
- Gestational Carrier Medical Screening: In addition to the physical health and psychology screenings performed by the surrogacy agency, each Gestational Carrier must pass a physical examination performed by a NYUFLC physician. This examination includes a consultation with a physician, as well as a physical health evaluation and ultrasound.
- Cycle Preparation & Calendar Review: Your Coordinator will prepare a timeline for the frozen embryo transfer (“FET”) cycle. The Coordinator will make sure you have all the necessary documents (consent forms, blood test results, insurance and legal contracts) to proceed with the embryo transfer to your Gestational Carrier.
- Embryo Transfer: On the morning of your scheduled transfer, the selected embryo will be thawed by an embryologist. The embryo transfer will be performed at NYULFC by one of our physicians and your Gestational Carrier will be able to return home the same day with no required anesthesia.
- Pregnancy Test: Your Gestational Carrier will receive a blood test at 9 days post embryo transfer to determine if the transfer was successful. If positive, she will repeat the test 2 days after the first to confirm pregnancy. At 7 weeks, she will have an OB ultrasound, and at 9 weeks she will have a repeat ultrasound. At this time you will graduate from NYULFC. Congratulations!