At NYU Langone Fertility Center, we are dedicated to helping individuals and couples achieve their dream 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. Building a family via Gestational Carrier (commonly known as a surrogate) introduces many variables, including the donor gamete selection process (if using donor eggs or sperm), legal and financial agreements, and the concept of future disclosure to offspring. Our team is here to help guide you through the process. Your dedicated care team will include your physician, our donor tissue specialists, a genetic counselor, a psychologist, several nurses, coordinators, and medical and administrative assistants, all of whom are here to help you navigate every step of your journey to parenthood.
What is Gestational Surrogacy?
A gestational surrogate (sometimes referred to as a gestational carrier or surrogate mother) is a woman who agrees to become pregnant by receiving an embryo transfer from an individual or couple who created an embryo using their own gametes ("autologous IVF"), donor eggs, donor sperm, or some combination of autologous and donor tissue.
When is using a Gestational Surrogate recommended?
Patients arriving at NYULFC are first evaluated by a reproductive endocrinologist who will formulate a customized treatment plan unique to each individual or couple. If you are unable to carry a pregnancy for any reason, NYU Langone Fertility Center can work with you to identify a gestational surrogate to carry your baby.
Gestational surrogacy 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
What is the difference between "compensated" and "altruistic" Gestational Surrogacy?
In a compensated Gestational Surrogacy cycle, the gestational surrogate receives financial compensation in exchange for carrying the pregnancy. In an altruistic Gestational Surrogacy cycle, the gestational surrogate does not receive any financial compensation in exchange for carrying the pregnancy.
Gestational Surrogacy at NYU Langone Fertility Center
Here is a step by step guide to the Gestational Surrogacy process at NYULFC for a compensated Gestational Surrogacy cycle:
- 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, 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!
Here is a step by step guide to the Gestational Surrogacy process at NYULFC for an altruistic Gestational Surrogacy cycle:
- Once the patient and the physician determine that gestational surrogacy is the appropriate course of care, the Intended Parent (the patient) may identify an altruistic Gestational Carrier who has volunteered to carry the pregnancy. The Intended Parent(s) and the Gestational Carrier will work with our dedicated team to develop a treatment plan.
- NYULFC requires a legal contract between all parties involved in an altruistic gestational carrier cycle. This legal agreement between the Intended Parent(s) and Gestational Carrier is conducted outside of NYULFC. While NYULFC cannot recommend specific attorneys, we strongly recommend the Intended Parent(s) and Gestational Carrier have independent legal counsel who specialize in Reproductive and Family law.
- The Intended Parent(s), Gestational Carrier, and if applicable, the Gestational Carrier’s partner must meet with an NYULFC clinical psychologist. Once the Intended Parent(s) and Gestational Carrier have met with the psychologist separately, they will attend one session together. Each meeting is approximately 2 hours in length.
- Prior to creating embryos, Intended Parent(s) must complete comprehensive genetic carrier screenings.
- Testing for patients with ovaries must be done 30 days prior to egg retrieval.
- In addition to an initial screening, testing for patients with XY reproductive anatomy must be done following a three month semen quarantine during which time the semen is frozen via cryopreservation.
- If the Intended Parent(s) have created embryos prior to their decision to use a gestational carrier, those embryos must be frozen for six months before testing to use in an altruistic carrier cycle.
- If the Intended Parents are using their own gametes, the Intended Parents undergo a cycle of In Vitro Fertilization to create embryos.
- Prior to Embryo Transfer, the Gestational Carrier must receive medical clearance from a Primary Care physician.
- Following clearance from a Primary Care physician, a Gestational Carrier may undergo an embryo transfer and may take a pregnancy test nine days after the procedure.
Gestational Surrogacy: Frequently Asked Questions
What are the surrogacy laws in New York?
New York State law allows both compensated and altruistic gestational carrier cycles. Patients who require the services of a paid gestational carrier are now able to create embryos at NYULFC and subsequently transfer their embryos at our clinic.
How much does a gestational surrogacy cycle cost?
Pricing for a gestational carrier cycle at NYULFC can be broken down as follows:
- Administrative fee for female genetic screening - $500
- Administrative fee for male genetic screening - $750
- Intended Parent(s) psychological consultation - $450
- Gestational Carrier psychological consultation - $450
- Psychological consultation with both the Intended Parent(s) and the Gestational Carrier - $200
- IVF cycle (if intended parents are using their own gametes) - $12,650
- Frozen Embryo Transfer - $4,000
Please note the above is intended as a guide, your unique care plan will determine all applicable cycle fees. Fees listed above do not include the cost of fertility medications, anesthesia, or products and services provided by third parties, including gestational carrier agencies. Agency fees are subject to the agency and will be paid directly to the agency.
How does a gestational surrogate get pregnant?
A gestational carrier gets pregnant via In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). An embryo is created using the egg/sperm of the intended parent and/or a donor. Once an embryo is created, the embryo is transferred to the gestational carrier in a separate procedure called an embryo transfer.
Prior to any embryo transfer into a gestational surrogate, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandates extensive screening for both the sperm and egg source, involving a questionnaire, physical exam, and blood tests. The gestational surrogate must also pass a physical and psychological examination.
Is the gestational surrogate genetically related to the baby?
No. When using a gestational carrier there is no genetic link between the gestational carrier and the baby. Using a gestational carrier is different from traditional surrogacy (where the surrogate who carries the pregnancy is also the egg donor) as the gestational carrier does not contribute to the genetic makeup of the child.