NEWS UPDATE: New Jersey has just become a GC-Friendly state. Governor Phil Murphy recently signed into law the ‘Gestational Carrier Agreement Bill’. The law will protect all parties involved in Gestational Carrier arrangements as well as promote the best interests of the children who will be born as a result. Gestational Carrier Contracts will be enforceable, and Intended Parents and Gestational Carriers will have the legal protections that were denied to them previously.
What Is A Gestational Carrier?
IRMS Gestational Carrier Program
A Gestational Carrier (GC) is a woman who becomes pregnant and carries that pregnancy to term for another person or couple. Unlike a surrogate, a GC has no genetic link to the fetus she is carrying. The eggs provided either come from the Intended Parent or from a third-party Egg Donor. In either case the child born from a Gestational Carrier IVF cycle is intended to be the legal child of the Intended Parents and not the GC. In order to protect the Intended Parents parental rights and the GC’s right to be free of parental obligations once the child is born, the couple must see a reproductive lawyer for appropriate advice.
IRMS provides Gestational Carrier IVF cycles for those patients that exhibit a clinical indication for this procedure. Candidates may include those women who do not have a uterus (possibly due to a prior hysterectomy) or who have a uterus that has proven not to function properly. Some of these cases may include women who have experienced unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss due to a uterine abnormality, or who present with medical conditions that would put them at serious risk during a pregnancy. The use of a GC is also an option for male couples who seek to have a child.
IRMS has an entire team of highly trained professionals dedicated solely to our Gestational Carrier and Third-Party Reproduction cases. They work intimately with the Intended Parent(s) and the Gestational Carrier to make the cycle itself run as smoothly as possible as well as to provide an overall positive experience for all parties involved. Within our Gestational Carrier IVF program, we work closely with several reproductive lawyers, Bill Singer, Esq. and Melissa Brisman, Esq., as well as, Gestational Carrier Agencies.
Gestational Carrier Vs. Traditional Surrogacy
It’s important to draw the distinction between a Gestational Carrier/Gestational Surrogate and a Traditional Surrogate. A Traditional Surrogate is a woman who not only carries the pregnancy for another person or couple but she is also using her own eggs for the cycle. Whether she ultimately conceives using IUI or IVF she is genetically related to the offspring. In New Jersey Traditional Surrogacy was specifically excluded under the New Jersey Gestational Carrier Act. Under case law, Traditional Surrogacy is only permitted in New Jersey if the surrogate is not compensated for the cycle and there is no pre-birth order to surrender the child. As an IVF center in New Jersey IRMS does not participate in Traditional Surrogacy cases.
A Gestational Carrier and a Gestational Surrogate are one in the same but for our purposes just the term Surrogate we view as a Traditional Surrogate which we don’t work with.
New Jersey insurance regulations define a Gestational Carrier as “a woman who has become pregnant with an embryo or embryos that are not part of her genetic or biologic entity, and who intends to give the child to the biological parents after birth.” Under the New Jersey insurance regulations, many medical insurance policies are required to pay for Gestational Carrier procedures. What had been missing in New Jersey is a law to protect the parties once these procedures produce a pregnancy and birth.
If you seek more information on our Gestational Carrier program here at IRMS please contact Claudia Pascale, PhD at 973.548.9900 ex. 507 or to set up an appointment with an IRMS Physician call 973.548.9900.