Everything You Need To Know About Surrogacy Family Planning

Surrogacy is a form of assisted reproduction. In a surrogacy arrangement, a person agrees to carry the child of another individual or couple (often referred to as the intended parents). In the U.S. and abroad, surrogacy has become a viable avenue to biological parenthood for many people, including same-sex couples and women who cannot become pregnant. According to The New York Times, there are two main types of surrogacy: gestational and traditional.

The most common type is gestational surrogacy, which involves using eggs from a donor or one of the intended parents. The eggs are then fertilized to create embryos, which are then implanted inside the surrogate's uterus. Traditional surrogacy, on the other hand, entails using a surrogate's eggs to become pregnant, making them biologically related to the child. 

Regardless of what method you use, however, surrogacy can be quite expensive. If you use a surrogacy agency, you might have to pay upward of $30,000 in agency fees. But if you go the route of independent surrogacy, you could be responsible for additional medical bills that agencies typically cover. In addition, in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles, which are required to retrieve eggs from a donor or intended parent, can range anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000 per round.

What the Roe v. Wade decision may mean for surrogacy

Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade and various states have enacted their own trigger laws banning abortion, experts are concerned about what this means for IVF and surrogacy in the United States. According to Insider, six states have proposed legislation that would ban abortion on the basis of fetal personhood (in which personhood is defined at conception). Since the language in these bills is so broad, there isn't a concise distinction between abortion and unused embryos that are discarded at fertility clinics for IVF. This could raise questions about whether these bills could be used to restrict IVF or even ban it altogether.

"Although most laws are not targeted at IVF right now, some of them do contain very broad language about when life begins that potentially could impact the use of IVF, because it involves the creation of embryos outside of the body," Cathy Sakimura, the deputy director and family law director at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, told Insider. If passed and applied to IVF and surrogacy, these bills could severely limit the path to biological parenthood for many people — including women and LGBTQ couples. Potential parents-to-be may want to consult an attorney about their state's laws before pursuing assisted reproductive options.