Just as there are many reasons parents may choose non-traditional ways to bear a child, there are many infertility options available to help them have the child they want. Those options include adoption, in vitro fertilization (IVF), traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. The choice among the various infertility options is a very personal one. What’s right for in one situation may be uncomfortable in another. Parents exploring the various options to deal with infertility can and should explore the options available and choose the one that feels the most right to them.
Adoption needs little introduction, but parents may be unaware of the many ways that adoptions have changed over the past few decades. If adoption is a consideration, the intended parents should explore the differences between open and closed adoptions, as well as the many variations of each.
IVF, or in vitro fertilization, involves extracting eggs from the mother or from an egg donor, fertilizing them in vitro, then implanting the fertilized embryo into the mother, or into the womb of a surrogate who will carry the baby to term. IVF is one of the more commonly chosen infertility options, and it is often only one part of the final decision that the intended parents make.
For many mothers, endometriosis interferes with the ability to conceive or to carry a pregnancy to term. Surrogacy is an option in those cases where the mother is unable to carry a pregnancy to term, but where the parents prefer a child that bears a biological connection to one or both of the parents.
Gestational surrogacy, where the surrogate is impregnated with an embryo that has been fertilized in vitro, is one of the newest infertility options. In gestational surrogacy, the pregnancy is carried to term by a surrogate. The embryo may include the egg and sperm of one or both of the intended parents, or neither of them.
The choice of medical provider and clinic can be as important as the choice of method. Every clinic and organization is different, not only in the services they offer but in the character and mood of the organization. The range of services offered at an infertility clinic may include case management, counseling and assistance in choosing the right infertility option, IVF and even assistance in choosing the surrogate who is best suited for the intended parents.
Thanks to modern science, the inability to conceive or bear a child no longer makes it impossible for parents to have a child that is genetically related to either or both of them. Clinics that specialize in treating infertility offer a range of infertility options that may be the right one for each situation.