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In Vitro Fertilization vs. Gestational Surrogacy - What’s Right for Me?

Posted on in Family Law

IL family lawyerContemporary medical practice provides couples and individuals in Illinois who are struggling with fertility challenges with several options for growing their families. Those in the midst of considering the various possibilities available to them have to consider several factors, such as the time, potential cost, and third parties that may be involved, like egg donors and gestational surrogates.

When you take these together with the emotional impact of making the life-changing decision of having a child, knowing which option to choose can seem difficult and overwhelming. Having a skilled lawyer who knows the intricacies of the law can simplify the process and give you peace of mind while making sure you are aware of your rights and responsibilities under Illinois family law.

Here, we discuss the difference between two of the most common methods of bringing a child into your loving family: In vitro fertilization and gestational surrogacy.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

IVF is a method of assisted reproductive technology that can use several unique combinations of eggs and sperm from a father, mother, or donor. Using a minimally invasive and well-studied procedure, eggs are retrieved from a mother or an egg donor and combined with sperm from a father or sperm donor in an attempt to create a healthy embryo.

Once your fertility specialist has several embryos, she will help you decide an appropriate number of embryos to implant during a fertility cycle to ensure the best chance of at least one healthy implantation – leading, if all goes well, to at least one healthy baby. There are many more non-identical twins in the world today because of successful IVF cycles in which more than one embryo is implanted and “takes” successfully.

IVF is a safe and well-understood procedure, but like any medical procedure, it can have complications and side effects. Intended mothers, egg donors, and surrogates are treated with hormones that help increase the success of the procedure in which they are involved. Many wonderful private organizations in Illinois help potential parents move through the process with their medical and legal team, and thousands of happy families have had the joy of bringing home a new baby because of IVF.

Gestational Surrogacy

When families are unable to use IVF, or if medical problems prevent a mother from carrying a fetus to term herself, gestational surrogates are an option. Illinois law has strict requirements for the eligibility of a surrogate, including:

  • She must be at least 21 years old.
  • She must have already successfully carried at least one child to term.
  • A successful medical and mental health evaluation is necessary.
  • She must work with an attorney to ensure she understands the agreement between herself and the intended parents – for example, she cannot seek custody of any child(ren) that results from pregnancy.

In Illinois, parents must have a medical need that prevents the intended mother from carrying the pregnancy herself. One need not be married or female to use a surrogate – single men may do so as well. Parents must also be biologically related to the child; there cannot be an egg donor, a sperm donor, and a gestational surrogate. Parents must also complete a mental health evaluation and consult with an attorney.

It is important to note that, although egg donors and gestational surrogates may be compensated for their time and the inconvenience of the medical procedures they undergo, they are not legally compensated for the use of their body parts. It remains illegal in most Western countries to sell or buy any body part, and the United States is no exception.

Consult an Arlington Heights Family Law Attorney

Deciding which method of alternative reproductive is a personal and intimate decision. There are an array of options for growing your future family, but you don’t have to go through the process alone. The firm of A. Traub & Associates has experienced Arlington Heights egg donor agreement attorneys who can help you understand your options and feel secure in making the right choice. Contact our offices today at 847-749-4182 for a confidential consultation.



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