The Center for Third-Party Reproduction was developed in response to a growing need from Infertility patients, and is one of the first Centers of its kind in the country to provide single-source support in the areas of donor sperm, donor eggs, and surrogacy.
Third-Party Reproduction refers to the use of Egg Donation, sperm donation, embryos ( Embryo donation), or a Uterus (surrogacy) that are donated by a third person (donor) to enable an infertile person or couple (recipient) to become parents. G enerally, this form of reproduction is only considered when there is essentially no hope of pregnancy without this technology. In special instances there may be medical indications for this type of treatment.
Often there is confusion in both patients with infertility as well as the public at large regarding these advanced reproductive technologies. As a consequence, questions are often asked regarding selection and/or availability of donors and surrogates, costs, success rates, risks, legal issues, and most of all, ethics. In addition, prospective donors and surrogates are often uncertain about the risks and liabilities they will assume as well as the compensation they will receive. Prospective parents often ask questions such as who to share the circumstances of Third-Party Reproduction with and what the resulting child should be told.
Third-Party Reproduction offers many patients an opportunity to have children that would otherwise not exist. As a result, there are many medical, legal and ethical issues involved with selecting this form of treatment. The goal of the Center for Third-Party Reproduction is to provide accurate and timely information to those interested in all forms of Collaborative Reproduction, including those potential patients not currently in treatment but considering their options, patients currently in treatment, and prospective donors and surrogates.
Third-Party Reproduction Facts
Sperm donation is the most common form of Third Party Reproduction. Sperm donation has been available for over 100 years. Only within the last 20 years has it been complicated by the risk of infectious disease transmission. An anonymous sperm donor is screened per FDA requirements, for an array of infectious diseases prior to producing a sperm sample. This sample is frozen, and quarantined for at least 6 months. The sperm is released from quarantine once the donor has re-tested negative for infectious disease and can then be used for insemination or IVF. A known sperm donor is also screened and the specimen is frozen per FDA requirements; however, a 6-month quarantine is not required in this type of case.
Egg donation Fertilization (IVF) in 1978. Egg donation is a more complicated form of Third-Party Reproduction. The egg donor is also screened per FDA requirements, and can be anonymous, or known to the recipient couple. Unlike the sperm donor, the egg donor must take injectable medications to produce multiple eggs (controlled ovarian hyperstimulation). The use of these drugs must be monitored very carefully to avoid overstimulating the egg donor. The eggs are retrieved with an Ultrasound-guided transvaginal outpatient surgical procedure that requires mild anesthesia. The eggs are then fertilized, and the resulting embryos are transferred to the uterus of a recipient where they may implant and result in pregnancy.
Surrogacy is a form of Third-Party Reproduction in which a woman (Surrogate) carries a baby for an infertile person or couple. Traditional surrogacy refers to a surrogate whose own egg and the intended father’s sperm are used to create a baby. After the birth, there must be legal action to terminate the parental rights of the surrogate, and to allow the intended parent(s) to adopt the child. Gestational surrogacy is a far more common form of surrogacy. In this case, the surrogate’s eggs are not used – rather, the intended mother undergoes ovarian Stimulation; and Egg Retrieval through IVF. Embryos are then created using the intended father’s sperm (or donor sperm). The embryos are transferred to the surrogate’s uterus. She carries the baby, and immediately after the birth, the intended parents assume parental rights (if the birth is in Illinois).
Embryo donation is a procedure in which frozen embryos created by one infertile couple through IVF are donated to another couple. They are thawed and transferred to the uterus of the intended mother. A legal agreement between the parties is required, as well as psychological evaluation and medical screening. Most commonly the original couple no longer desires the donated embryos as they have completed their family in that earlier IVF Cycle.