What Is It ?


“Third-Party reproduction” refers to involving someone other than the individual or couple that plans to raise the child in the process of reproduction. This includes using donated eggs, sperms, or embryos and gestational carrier arrangements. At this time, about one in five IVF cycles are performed via third-party reproduction. It can be socially, ethically, and legally complex.

The practice of gamete donation started with the donor insemination within a heterosexual couple with a male partner with poor sperm quality. Around the 1980s, egg donation came along followed by embryo donation. The majority of heterosexual couples maintain non-disclosure of the use of donor gametes. However, due to the participation of specific patient groups, such as single women, same gender couples, the secrecy is not an option.

Gestational carrier is used when a woman has functioning ovaries but was born without uterus or with abnormal shaped uterus. Those who had hysterectomy, with untreatable scar tissues inside the uterine cavity or recurrent miscarriages are also candidates. Besides, carrier may also be used for women with a medical condition that may get worse during pregnancy, such as breast cancer, severe heart disease, renal disease, diabetes mellitus, etc.

There has also been increasing number of couples at advanced age who desire to have additional children frequently of the gender of their choice . Due to the decreased ovarian reserve and various medical condition, it is highly recommended they use an anonymous egg donor, a gestational carrier and the husband’ sperms to help their dream of building larger family come true.

US ranks at the top of third-party reproduction practices for years. The comprehensive nature of the screening and counseling for all parties is designed to meet the needs of all involved. There continues to be a broader understanding of the ethical, social, moral, and legal issues involved. The practice including gender selection has been well accepted by the society with the full support by the legal system. The goal of physicians, scientists, psychologists, ethicists, attorneys, and law makers is to enable this process to be completed as smoothly as possible and help individuals achieve their goals of parenthood.

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