We owe our family in part to assisted reproductive technology (ART). These scientific advances have helped many heterosexual couples struggling with infertility as well as some same sex couples to become parents.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a process where eggs are retrieved from ovaries and then fertilized with sperm in a lab to create embryos. These embryos are then transferred to the uterus where they may implant and hopefully result in pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Surrogacy is sometimes undergone when a heterosexual couple includes a woman that, for a variety of reasons, may not be able to carry a pregnancy herself. Gay couples, lacking a uterus, obviously have this issue as well. Thus a surrogate is enlisted. A surrogate is a woman that offers her assistance in the IVF process carrying the implanted embryo and giving birth to the baby. Traditional surrogacy is when the surrogate also serves as egg donor for the IVF process. We personally do not recommend this form of surrogacy because of the emotional and legal entanglements that can occur. We had our children through gestational surrogacy, where there is another woman who is the egg donor, and the surrogate has no genetic link with the baby she is carrying.