can you choose the gender of your baby with Surrogacy?

While surrogacy does not inherently allow Intended Parents to select the sex of their baby, the science and technology used to create an embryo for this process has made it possible. Even if only as a non-intentional by-product.

The majority of surrogacy in the United States are Gestational Surrogacy arrangements. This means the surrogate will become pregnant through the IVF process, where eggs from the intended mother (or donor) and sperm from the intended father (or donor) are retrieved and combined in a laboratory by an embryologist. After 5-6 days of incubation, in a controlled laboratory setting, you will [hopefully] have several blastocyst embryos. Those blastocyst embryos can then be biopsied for PGT-A testing.  

PGT-A (previously known as PGS) is a technique used to screen embryos for chromosomal abnormalities, such as an abnormal number of chromosomes. This is a way to eliminate chromosome-related diseases like Down’s Syndrome or Turner’s Syndrome, by identifying the affected embryos and not using them for the implantation process.  While PGT-A is not specifically designed for gender determination, it can indirectly provide information about the gender of embryos since it involves genetic analysis.

The term “gender selection” can be misleading. Gender selection is often misunderstood as the ability to “select” which gender your embryos will be. The truth is that the sex of the embryo is already established by the time is it a blastocyst embryo. Therefore, you are only able to “select” which gender embryo is used for implantation during the IVF process, provided the gender you were hoping for is present in your embryo batch. 

In some jurisdictions, selecting embryos for non-medical reasons, such as gender preference, may be regulated or prohibited, and this varies widely around the globe. Some countries and regions have laws and regulations that restrict or prohibit gender selection for non-medical reasons due to ethical concerns about gender discrimination and gender imbalance.

In the United States it is legal and permitted for non-medical purposes. It is important to note that still some fertility centers can restrict the practice to “medical purposes only” due to the clinic’s ethical stance on the matter. Be sure to express your desire for gender selection in your earliest conversations with your fertility specialist to make sure your treatment expectations align with your chosen fertility clinic.

In contrast, countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, China, and Australia have laws against gender selection. It is common for citizens of these countries to come to the United States for fertility treatments and gender selection to grow their families safely.

Two Children Standing Near Concrete Fence

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