Race & Surrogacy: Carrying Another Ethnicity


Gestational surrogacy makes a host of things that were once thought to be impossible possible on a regular basis. Through gestational surrogacy an embryo is transferred into a surrogate’s uterus that was created from the genetics of a sperm and egg contributor. Sometimes the sperm and egg contributors are the intended parents and other times the intended parents utilize the assistance of a sperm or egg donor. Because the gestational surrogate is not genetically related to the baby she is carrying, it is possible that the baby may be a different race or ethnicity from her own.  Because the science involved with surrogacy is so complex, people may ask the surrogate a variety of questions to try and understand this unique and special relationship.

As a surrogate, it is helpful to remind the person asking you questions that the child you are carrying has no biological relationship to you or your partner. You can explain that the child you are carrying, began as an embryo created outside of your body and is the product of two other peoples’ DNA. This explanation lays a solid foundation that helps others begin to understand gestational surrogacy and that child is not genetically related to you, so the child will not look like you or share your DNA.

The body doesn’t recognize race or ethnicity at the time of an embryo transfer; It just recognizes an embryo implanting into the uterine wall. Through the course of the pregnancy and birth, the body will respond no differently than if the gestational carrier and the fetus were of the same race.

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