Rhogam Shots for Surrogates

During her pregnancy, your surrogate may need to receive an injection called Rhogam. This can prevent your surrogate from developing antibodies that could potentially be harmful to your unborn child or future children the surrogate may carry.

Blood types are generally broken into type (A, B, AB, or O) and then given a Rhesus factor (positive or negative). Rhesus, or Rh, is an antigen that can exist on the surface of red blood cells. A simple blood draw will determine if the antigen is present and, therefore, whether or not you are Rh+.

This matters in pregnancy, especially in surrogate pregnancies, because there can exist scenarios in which the surrogate may be Rh negative, while the child she is carrying will be Rh positive. This presents a problem if the Rh- carrier’s blood were to mix with the Rh+ fetus’ blood. In that situation, the Rh- carrier would begin to develop antibodies to the Rh+ blood. These antibodies could cause problems in the current pregnancy, and would be very likely to attack and kill the red blood cells of a future Rh+ fetus.

A child’s blood type is generally linked to their biological parents. Depending on if you’re using your own genetics or if you are using a donor, it may be entirely possible that your child will have a blood type that differs from you, your partner, and even your surrogate.

Growing Generations tests a surrogate’s blood type during her initial screening and will be able to know if a blood type incompatibility is possible between your child and the surrogate. Even so, most surrogates are advised to receive the Rhogam injection as a preventative measure. The injection is generally painless and can be administered during a standard office visit.

Most Rh- women will receive their Rhogam injection in the 28th week of pregnancy, and again immediately following the birth. If your surrogate experiences bleeding early in the pregnancy, she may need to receive her Rhogam injection earlier on. In some cases multiple doses may be administered over the course of the pregnancy.

Rhogam is a commonly used pregnancy treatment and is no cause for concern. If you have additional questions about blood type, blood type incompatibility, or the Rhogam injection, you should feel free to reach out to your case specialist or your surrogate’s OBGYN.

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for intended parents, surrogates and donors. She is the co-owner of Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the book, Your Future Family: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari Press 2019) as well as the children's book You Began as a Wish (Independent Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. She has two adult daughters.