Gestational surrogacy is an increasingly common form of family building that can allow individuals or a couple to become parents despite circumstances in which carrying a pregnancy is biologically impossible or medically contraindicated. The practice of gestational surrogacy involves a woman known as a gestational carrier who agrees to bear a genetically unrelated child with the help of assisted reproductive technologies for an individual or couple who intend(s) to be the legal and rearing parent(s), referred to as the intended parent(s). Obstetrician–gynecologists may become involved in gestational surrogacy through caring for the gestational carrier or by caring for the intended parent(s). Although gestational surrogacy increases options for family building, this treatment also involves ethical, medical, psychosocial, and legal complexities that must be taken into account to minimize risks of adverse outcomes for the gestational carrier, intended parent(s), and resulting children. The purpose of this document is to provide an overview of gestational surrogacy and to describe the ethical responsibilities for obstetrician–gynecologists who take part in the care of women who participate in these arrangements.
For a comprehensive overview of these recommendations, the fulltext version of this Committee Opinion is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/AOG.0000000000001352.
Committee on Ethics:This Committee Opinion was developed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Committee on Ethics. Member contributors included Ginny L. Ryan, MD. While this document reflects the current viewpoint of the College, it is not intended to dictate an exclusive course of action in all cases. This Committee Opinion was approved by the Committee on Ethics and the Executive Board of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Copyright March 2016 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, posted on the Internet, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher.
Requests for authorization to make photocopies should be directed to Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, (978) 750-8400.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists 409 12th Street, SW, PO Box 96920, Washington, DC 20090-6920
Official Citation: Family building through gestational surrogacy. Committee Opinion No. 660. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol 2016;127:e97–103.
Received January 20, 2016
Accepted January 20, 2016