In Vitro Fertilization (or IVF) is one of the many types of assisted reproductive technology (ART) available to couples in Pennsylvania who are facing fertility challenges. In some our previous posts we’ve discussed the basics of ART, the basics of surrogacy, provided a list of those states that’re considered legally friendly towards the practice of surrogacy and now we’ll cover the basics of IVF.
IVF can be thought of as a three step process;
1. Ovarian Stimulation and Egg Retrieval,
2. Fertilization, and
3. Placement of Embryos
The first step in the IVF process requires that a woman’s eggs be removed from her body in order that they may be fertilized in a laboratory environment. For any one of a number of reasons fertilization must occur this way because fertilization is not naturally occurring within the woman’s body. Before the eggs are retrieved from the body the woman’s ovaries are first stimulated with fertility medications, so that multiple eggs are available for removal at a single time.
Once the eggs have been removed the second step of this process is fertilization. The eggs are combined with sperm in a lab environment where the fertility process can be monitored. In the case of male infertility, doctors can fertilize each egg with an individual sperm that will be injected directly into the egg.
Provided the fertilization process is successful, the fertilized eggs, now embryos will be placed in the uterus in the third step of the IVF process. These embryos can be placed back into the same woman from whom the eggs were originally removed or they may be implanted into the uterus of a surrogate. (More on surrogacy in Pennsylvania here.)
There are many reasons a couple may engage the use of a surrogate to carry their child- for example, the couple looking to build their family maybe a same-sex couple. Regardless of how you may be looking to grow and expand your family here in Pennsylvania, whether through surrogacy, adoption, or other methods of ART, it is important to discuss the legal effects of those decisions with an experienced family law attorney. Let our knowledgeable staff of attorneys help you to protect your partner, yourself, and your child. Contact our office today to set up a consultation to speak to one of our experienced attorneys about adoption, surrogacy contract drafting and review.