A woman who cannot carry a pregnancy herself, due to conditions in which her uterus has been surgically removed or her uterus no longer functions properly, may want to consider a gestational carrier or surrogate.
A traditional surrogate is a woman who is artificially inseminated with the father's sperm. She then carries the baby and delivers it for the parents to raise. A traditional surrogate is the baby's biological mother because it was her egg that was fertilized by the father's sperm.
Through the process of in vitro fertilization (IVF), eggs are harvested from the mother, fertilized with sperm from the father and the resulting embryo is placed into the uterus of a gestational surrogate. The surrogate then carries the baby until birth. A gestational surrogate has no genetic ties to the child. Under the guidelines of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the gestational carrier undergoes a thorough medical and psychological evaluation and must be free of communicable diseases.
Some content was adapted from A.D.A.M Health Encyclopedia.