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A brief look at assisted reproductive technology

On Behalf of | Nov 18, 2020 | surrogacy and reproductive technology

In our legal practice, we help build families in many ways. As a result, we have become familiar with the development of advanced fertility technology. 

The medical world refers to these techniques as “assisted reproductive technology“. It is an area of considerable focus in research, and, therefore, new treatments appear relatively frequently. Generally speaking, there are two subcategories of ART procedures: Those in which the egg donor carries the fetus, and those in which someone else completes the pregnancy. 

Donor pregnancies

In the first general category of ART, women carry fetuses from their own eggs. Doctors would remove your eggs, store them cryogenically if necessary and, when you are ready, attempt to fertilize them. If the eggs accept fertilization, then the doctors transfer them to your uterus. 

This process is much more complex than it sounds from this overview. Your doctor would explain everything in detail to you if you decide to go forward with this type of procedure. Brushing up on your basic reproductive biology could help prepare you for that conversation. 

Surrogate pregnancies

Of course, you might not have the ability to carry a child to term. In this case, you might enlist the help of a surrogate. The process is more or less the same, except for the fact that the egg transfers to another woman’s uterus. 

Although this sounds like science fiction, there are actually decades of history behind this procedure. The CDC has data going back more than 20 years, for example. Similarly, there are some legal precedents that might apply to your situation — if you need to make an agreement regarding egg or sperm donation, for example. 

ART is different than artificial insemination or egg-production stimulation. As a result, you could encounter some more complex ethical concerns. We often find that the human aspect of these procedures is just as important to address as are the legal and technological aspects.