The Organization of Parents Through Surrogacy

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 611
Gurnee, IL 60031



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Information About OPTS

OPTS is a national, not-for profit, all-volunteer educational, networking and referral organization that supports infertile couples in building families through surrogate parenting and other assisted reproductive technologies.

Our members are parents, prospective parents, surrogate mothers, professionals in the field of infertility and surrogacy and supporters of reproductive choice in 47 states and 5 foreign countries. If you do choose surrogacy to build your family, we hope you'll join OPTS and be a "voice for choice" in your home state.

There have been an estimated 10,000 births* via surrogate mothers in this country since the mid 1970's With infertility on the rise, more couples than ever are facing the prospect of a future without biological children. For some of them, surrogacy or egg donation may represent their only options for a related child. Below are several options to consider:

Classic or Traditional Surrogacy (via artificial insemination) - With this option, the surrogate is inseminated with the intended father's sperm, usually in a doctor's office. The surrogate's egg and the sperm unite to create an embryo which she will carry to term. The surrogate is the genetic as well as birthmother of the baby.

Gestational (IVF) Surrogacy - Also referred to as Host Uterus or Gestational Carrier. At an IVF clinic, the intended parents' embryo is transferred to the surrogate. With this option, the surrogate is the birthmother but has no genetic tie.

Egg Donation - This option involves the retrieval of ripe follicles from a donor's ovary.The eggs are fertilized with the intended father's sperm. The resulting embryo is then transferred to the intended mother or a gestational surrogate, who will carry and deliver the baby.

Before going ahead with any of the above, find out all you can about it. Talk to people who have been successful and learn just what will be involved. Find out from any clinic or program you may be interested in just how many transfers have been attempted and what percentage resulted in the birth of a baby. This is more important than how many embryos have been fertilized in a test-tube.

Make sure to obtain competent legal advice before going forward. This is where an attorney experienced in surrogacy or egg donation agreements can be particularly helpful. Also make sure that all parties receive psychological counseling and complete medical screening (including full disease-testing) in advance. Your wishes and expectations and those of your surrogate mother/egg donor should also be expressed and defined ahead of time. Please also be aware that most IVF clinics will not accept you as a patient unless you and your surrogate/egg donor have signed agreement. This is usually required whether or not the contract would be enforceable.

We want you to have a positive experience and happy outcome. Please contact us if further information or help is desired.