Third party reproduction
The phrase "third-party reproduction" refers to involving someone other than the individual or couple that plans to raise the child (intended parent[s]) in the process of reproduction. This includes using donated eggs, sperm, or embryos and gestational-carrier arrangements, in which the pregnancy is carried by someone other than the intended parent(s). Surrogacy, also sometimes referred to as traditional gestational carrier, is a particular type of gestational-carrier arrangement where the woman who carries the pregnancy also provides the egg. Unless specifically indicated, the term gestational carrier in this booklet will refer to a woman who carries a pregnancy, but has no genetic link to the fetus.
Gametes are sperm or egg cells. Some aspects of sperm and egg donation are the same, others are specific to the type of gamete donated. In general, donors can be either known to the recipients or anonymous. There are different considerations for each type of donation (known versus anonymous), and those should be discussed with a mental-health professional (MHP) before treatment is started.
Egg donation is often used for women whose ovaries have either been surgically removed or are functioning poorly. Poor function can be due to premature menopause, severe diminished ovarian reserve, medical disorders, or exposure to toxins like chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Egg donation also is appropriate for women who were born without ovaries.
Embryo donation is a procedure by which embryos created by donor sperm and donor egg is transferred into the uterus of a woman who cannot produce her own eggs and the husband also cannot produce normal healthy sperms.