Country: United States
Date: July 2007
If a couple chooses to have a surrogate carry their
child, will the surrogate mothers DNA, be present in the child?
There are two main kinds of surrogacy. The first type, called traditional
surrogacy, involves a woman being impregnated with a man's sperm, often by
artificial insemination. In this instance, the woman is the genetic mother
of the child, and the child does carry her genetic material. More recently,
a fertilized egg could be implanted in a woman's womb. This is called
gestational surrogacy. Here the woman is not the genetic mother of the
child. Beyond these two most common types, there are other less common types
-- you can read more here: http://www.surrogatemothers.com/options.html. In
general, the sperm and egg donors are genetically related to the child. The
gestational mother does not contribute DNA to the child.
No. The child will be "already formed" before it is placed inside the
surrogate. The baby would be from an egg fertilized with the father's
sperm outside of the mother's body. This is called in vitro fertilization,
or a "test tube baby". It will have already formed an embryo by the time
it is inserted into the surrogate. So it will already be formed from
half the mother's DNA and half the father's DNA.
Normally, the surrogate mother would be carrying an egg that was fertilized
in vitro by taking an egg from an egg donor and sperm from the father, so,
no, DNA from the surrogate mother would not be found in the child.
Ron Baker, Ph.D.
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Update: June 2012