Third-Party Reproduction

Last Updated: February 13, 2019

Definition - What does Third-Party Reproduction mean?

Third-party reproduction refers to a pregnancy achieved with contributions (gametes or gestation) from more than two people. This allows same-sex couples, single individuals, or individuals and couples experiencing infertility, to become parents.

FertilitySmarts explains Third-Party Reproduction

There are multiple scenarios in which third-party reproduction take place. These include:

  • Use of donor eggs - From either a known or unknown donor. Often used in cases of diminished ovarian reserve (DOR), where a woman does not have a sufficient supply of healthy eggs or with male same-sex partners. This could also include a spindle transfer to prevent mitochondrial disease.
  • Use of donor sperm - From either a known or unknown donor. Often used in cases of male-factor infertility, single women, or same-sex couples.
  • Use of door embryo - When individuals or couples choose to donate remaining frozen embryos after they are finished having children, so they can be transferred to another individual or couple.
  • Traditional surrogate - The woman carrying the pregnancy also contributes her egg and thus, her DNA, and is biologically related to the child.
  • Gestational carrier - The woman carrying the pregnancy has no genetic connection to the child. The egg used in conception did not belong to her. Often used in cases of unterine-factor infertility.

Sperm donor pregnancies can be achieved through artificial insemination, while other procedures require In vitro fertilization (IVF).

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