Gestational Carrier

pregnant woman relaxing in the park What is a gestational carrier?

A gestational carrier (GC) is a woman who volunteers to carry a pregnancy for someone who cannot otherwise carry a pregnancy for herself (someone who has had her uterus removed due to health problems, or someone who has a non functional uterus).

A gestational carrier (GC) is not a traditional “surrogate”, as a surrogate is someone who donates her egg and then subsequently carries the child. In the case of a gestational carrier, the woman carrying the pregnancy is in no way biologically or genetically related to the child she is carrying- she is merely providing a nurturing environment in the form of a uterus for the child to grow for the gestational period of 40 weeks. The eggs and sperm are derived from the “intended parents” (or egg donor, or sperm donor), through the process of In Vitro Fertilization, fertilized in the lab, and then the embryo (or embryos) are placed into the uterus of the gestational carrier.
Using a gestational carrier is a much more involved process than even egg or sperm donation. In addition to the medical process each woman must to adhere to a proper surrogacy arrangement. It is a complex legal contract involving responsibilities, and expenses. This should be handled by a lawyer who specializes in third-party reproductive law. Many times, undocumented surrogacy “favors” are carried out by friends or family members to great satisfaction and success. But more often now, they are handled by agencies which specialize in surrogate arrangements. An agency will also provide proper psychological and medical screening that is critical to a successful surrogacy.

Reproductive Lawyer










Melissa Brisman, Esq

Click here for more information about Ms. Brisman’s services.



Yifat Shaltiel, Esq.
Surrogate Steps, LLC
Shaltiel Law Group, LLC
417 North Cayuga Street
Ithaca, New York 14850

Phone: 607.229.6503
Email: ys@surrogatesteps.com

Yifat is owner of Surrogate Steps, a Surrogate Mother Program, and the founding attorney of Shaltiel Law Group. Yifat has been an attorney for over ten years and specializes in reproductive law, adoption law, and estate law.   In addition to coordinating the surrogacy process and working closely with gestational surrogates and intended parents, Yifat drafts and negotiates reproductive law contracts including surrogacy and gestational carrier agreements, co-parenting agreements, and egg donor, sperm donor, and embryo donor contracts.  Yifat also analyzes health insurance plans in surrogacy arrangements, obtains birth orders, amends birth certificates, and finalizes adoptions.

In addition to publishing numerous articles on reproductive law, Yifat has been featured as a reproductive law expert at various venues, including media news outlets such as MSNBC and Fox News.  Yifat has also given lectures on reproductive law including at Cornell University and the Women’s Bar Association (FLWBA).

Yifat is admitted to practice law in the states of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and is affiliated with the following organizations:

  • American Bar Association-Family Law Section (ABA)
  • Assisted Reproductive & Genetic Technology Committee (ABA)
  • Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (WBASNY)
  • Reproductive Health Law Committee (WBASNY)
  • Finger Lakes Women’s Bar Association (FLWBA)
  • New York State Bar Association (NYSBA)
  • RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association
  • Tompkins County Bar Association (TCBA)
  • Estate Planning Council of Tompkins County

Yifat received her B.A. from the University of Minnesota where she was awarded a scholarship, and a J.D. from New York Law School where she received high honors for her legal writing skills and legal publication.

Learn more about Yifat Shaltiel and how she helps build families at www.surrogatesteps.com



At some point an infertile couple may be faced with the notion that, for whatever reason, prescribed ART treatments may not work. There is always another option open to these couples: Adoption. Click here for a list of links and information about adoption.

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