Third-party reproduction is any reproduction in which DNA or gestation is provided by other (third party) than the two parents who will raise the resulting child. This goes beyond the traditional father–mother model, although the third party's involvement is limited to the reproductive process and does not extend into the raising of the child. 

The journey to parenthood includes several ways which may be combined:

  • Sperm donation – Donated sperm is typically used for artilifical insemination.
  • Egg donation – Donated egg is used in IVF and further embryo transfer. 
  • Embryo donation – Unused embryos from third party's IVF treatmens or specifically created embryos from donor sperm and/or eggs are used in embryo transfer.
  • Surrogacy – The child is gestated in a third party's uterus.

There are also specialized methods related to the egg donation:

  • Maternal spindle transfer – Patient's nuclear DNA is transferred to the enucleated donor egg.
  • Pronuclear transfer - Pronuclei from intending parents’ zygote are removed and placed into other enucleated zygote which is created from donor egg and intended man’s sperm.
  • Mitochondrial DNA transfer – Mitochondrial DNA is injected into patient's egg. When autologous type is used, mitochondrial DNA is isolated from patient's cells. On the other hand, heterologous type is that mitochondrial DNA is donated by third party and child has 3 genetical parents.
  • Cytoplasmic transfer – Cytoplasm with mitochondrias from the donor egg are injected into patient's egg. 

Local laws vary from state to state widely. Not all procedures are legal everywhere and an anonymity of the donor depends on local laws too. Third-party reproduction is prohibited in all its forms in Algeria, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Egypt, Hong Kong, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Maldives, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates. 

Third-party reproduction can be used when one or both of the spouses is/are incapable of conceiving with their own embryo as a result of problems such as the lack of or defect in the sperm, oocytes or embryo, or having a genetically transmitted disease. This is an option for a women whom uterus is uncapable to conceive an embryo through an surrogancy arrangement, if it is legal. Third-party reproduction may be used by same-sex couples unable to reproduce in the traditional manner.

Complications can arise from medicaments treatment in egg donors and recipients because everybody responds differently. Further there are common risks associated with pregnancy. 

In third-party reproduction, social, ethical and legal issues can arise. It is neccessary to find out currently valid local laws, especially in case where some forms are not legal in some jurisdictions.

Despite the undeniable benefits resulted from recent medical developments in treatment of infertility (e.g. third party reproduction), there remains several questions and challenges toward different moral, ethical, sociological and psychological dimensions which demand multidisciplinary studies and research. That is the reason why the countries which use a variety of fertilization methods have imposed various legal limitations on third party reproduction.


Third-party reproduction ―sourced from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
Spindle transfer ―sourced from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
Cytoplasmic transfer ―sourced from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, involving multiple copyrights under different terms listed in the Sources section.