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44 Fam. Advoc. 31 (2021-2022)
Giving Families a Chance: Non-Invasive Genetic Testing

handle is hein.journals/famadv44 and id is 37 raw text is: W  hen prospective parents embark on their
surrogacy journey, their ultimate goal is
to come home with a happy, healthy
baby. As technology has advanced,
various methods have become available
to eager families who wish to increase the chance of achieving
their dream. Before starting the process of forming embryos,
intended parents may be asked if they want to perform
pre-implantation genetic screening on their embryos. Genetic
testing is a powerful tool that allows intended parents to
determine if there are any potential issues with an embryo
before it is transferred to the surrogate.
What Is Genetic Testing?
Pre-Implantation Genetic Screen (PGS or PGT-A) is a preven-
tative measure used to screen embryos for chromosomal
abnormalities. Chromosomes determine everything from
hair color to what diseases a person may be susceptible to.
An average fertilized egg has twenty-three pairs of chromo-
somes-forty-six in total-received from the sperm and

ovum that form the embryo. These include two sex chromo-
somes (XY for males and XX for females). These healthy
embryos are called euploid. PGS aims to search for aneuploidy
or the presence of an abnormal number of chromosomes in a
cell or structural abnormalities with those chromosomes.
Chromosomal abnormalities are common causes of birth
defects that can affect the brain and other parts of the body.
An example of aneuploidy includes Trisomy-21, also known
as Down Syndrome, where there are three copies of chromo-
some 21 rather than the typical pair. A chromosome may
have a structural abnormality, including a missing portion of
a chromosome, a duplication, or a transfer to another
chromosome. These genetically abnormal embryos are
unlikely to survive. An aneuploid embryo most likely will not
implant and thus will not result in pregnancy, but it can also
cause a miscarriage later on in the pregnancy, and in rare
cases, it can lead to a genetic disorder in the child. PGS
increases the chance of pregnancy and lowers the rate of
miscarriage by ensuring that only genetically healthy
embryos are transferred into the surrogate.
SUMMER 2021 31

Published in Family Advocate, Volume 44, Number 1, Summer 2021. © 2021 by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof
may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.

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