Traditional vs. Gestational Surrogacy

When parents are facing reproductive struggles, surrogacy can be the preservation of hope to have a biological child. One of the first decisions that hopeful parents (and potential surrogates) have to make is the type of surrogacy they want to pursue. While researching the options of surrogacy, you will read the terms traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. It is essential to understand all of your options and the differences between them. Read on as we explore more more on understanding the differences between Traditional and Gestational Surrogacy.

Did you know gestational surrogacy is the most common type of surrogacy today?  In fact, all US Surrogacy agreements are only between gestational surrogates and intended parents. With gestational surrogacy, the surrogate (also often  called the gestational carrier) has no genetic relationship to the baby she is carrying. The embryo is created using the intended mother’s (or donor’s) egg and the intended father’s (or donor’s) sperm via IVF . It is then transferred to the surrogate’s uterus at a fertility clinic.  Part of the legal process with this type of surrogacy establishes that the intended parents will be named on the birth certificate. In surrogacy friendly states, it is possible to obtain a pre-birth order which names the intended parents as the legal parents as soon as the baby is born.

In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother offers her egg as well as carries the baby. The intended father’s sperm, or sperm from a donor, is artificially inseminated into the woman. As a result of the surrogate mother’s egg being used, she is the biological mother and has a genetic relationship with the child. Due to the traditional surrogacy process being more legally and emotionally complicated, this model of surrogacy is far less typical than gestational surrogacy.

When comparing traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy, the immediate difference is the surrogate’s biological connection to the child (or lack thereof). Gestational surrogacy is less risky than traditional surrogacy because the surrogate is not a biological parent.  Terminating her parental rights, if any, can often happen pre-birth. Legally speaking gestational surrogacy is much less complicated, especially in surrogacy friendly states. Traditional surrogacy is generally less expensive than gestational surrogacy because artificial insemination is less expensive than IVF.  It also requires fewer medications for the surrogate. Gestational surrogacy, while more medically invasive, is usually less emotionally complicated because there is no genetic link between the carrier and the baby.

There are many pros and cons to think about when considering traditional and gestational surrogacy. In the end, it’s up to the intended parent and potential surrogate to reflect on their needs and priorities when choosing the type of surrogacy that is right for them. If you think gestational surrogacy may be a good fit for your family, please contact US Surrogacy today to learn more about our gestational surrogacy program and services.

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