The term surrogacy is becoming increasingly familiar. For anyone facing reproductive challenges, surrogacy is a lifeline of hope to have a child. A surrogate mother is a woman who will carry a child for an intended parent or parents who are unable to have a child on their own. While researching available options through surrogacy, you will read the terms traditional surrogate and gestational surrogate. The following is a general description of the two types of surrogate mothers.
During a traditional surrogacy the surrogate mother offers her egg as well as carries the child/children. A father’s sperm, or sperm from a donor, is artificially inseminated into the woman. Because the surrogate mother’s egg is used in traditional surrogacy, she is the biological mother and has a genetic relationship to the child.
While many traditional surrogacies have occurred without legal conflict, there have also been cases where the surrogate/biological mother struggled to separate from the child. Due to the lack of legal safeguards for the intended parents in traditional surrogacy, most surrogacy agencies only work with gestational carriers.
Another differentiating factor of traditional surrogacy is that it costs less than gestational. At one point in time before in vitro fertilization (IVF), traditional surrogacy was the only choice available and did, in fact, help people to start building their families. Because there is a biological relationship between the traditional surrogate and the child(ren), sometimes a family member or a close friend may offer their eggs and uterus for someone they know who wants to create a family. However, as a surrogate who is considering going the traditional route, you will need to ensure that your agency works with traditional surrogacy. For their part, intended parents should become familiar with their state laws on traditional surrogacy before considering it as an option.
Gestational surrogacy is when a surrogate mother carries the child/children for the intended parents and has no genetic relationship to the baby(ies). The egg comes either from the intended mother or a donor ,and the sperm is either from the intended father or a donor. IVF is used to create the embryo(s), which are then transferred into the surrogate’s uterus. Although the gestational surrogate is identified as the birth mother, part of the legal process with this type of surrogacy establishes that the intended parents will be named on the birth certificate. Once the baby is born, the intended parents go on to raise their child(ren) born via surrogacy.
Gestational surrogacy is currently the only option with most agencies including Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists. Several factors contribute to its preferable appeal including the legal safeguards and the use of donor eggs among them. While pursuing gestational surrogacy through a surrogacy agency may not be the most inexpensive option, the agency’s support and advice will ensure that the process goes smoothly and that the important issues are addressed.