What You Need To Know About Traditional Vs. Gestational Surrogacy

In short, surrogacy is a method of reproduction where a third party carries a child for a couple who can not do so themselves, per Circle Surrogacy. There are many reasons a couple or individual may choose surrogacy. We see this method most often used with celebrities — in fact, there are likely many celebrities you didn't know used a surrogate — but there are a variety of reasons non-celebs may turn to surrogacy. Some women are unable to carry a child for medical reasons and may turn to a surrogate to help them have a child. Other reasons for surrogacy include: infertility, potential parents having a genetic health condition they do not want to pass to their children, and LGBTQ+ parents who want to have a genetic tie to their child but can not do so biologically.

Although surrogacy is a great option for those who need it, it isn't viable for everyone. According to U.S. News & World Report, the cost of using a surrogate can range from about $100,000 to $200,000 — and it's not just the money that keeps people from choosing surrogacy. The entire process can be emotionally draining for both the parents and the surrogate. But if you do choose to go down this route, it's important to know your options when it comes to the type of surrogacy you use.

What is traditional surrogacy?

Traditional surrogacy is the method of surrogacy in which the surrogate mother is artificially inseminated with the intended father's sperm using her own egg to fertilize, per Surrogate.com. This method is what many people think of when they think of surrogacy, but it has become less popular due to its emotional nature. When going this route, the surrogate mother is considered the biological mother, so after the baby is born, the surrogate must legally let go of all of her parental rights.

Those who choose traditional surrogacy are usually single men or same-sex couples, often male couples, who wish to have a child of their own. Women who cannot produce eggs may also go this route, as the other forms of surrogacy will not be applicable to her. While the emotional component is the biggest thing to consider when it comes to surrogacy, the medical aspect is also different. According to Southern Surrogacy LLC, traditional surrogacy uses a procedure called intrauterine insemination (IUI). This is a simpler process than IVF, which is used in gestational surrogacy. The intended mother (not the surrogate, but the future mother of the child) does not need to go through any medical or fertility treatments, making traditional surrogacy a less expensive and less intensive medical process.

What is gestational surrogacy?

Gestational surrogacy is the most common type of surrogacy. According to WebMD, this type of surrogacy uses the intended mother's eggs and the intended father's sperm, leaving no genetic ties to the surrogate. Once the baby is born, the surrogate has no legal or biological attachment to the child. Because of this, gestational surrogate is more widely used, with many companies choosing to only help with this form of surrogacy, per Surrogate.com.

In both traditional and gestational surrogacy, a surrogate mother is used to help a couple, or person, have a child. In gestational surrogacy, however, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is used to create an embryo using the intended mother's egg and the intended father's sperm. It is then implanted into the surrogate mother, who carries the child to term and delivers the baby to her parents. People may choose this option if they are a couple who has struggled with infertility, are a single parent or same-sex couple who needs the assistance to have a baby, or are otherwise unable to carry a child to term for medical or personal reasons.

No matter which type of surrogacy you choose, it's important to understand the emotional, legal, and financial aspects of the entire process. Speaking with a surrogacy professional is a great first step to determine if this process is right for you as the intended parent or the potential surrogate.