What is the difference between gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy?

These days the most common and most accepted kind of surrogacy is gestational surrogacy (and it’s the only kind we practice at Colorado Surrogacy!). The other process of surrogacy is called traditional surrogacy. Traditional surrogacy is not done very often anymore, and is generally discouraged by reproductive law attorneys and surrogacy agencies. People wonder what the difference is between the two and it’s a great question! Here’s a quick comparative study of gestational surrogacy vs. traditional surrogacy.

What is a gestational carrier?

A gestational carrier is a woman who is pregnant for another family with an embryo/fetus that is unrelated to her.

What is the gestational surrogacy process?

Intended parents decide to use a surrogate to have a baby and go to their fertility clinic (or agency) to start the process. An embryo is created by IVF (in vitro fertilization) using either their own sperm and/or eggs or a donor sperm and/or donor eggs. The embryo that is created is then transferred into the uterus of the gestational carrier. The embryo she is pregnant with is not genetically related to her. This is the preferred process as it makes parentage very clear and avoids legal (and emotional) tangles.

What is traditional surrogacy?

Traditional surrogacy is when a woman is pregnant with an embryo/fetus that was created using her own egg, but she is carrying the child for another family.

What is the traditional surrogacy process?

Intended parents find a surrogate who is willing to donate her own eggs for the IVF/embryo creation process, and who is willing to have that embryo transferred to her uterus to carry for the intended parents (Intra-uterine insemination is also sometimes used to achieve pregnancy for traditional surrogacy). This is sometimes done when the surrogate is related to one of the intended parents, thus allowing the embryo to be genetically related to the intended parent who is related to the surrogate. However, traditional surrogacy is generally not encouraged as it brings up both emotional and legal questions of parentage.

What kind of surrogacy do we practice Colorado Surrogacy?

Colorado Surrogacy, like most agencies, only deals with gestational surrogacy. It is both emotionally and legally easier because it is clear that the parent(s) of the embryo being carried by the surrogate is not the surrogate, but the intended parents. Many of our intended parents and surrogates ask us if the surrogate’s eggs will be used, and we are firm that it is better for both parties if the baby is genetically unrelated to the gestational carrier.

So there you have it! Have more questions about surrogacy and the process of surrogacy? Send us an email or call us!