Growing your family through surrogacy is a decision that opens up a world of possibilities for those facing fertility challenges. Before starting your surrogacy journey, it’s important to understand the key distinctions between gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy. So, what do the different types of surrogacy look like?

Traditional Surrogacy

Traditional surrogacy involves a surrogate who provides the egg and carries the pregnancy. In this method, artificial insemination is typically used to facilitate fertilization. As a result, the traditional surrogate has a biological connection to the child she carries and will relinquish her parental rights through adoption so the parents can gain legal rights to the child.

Key Characteristics of Traditional Surrogacy

  • Biological Connection: The traditional surrogate provides the egg, establishing a genetic link to the child.
  • Artificial Insemination: Fertilization occurs inside the surrogate’s body through artificial insemination, simplifying the medical procedures compared to IVF.
  • Legal Complexities: Due to the genetic connection between the surrogate and the child, the surrogate must relinquish her parental rights so the adoptive parents can obtain legal rights to the child.

Gestational Surrogacy

Gestational surrogacy involves a surrogate who carries and delivers a child conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF). In this method, the embryo used in fertilization results from egg and sperm from either the intended parents or donors. The surrogate, in this case, has no genetic connection to the child she carries. With gestational surrogacy, it is important to consider the parental rights of every party involved. With gestational surrogacy, it is possible to obtain a pre-birth order that identifies the intended parents on the child’s initial birth certificate. 

Key Characteristics of Gestational Surrogacy

  • No Genetic Connection: The gestational surrogate is not biologically related to the child, as the egg and sperm come from the intended parents or donors.
  • In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): The embryo is created through IVF, combining the egg and sperm before implantation.
  • Legal Agreements: Legal contracts are essential in gestational surrogacy to clearly define the roles, responsibilities, and rights of all parties involved.

Choosing the Right Path

The decision between gestational and traditional surrogacy depends on various factors, including the preferences of the intended parents, medical considerations, and legal implications. Many couples opt for gestational surrogacy to avoid potential legal complexities and offer the most protection to the intended parent, baby, and surrogate.

When it comes to growing your family, the decision between types of surrogacy is ultimately a personal one, and understanding the differences is vital for those navigating the surrogacy journey. Both methods offer unique advantages and challenges, and the right choice depends on you and your circumstances. 
By working closely with experienced fertility specialists and legal professionals, you can embark on the path to parenthood with confidence, knowing you’ve made an informed decision tailored to you and your family. At Herrin & Leach, we offer free, no-obligation consultations to help you understand the options available to your family and all the ways we can support you.