What Is The Difference Between Traditional And Gestational Surrogacy?
Which choice is the right one for you – gestational or traditional surrogacy? The answer is individual and before you choose, you need to first understand the differences between the two.
Essentially, it’s very simple to explain the difference between traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy:
- Traditional surrogacy is a process that uses the surrogate’s own eggs to create the pregnancy, which means she is the biological mother of the child she is carrying for the intended parents.
- In gestational surrogacy, the egg used is either the intended mother’s or an egg donor’s, so the surrogate does not have any genetic link to the child she is carrying.
Although the differences are simple, what’s important to understand is that the type of surrogacy you end up choosing will have a huge impact on your journey.
If you’re wondering which one is right for you and you are now in the process of finding a surrogate, consider the following distinctions between the two surrogacy types.
As mentioned earlier, in traditional surrogacy you don’t need an egg donation, since the surrogate uses her own eggs so she is basically both the egg donor and the carrier.
For that reason, naturally there are more emotional complexities in traditional surrogacy than gestational surrogacy and this is why there aren’t many surrogates who are willing to participate in traditional surrogacy.
Since in gestational surrogacy same-sex couples, single men, and heterosexual couples and women who cannot produce eggs use egg donation to create the embryo, the child has no biological links to the carrier. This makes this surrogacy type less emotionally complex for all parties involved and especially the surrogate.
Since we’re discussing two different surrogacy types, it only makes sense that they will involve different medical procedures.
In gestational surrogacy, IVF (in vitro fertilization) is used to create an embryo using a donor’s or the intended mother’s eggs, and the intended father’s or donor’s sperm. The embryo is then planted in the surrogate’s womb.
Using IVF in traditional surrogacy is less common and it usually involves artificial insemination via IUI (intrauterine insemination), which is considered a simple procedure.
In IUI, the surrogate does not need too many fertility treatments before she undergoes the procedure. Plus, the intended mother or egg donor will not need to take any fertility medication or go through the egg retrieval procedure, since their eggs are not used in traditional surrogacy. All this simplifies the surrogacy process.
Surrogacy laws are not simple, to say the least, but you should know that in many US states, gestational surrogacy is legal while traditional surrogacy is not allowed.
Also, traditional surrogacy involves additional legal processes due to the fact that the surrogate is biologically related to the child she is carrying, such as termination of parental rights and adoption.
In addition, the emotional complexities make traditional surrogacy more legally risky, because the surrogate could change her mind and decide she wants to keep the child. If that happens, the intended parents will need to initiate a legal procedure and try to win a custody battle, and that could be lengthy and expensive.
Finally, the type of surrogacy also affects the cost of surrogacy.
Traditional surrogacy is usually less expensive than gestational surrogacy for two main reasons:
- The IUI procedure is not only simpler but also significantly less expensive than IVF.
- There is no need to pay for donor eggs or for the fertility treatments needed to extract the eggs.