The Different Types Of Surrogacy
There are quite a few forms of surrogacy: traditional and gestational, compensated and altruistic, domestic and international, and agency and independent. Here’s everything you need to know about every surrogacy type.
Medically, there are two types of surrogacy - traditional and gestational, while the type of surrogacy is determined by two factors: 1. How the embryo is created, and 2. Whether the surrogate (carrier) is also the biological mother.
However, technically, there are 3 more types of surrogacy available to intended parents.
What Are The Different Types Of Surrogacy?
1. Traditional Surrogacy (TS)
This type of surrogacy is also known as genetic surrogacy and is the first ever type known in history, which is why it’s called traditional surrogacy.
In traditional surrogacy, the woman carrying the pregnancy for the intended parent or parents is also the biological mother of the baby.
2. Gestational Surrogacy (GS)
Gestational surrogacy is a complex process in which the surrogate who is carrying the pregnancy for the intended parent or parents is not genetically related to the child.
In this method, the eggs used to create the embryos come from the intended mother or an egg donor and are not retrieved from the surrogate.
Compensated VS Altruistic Surrogacy
The term ‘compensated surrogacy’ refers to surrogacy arrangements in which the surrogate is compensated for the time and energy she invests in carrying the child for the intended parents.
On the other hand, altruistic surrogacy is the term used to describe arrangements in which the surrogate does not receive any compensation. This type of arrangement is usually carried out between family and friends and in most cases, is also an independent surrogacy.
It is important to note that even though the surrogate does not receive any compensation, there are still various expenses related to this process and are covered by the intended parent or parents: medical expenses such as fertility injections, embryo transfer, check-ups and so on; egg or sperm donor fees when necessary; and legal services fees.
Agency VS Independent Surrogacy
There are intrinsic differences between an independent surrogacy journey (also referred to as private surrogacy) and a journey managed by a fertility agency.
The role of a fertility agency is to take care of all the technical details and complexities of surrogacy. For that purpose, surrogacy agencies make sure the process is safe and that both intended parents and the surrogate are legally protected.
The agency’s services include screening prospective surrogates to ensure they’re physically, mentally and emotionally ready for the surrogacy journey and that they meet all the surrogacy requirements; screening intended parents to ensure they are to go through the process both emotionally and financially; performing background checks on both surrogates and intended parents; providing on-going support to surrogates and intended parents throughout the process; and coordinating clinic visits and meetings with surrogacy professionals.
In an independent surrogacy, the surrogate and intended parents or parent do not enlist the help of an agency. As a general rule, surrogates and intended parents who opt for this option are either biologically related (traditional surrogacy) or know each other somehow. In this type of arrangement, the intended parents will need to take care of all the legal aspects and hire surrogacy professionals.
It’s worth mentioning that some intended parents choose an independent surrogacy even though they don’t know someone who can be their carrier, which means they need to find the right match and perform all the background checks and screenings. In such instances, it’s best to know all the surrogacy disqualifications beforehand and learn exactly how women can become surrogates.
Naturally, removing the agency fees from the equation means that the independent surrogacy is less expensive and also that both intended parents and surrogates have more control over the process, and some people prefer it that way.
In addition, in many cases the bond between the intended parents and their surrogate tends to be stronger in independent surrogacy, because they all need to work closely together throughout the long journey.
Domestic VS International Surrogacy
In domestic surrogacy, intended parents go through the surrogacy process in their own country, while an international surrogacy is an arrangement involving a surrogate residing in another country.
The main reason to choose international surrogacy is financial, as the costs of surrogacy can be significantly lower in some countries.
In addition, some intended parents prefer to travel overseas for their surrogacy journey due to unfriendly surrogacy laws and bureaucracy in their own country or state.
What Is The Most Common Form Of Surrogacy?
Gestational, agency surrogacy is the most common form of surrogacy, mainly because when the baby is not biologically related to the surrogate it makes the legal and emotional aspects of the process more clear-cut, and because working with an agency is easier than coordinating the entire process independently.
Are you considering surrogacy?