While the difference between traditional and gestational surrogacy is simple, there are often more complex legal and contractual obligations that affect them. If you’re unsure which type of surrogacy is right for you, Family Creations offers our expert advice to help you make an informed decision.

Traditional Surrogacy

In this type of surrogacy, there is a biological link between the surrogate and the baby. Sometimes this means the surrogate’s eggs are the ones used for the pregnancy, but it can also mean that a family member has volunteered to carry the baby for the intended parents. In most cases, an agency is not involved in traditional surrogacy.

Gestational Surrogacy

In the gestational surrogacy process, the surrogate has no biological link to the baby she is carrying. Whether the intended mother uses her own egg or there is an egg donor involved, the surrogate is only there to carry the baby — not to donate any genetic material.

Differences in Medical Procedures

For the gestational surrogacy process, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is used for embryo creation and transfer to the surrogate. While IVF can be used in the traditional process as well, most doctors will use artificial insemination if the surrogate is also the egg donor. Intrauterine insemination, or IUI, is a simpler procedure that doesn’t require as many fertility treatments beforehand.

Finding the Right Agency for Your Procedure

Each surrogacy agency has its own specialty in terms of which type of surrogacy you decide to use. At Family Creations, for example, we only coordinate the gestational surrogacy process — we don’t assist in traditional surrogacy due to the emotional and legal complexities inherently involved in this type of surrogacy.

Legal Differences

While the legality of surrogacy is complex no matter which type of pregnancy you choose, there are many states that do not allow the traditional process. Because of the biological connection the surrogate has to the child, there are additional legal actions, forms, and paperwork that must be undertaken to protect the surrogate and intended parents. Termination of parental rights and adoption proceedings are incredibly important in traditional surrogate cases. There is also a higher risk of a custody battle when intended parents choose the traditional path.

Baby holding hand of parents

Things to Consider

Since each type of surrogacy has its own pros and cons, it can be difficult to decide which one fits your own goals. To help you make a more informed decision, consider the following questions:

  • Will you need an egg donor, or can your own eggs be used? Having healthy, viable eggs as an intended mother, the gestational surrogacy process may be a better choice for you.
  • Are you comfortable with the legal and emotional risks of having a baby being carried by a family member or by its own biological mother? Your surrogate’s link to the baby could complicate everyone’s feelings in traditional cases.
  • Do you plan on maintaining a relationship with your surrogate post birth? If a surrogate has a biological connection to the baby, they may want to stay involved with your family instead of cutting ties.

No matter which type of surrogacy you choose, Family Creations is here to answer your questions. If you move ahead with a type of surrogacy we don’t offer, we can direct you to the professionals who can help. Reach out to us today to learn more.

by Julia McConnell | Last updated on : July 6, 2023