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Gestational Surrogacy vs Traditional Surrogacy

Updated on December 7, 2010

There are two types of Surrogate Mothers. Traditional Surrogates and Gestational Surrogates. Long ago before all of the technology of today there was really only one type of surrogate. That is why they are called "Traditional", they are genetically related to the child. They are the biological mother. This used to be the only option if someone wanted to use a surrogate mother to have a child or children. But today with the advances in medicine we have Gestational Surrogates. They have NO relation to the child or children. They are NOT the biological mother.

How does a couple choose between a Traditional Surrogacy or Gestational Surrogacy. Traditional it can be A LOT more risky with the surrogate being the actual biological mother. Legally she is the mother until she signs her rights away. There have been cases where the Traditional surrogate has changed her mind and it becomes an custody battle. Usually the IF (intended father - biological dad) has to pay child support and share custody. It is rare that a Traditional Surrogate will change her mind, but it is a possibility. With Gestational Surrogacy the Surrogate is NOT related to the child and less likely to want to keep the child. And if she did try to keep the child she really does not have much ground to stand on because she is NOT the biological mother. 

Fees should be lower using a Traditional Surrogate as IPs and their Surrogate usually do not need the special expertise of an RE (reproductive endocrinologist). They either use an OB/GYN Dr. to do artificial insemination (AI) in the Dr.'s office or they do home insemination without the aid of a Doctor.  Gestational Surrogacy must use a reproductive endocrinologist (RE) because it involves IVF. The eggs and sperm from the IPs (or donors) are used to create an embryo in a laboratory and then transferred to the Gestational Surrogate. This process is much more involved and a much longer process, as well as more expensive. But it results in a child who is biologically the IM (intended mother) and IF (intended father), just as if the IM had given birth herself.

Traditional Surrogacy typically does not take quite as long as a Gestational Surrogacy.  Yes, both pregnancies still take 9 months, but to get to that point Gestational Surrogacy is usually a longer process because of all the tests and Dr. appointments and medications.  

Both Traditional and Gestational Surrogacy is never a guarantee that a pregnancy or baby will be the end result.  Gestational Surrogacy is higher in multiple births than Traditional Surrogacy.  Both have their own risks.


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