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Surrogacy Types: Traditional Surrogacy
vs. Gestational Surrogacy

Assisted human reproduction has opened up new possibilities for individuals and couples looking to build their families. Two common methods used in surrogacy are traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. While they both involve a surrogate — often referred to by the more traditional term, surrogate mother carrying a pregnancy for intended parents, there are significant differences between the two approaches.

Traditional Surrogacy


Traditional surrogacy is a method where the surrogate is also the egg donor, and therefore biologically related to the child she carries. In this case, the surrogate's own egg is fertilized, usually through artificial insemination, with the sperm of the intended father or a donor. In recent years, traditional surrogacy has become a far less frequent choice for surrogates and intended parents alike. 

What are the Key Characteristics of Traditional Surrogacy?
  1. Genetic Connection: In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate shares a genetic link with the child.

  2. Legal Complexities: Because of the genetic connection, traditional surrogacy can lead to complex legal issues regarding parental rights and responsibilities.

  3. Emotional Considerations: The surrogate may have a stronger emotional connection to the child due to the genetic link.

Gestational Surrogacy

The far more common option today, gestational surrogacy is a method where the surrogate is not biologically related to the child she carries. In this case, the embryo is created through in vitro fertilization (IVF) using the eggs and sperm of the intended parents or donors, and then transferred to the surrogate's uterus.

What are the Key Characteristics of Gestational Surrogacy?

  1. No Genetic Connection: The surrogate has no genetic ties to the child in gestational surrogacy, simplifying legal and emotional aspects.

  2. Legal Clarity: Gestational surrogacy typically involves less legal complexity as the surrogate has no genetic connection to the child.

  3. Emotional Boundaries: Emotional boundaries can often be more straightforward in gestational surrogacy, as the surrogate is not genetically related.

Choosing the Right Option


The decision between traditional and gestational surrogacy depends on various factors, including legal, emotional, and personal preferences. In the world of assisted human reproduction, understanding the differences between traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy is essential for both surrogates and intended parents. Whatever path you choose, it's important to work closely with professionals who can guide you through the surrogacy process with care and expertise.


What are the health qualifications, age range and legal considerations for becoming a surrogate?


While gestational surrogacy can be a truly rewarding and fulfilling experience, it is important to ask yourself some key questions before committing to the surrogacy process.


From ancient Egyptian and Hindu civilizations to modern times, surrogacy has been a means of creating families and overcoming infertility.

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