What is the difference between gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy?

A gestational surrogate is a surrogate who has no genetic connection to the child. This means that the surrogate did not provide the eggs to create the embryo. With gestational surrogacy, an embryo is placed in the surrogate’s uterus.

People who use a gestational surrogate may:

  • use their own sperm and eggs to make an embryo;
  • use donated sperm and eggs to make the embryo; or
  • use a donated embryo.

A traditional surrogate is a surrogate who is genetically connected to the child. This means that the surrogate provided the eggs to create the embryo.

This can happen in 2 ways:

  • the surrogate can be artificially inseminated with sperm; or
  • the surrogate can have eggs removed from her body for in vitro fertilization. Then the in vitro embryo would be placed in her uterus.

The sperm used to make a baby may be from a donor or from the intended father. However, you cannot inseminate a surrogate by having sex. You must use some form of assisted reproduction.

Be Aware

Because a traditional surrogate is related to the child, this option may be riskier for the intended parents. The law is unsettled in this area. However, it is more likely that a court will allow a surrogate to have some rights as a parent if she is genetically related to the child.

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