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Gestational vs Traditional Surrogacy: What is the difference

Did you know there are 2 different types of Surrogacy? Gestational surrogacy, which is the most common, and Traditional surrogacy. We will discuss the basic differences between the two types below.

Gestational Surrogacy

Gestational surrogacy is a more modern option that involves the implantation of an embryo, created in a fertility lab, using the intended parents’ genetic material or donated sperm and eggs. The embryo is injected into the uterus of the surrogate where it will “gestate” the pregnancy for the next 9 months. 

This process allows for a genetic connection between the intended parents and the child, but the surrogate in this scenario has NO genetic connection. It is usually more popular for these key reasons:

  • High success rates: Advances in reproductive technologies, such as In-vitro fertilization (IVF), are highly successful and offer a more reliable option. Most fertility clinics report a 60%-80% success rate.
  • Reduced Legal Complexities: Since the surrogate has no genetic relation to the child, legal complications will be minimized.
  • Allowed in most states in the U.S.: There are only 3 states in the U.S. that do not recognize a Gestational surrogacy agreement: Michigan, Nebraska, and Louisiana.

Traditional Surrogacy Overview

Traditional surrogacy is when the surrogate uses her own eggs. This makes her genetically related to the child. This method was more common in the past because it involved the simpler procedure of Artificial Insemination (AI) using an Intended Parent’s sperm.

Success rates overall for Traditional Surrogacy are around 13%-20%. This depends on the age of the surrogate and the clinic used. It is a lot less expensive than Gestational Surrogacy because it does not involve IVF. However, many fertility centers do not offer Traditional Surrogacy because of legal challenges.

Some states in the US treat Traditional Surrogacy as an adoption, which makes compensation to the surrogate illegal and give the intended parent no re-course if the surrogate changes her mind and wishes to keep the baby. 

Utilizing a surrogate to start or grow a family is a big decision for Intended Parents and there are pros and cons to both types of surrogacy. Every situation is unique and consulting with an experienced fertility specialist is a great way to gather information and have questions answered to aide in making the best decision emotionally, financially and legally for each couple.

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