February 2019

Types of Surrogacy – Traditional vs. Gestational

Surrogacy is a type of assisted reproduction where a woman carries and delivers an infant for another couple or person.[1] People who seek surrogacy are ones who want to start a family but are unable to conceive, and they are known as the “intended parents”.[2]

There are two types of surrogacy – gestational and traditional. Additionally, there is also altruistic and independent surrogacy which can be categorized under either gestational or traditional.

Traditional Surrogacy

Known as the oldest type of surrogacy, traditional surrogacy involves the surrogate using her own egg to be artificially inseminated with sperm from the intended father or donor.[3] Due to the surrogate’s genetic link with the child, this type of surrogacy is also known as partial or genetic surrogacy.[4] Individuals or couples who seek traditional surrogacy, despite its possible legal and emotional implications, include single males, same-sex male couples and women who are unable to produce healthy eggs.[5]

The advantages of traditional surrogacy are that it is less costly than gestational surrogacy and if the intended parent is a woman, she does not need to undergo any medical procedures to get her eggs harvested.[6] However, the disadvantages of traditional surrogacy are that there are a lot of legal implications due to the fact that the surrogate is the biological mother of the child.[7] The surrogate has automatic parental rights over the child and should she change her mind, the intended parents would have to go to court to gain custody.[8] The intended parents may also need to do a stepparent adoption for the law to legally recognize them as their legal parents.[9] Due to the legal implications of traditional surrogacy, it is banned in some countries and states and many surrogacy agencies don’t offer the service.

 


Gestational Surrogacy

Gestational surrogacy, the most common type of surrogacy, is where the child has no biological link to the surrogate because the embryo is created through in-vitro fertilization (IVF) using the egg and sperm from the intended parents.[10] Gestational surrogacy is also known as host or full surrogacy because at least one intended parent has a biological link to the child, resulting in this type of surrogacy being less legally complex than traditional surrogacy.[11] Individuals or couples who seek gestational surrogacy include people who’ve suffered from infertility issues, same-sex couples, single intended parents and women who are unable to safely carry a baby to term.[12]

The benefits of gestational surrogacy is that it allows individuals and couples from the LGBT community to start families and it allows the intended parent or parents to establish a genetic link with the baby.[13] It is also legally less complex as the surrogate is not related to the baby.[14] The drawbacks of gestational surrogacy however, is that it is financially taxing on the intended parents and the intended mother would have to undergo medical procedures to harvest her eggs so that they can be transferred to the surrogate.[15]

In conclusion, both traditional and gestational surrogacy have its pros and cons and what the intended parent(s) decide on is dependent on surrogacy laws in their country or state along with their individual situation. However, it can be argued that gestational surrogacy is emotionally and legally less complicated as the surrogate has no biological link or relationship to the child.

 

Sources:


[1] Cuddy, Alice, ‘Where in Europe is Surrogacy Legal?’, in euronews., lasted updated September 13th, 2018, viewed on January 19, 2019, https://www.euronews.com/2018/09/13/where-in-europe-is-surrogacy-legal

[2] ibid

[3] ‘About Surrogacy – What is Traditional Surrogacy?’, in surrogate.com, viewed on January 19, 2019, https://surrogate.com/about-surrogacy/types-of-surrogacy/what-is-traditi...

[4] ibid

[5] ibid

[6] ibid

[7] ibid

[8] ibid

[9] ibid

[10] ‘About Surrogacy – What is Gestational Surrogacy?’, in surrogate.com, viewed on January 20, 2019, https://surrogate.com/about-surrogacy/types-of-surrogacy/what-is-gestati...

[11] ‘About Surrogacy – What is Gestational Surrogacy?’, in surrogate.com, viewed on January 20, 2019, https://surrogate.com/about-surrogacy/types-of-surrogacy/what-is-gestati...

[12] ibid

[13] ibid

[14] ibid

[15] ibid