What's the Difference Between Traditional and Gestational Surrogacy?

Posted on June 6, 2019 by NYRW

Couples unable to conceive because of a serious medical condition or uterine abnormality can still realize their dreams of having a child. Advancements in reproductive care now offer partners hoping to become parents the options of traditional or gestational surrogacy.

But how do couples determine which of these treatments is right for them? In short, the difference between the two methods centers on the source of the egg. In traditional surrogacy, a surrogate’s egg is used, while gestational surrogacy uses the egg of the mother.

Each alternative offers unique benefits as well as some disadvantages. By consulting with a specialist and understanding fully what these options entail, couples can decide which method is best for their growing family.

Traditional Surrogacy In a traditional surrogacy arrangement, the surrogate’s own egg is used, making her the biological mother of the child. The father’s sperm is implanted into the surrogate’s womb via intrauterine insemination (IUI), a type of artificial insemination. This method is less expensive and requires the surrogate to undergo fewer fertility treatments. Plus, the parents don’t have the added cost of a donor egg.

However, there are some legal issues surrounding traditional surrogacy. Since the surrogate is the biological mother, she must relinquish her parental rights to the baby. Further, couples who opt for traditional surrogacy need to sign a stepparent adoption contract to make the child legally theirs. When pursuing traditional surrogacy, would-be parents should consult with an attorney and know the laws governing surrogacy in their state.

Gestational Surrogacy Gestational surrogacy takes the egg of the mother and the sperm of the father to create an embryo, which is then transferred to the uterus of the surrogate via in vitro fertilization (IVF). Unlike traditional surrogacy, the surrogate has no biological link to the child; instead, her role is to carry the baby to term. If the biological mother cannot produce an egg, a donated egg may be used.

For IVF to be successful, mothers may go through a series of fertility treatments or an egg retrieval procedure, which increases the costs. On the other hand, gestational surrogacy eliminates many of the legal questions associated with traditional surrogacy because the child is biologically related to one or both parents.

With gestational surrogacy, couples don’t have to spend months or possibly years finding a surrogate willing to enter into a traditional surrogacy agreement. A couple can start IVF treatments immediately when they elect to pursue gestational surrogacy, and then find their surrogate.

Is Gestational Surrogacy Right for You? In recent years, gestational surrogacy has become the preferred method to help couples who’ve experienced difficulties in conceiving. At New York Reproductive Wellness, we recognize this is a very personal decision. We take the time to make sure every patient understands the benefits of gestational surrogacy and what the procedure entails.

If you’re thinking about traditional or gestational surrogacy, begin your journey to parenthood by scheduling a consultation with us today. New York Reproductive Wellness’s mission is to build happy families and give parents the gift of a child.



American Society for Reproductive Medicine
College of American Pathologists
Fertile Hope
Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology
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