How many types of surrogacy are out there? Which is right for you?
What are the different types of surrogacy? Surrogacy is a complex assisted reproductive procedure that can be done in several ways, each of which has direct consequences on who will be genetically linked to the baby and the relationship between the intended parents and the surrogate mother.
Basically, there are two primary types of surrogacy, gestational and traditional. However, gestational surrogacy can include four different types of arrangements and traditional surrogacy can include two different forms of arrangements, so there are six different types of surrogacy arrangements:
When the intended mother cannot carry a baby to term but her eggs and the intended father’s sperm are used to create an embryo (via an In Vitro Fertilization process – IVF) that transferred and carried by the surrogate mother (gestational surrogate). With this procedure, the child born is genetically tied to his/her parents and the gestational carrier has no genetic link because her eggs are not used.
Gestational Surrogacy & Egg Donation:
If there is no intended mother involved in the process (i.e gay couples) or eggs the eggs of the intended mother cannot be used, the gestational surrogate carries the embryo developed from a donor egg that has been fertilized by sperm from the intended father. With this process, the child born is genetically tied to the intended father (or one of the IFs) and the gestational surrogate has no genetic relation.
Gestational Surrogacy & Donor Sperm:
If there is no intended father involved in the process (i.e lesbian couples) or the intended father is unable to produce sperm, the gestational surrogate mother carries an embryo created from the intended mother’s egg (who is unable to carry a pregnancy herself) and donor sperm. With this scheme, the baby born is genetically tied to the intended mother and the gestational surrogate has no genetic connection.
Gestational Surrogacy & Donor Embryo:
When the intended parents are unable to produce either sperm, egg, or embryo, the surrogate mother can carry a donated embryo (often from other couples who have completed IVF that have leftover embryos). With this process, the child born is not genetically tied to the IPs and the gestational surrogate also has no genetic link.
This form of surrogacy involves artificially inseminating a traditional surrogate with the intended father’s sperm via IUI, IVF or home insemination. With this process, the baby born is genetically linked to his/her father and the surrogate mother.
Traditional Surrogacy & Donor Sperm:
This involves artificially inseminating a traditional surrogate mother with sperm coming from a donor via IUI, IVF or home insemination. With this technique, the baby born is genetically linked to the sperm donor and the surrogate mother.
Surrogacy can be also classified from an economical point of view into two types of surrogacy:
In this form of surrogacy a woman becomes surrogate without any financial returns. However, in this kind of surrogacy process the expenses related to pregnancy are reimbursed by the intended parents.
In commercial surrogacy a woman becomes surrogate mother in return of certain monetary payment or reward.
Another aspect that creates different forms of surrogacy is where it’s completed. Surrogacy is an Assisted Reproductive Technique that can be done around the world. However, in many countries surrogacy is not allowed, so depending on where the intended parents live, they may choice between two types of surrogacy: domestic and international surrogacy.
If their country allows surrogacy normally it’s easier to complete a domestic surrogacy, however for intended parents who live in a country where surrogacy is not legal, pursuing an international surrogacy (in a country like Canada or the US) can be the only option.
Finally, surrogacy can be classified depending on which professional intended parents and surrogates choose to help them complete their process: agency surrogacy and independent surrogacy.
Agency surrogacy, is a surrogacy process in which the intended parents and surrogate work with a surrogacy agency. On the other hand, independent surrogacy (also known as private surrogacy or Indy surrogacy), is a process in which the intended parents and surrogate mother decide not to work with a surrogacy agency and only work with a family attorney and a IVF clinic to complete their surrogacy journey.
Now that you know about the different types of surrogacy options, select the one that fits your needs the best.