The Difference Between Surrogate and Gestational Carrier [Important Terminology]

Get to Know the Common Terms Used for Gestational Surrogacy 

As you’ve researched surrogacy, you’ve likely come across the term “gestational carrier.” As gestational surrogacy has increased in popularity, intended parents have begun looking for qualified women to be gestational carriers instead of traditional surrogates.  

But what’s the difference between “surrogacy” and “gestational carrier”?  

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of surrogacy is, “the practice by which a woman (called a surrogate mother) becomes pregnant and gives birth to give it to someone who cannot have children.”  

A gestational carrier isn’t different from surrogacy — it’s another word to describe the heroic women who pursue the modern surrogacy process. In fact, “gestational carrier” and “surrogate” are often used interchangeably when talking about the surrogacy process.

So, what you might be asking is, “What is the difference between a surrogate and a gestational carrier?”  

There are several terms in surrogacy, and it’s important to become familiar with the specific terminology.  

To fully understand the technical difference between a “surrogate” and a “gestational carrier,” it’s necessary to understand the different types of surrogacy: traditional and gestational. 

Traditionally, intended parents have used surrogates that shared a genetic link as the biological mother of the baby. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate used her own egg and became pregnant through artificial insemination. Gestational carriers, on the other hand, carry and deliver a baby for a couple or individual with no genetic connection. In the gestational surrogacy process, the embryo is created through IVF, using the intended parents’ and/or third-party donors’ gametes, then transferred to the surrogate’s uterus.

Before we dig deeper into gestational carriers vs. surrogacy and the terminology, you can get more information by contacting us online. It’s important to work with a specialized surrogacy agency capable of handling every important aspect of your surrogacy journey. 

Conversely, working with the wrong agency can result in failed matches, dashed hopes and potential legal problems. 

Why is working with the right surrogacy agency important? Alicia and Codi, gestational surrogates, explain how a specialized surrogacy agency was the safest way to find intended parents

You deserve to work with surrogacy professionals that put your needs and the needs of the baby first. You can speak to a trusted and experienced surrogacy specialist by completing our online contact form.  

When you contact us, you’ll be connected with a professional that is truly excited for the opportunity to provide you with industry-leading matching services that help you find the perfect partner for your surrogacy journey

The Difference Between a Surrogate and Gestational Carrier 

As we mentioned, the trend in surrogacy has shifted from intended parents using genetically linked surrogates to working with gestational carriers with no genetic link.  

Today, “surrogate mother” is a commonly used but inappropriate term for a woman carrying and delivering a baby for an intended parent. In the vast majority of surrogacies today, the surrogate is not the “mother” of the baby she is carrying, making “surrogate mother” a misleading term that many surrogates, intended parents and surrogacy professionals are uncomfortable with. The terms “gestational carrier” and “gestational surrogate” are more appropriate and exist to differentiate between the surrogate and the intended parents’ relationship with the baby.

Do you want more information on traditional vs. gestational surrogacy? Complete our online form to get connected with a surrogacy specialist ready to answer all of your questions. 

We also recommend ready about traditional vs. gestational surrogacy here

What is the Difference between Gestational Pregnancy and Surrogacy?  

There isn’t a difference between gestational pregnancy and surrogacy, as gestation is the period between conception and birth for all pregnancies. Surrogacy is how an intended parent can start a family when they cannot carry a baby to term for physical or biological reasons.  

However, some professionals use “gestational pregnancy” in place of “surrogacy” as a way of differentiating between modern-day gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy.

Remember, you can contact us online to get more information on surrogacy, the terminology used and the difference between a surrogate and gestational carrier. A trusted and experienced surrogacy specialist is ready to answer all of your important questions. 

Important Surrogacy Terminology and Surrogate Synonyms 

For your surrogacy journey, there are a handful of important terms to know: 

  • Intended Parent: An individual who cannot carry a pregnancy to term and is looking for a woman to carry and give birth to their baby for them. 
  • Surrogate or Gestational Carrier: The individual who is pregnant with the intended parents’ baby. 
  • Egg or Sperm Donor: The individual whose gamete is used to complete an embryo. 
  • Surrogacy Agency: The professional agency that specializes in matching intended parents and surrogates after an extensive but important screening process. 
  • Surrogacy Specialist: The professional that works closely with the intended parents and surrogate to ensure the process gets completed successfully, safely and ethically. 

Why are these terms important when discussing surrogacy? 

Other industries use “surrogate” often to describe an individual serving as a replacement or stand-in.  

For example, when you hear “surrogate” you may think of the many surrogate synonyms, such as substitute, proxy, replacement, agent, deputy, stand-in and many more. 

We use the terms mentioned above to specifically identify the important people involved in the family-building process of surrogacy. 

Now that you’re familiar with some of the common terms, you’re ready to take the next step. 

How Do You Start Your Surrogacy Journey?  

Are you ready to start your surrogacy journey or get more information on the difference between surrogate and gestational carrier? 

Contact us online to get connected with a trusted and experienced surrogacy specialist. These professionals are specially trained to help match intended parents and thoroughly screened surrogates to complete a safe, smooth and ethical surrogacy journey. 

The right surrogacy professional will help hopeful intended parents and heroic surrogates come together to share the surrogacy journey.  

So, if you’re asking, “What is the difference between gestational pregnancy and surrogacy,” or you’re looking for more information on gestational carrier vs. surrogacy, we’re here to help!