Your Complete Guide on the Different Types of Surrogacy

Because surrogacy is such an important decision for everyone involved, you want to make sure you are fully educated on the different options you have available. 

Whether you are researching as an intended parent or as a surrogate, understanding the different types of surrogacy and options can help you decide which may be the best path for you. This guide explains what types of surrogacy there are, how each differs, and much more. 

Anytime you have questions related to surrogacy, you can always contact us to learn more information and speak with a trained professional. In the meantime, continue reading this guide on your options for surrogacy.

Two Types of Surrogacy Procedures

No matter if you are an intended parent or a prospective surrogate, each surrogacy will be unique. The type of surrogacy you choose will impact your overall experience. There are two different types of surrogacy to select from. Below, you will learn more about each of these options. 

Gestational Surrogacy

Intended parents will all have their own personal reasons for choosing surrogacy, but all share the same dream of becoming parents. Gestational surrogacy has become the most common type of surrogacy because it means intended parents can have a child that is not genetically related to the surrogate. 

In this process, an embryo will be created by the intended parents through in vitro fertilization (IVF) and will be transferred to the gestational carrier’s uterus. Because the surrogate does not use her own egg, the child is not biologically related to her. In many cases, gestational surrogacy allows intended mothers to have a child related to them.

Gestational surrogacy is the most typical surrogacy option for:

  • Intended parents who have dealt with infertility
  • Single intended parents 
  • Same-sex intended parents
  • Intended parents who want a genetic relationship

Gestational surrogacy is the most common and recommended process to choose. This is a brief overview of this option for surrogacy, you can find more in-depth information about gestational surrogacy by clicking here. You also have other options for surrogacy — some intended parents pursue traditional surrogacy.

Traditional Surrogacy

In traditional surrogacy, the embryo is created by the surrogate’s own egg. This process takes place through intrauterine insemination (IUI). The surrogate will carry her pregnancy to term and, after delivery, will terminate her parental rights so that the intended family can acquire them. 

Traditional surrogacy involves more risks and legalities. Because the surrogate uses her own eggs, it requires the surrogate to terminate her parental rights. Often, there can be emotional complications for surrogates during traditional surrogacy.

For these reasons, finding a professional that completes traditional surrogacy may be difficult, as many surrogacy professionals will only handle gestational surrogacy. Because there are currently no federal laws regulating surrogacy in the United States, understanding the rules and regulations can be difficult. Many states have their own laws or statutes; some even got as far as to ban traditional surrogacy.

You can find more detailed information on traditional surrogacy, the process, and more by clicking here. You can also fill out this online form to learn more about the two types of surrogacy available to you and to speak with a surrogacy professional. 

Below, you will find information about the different types of situations you can choose during your surrogacy.

Options for Surrogacy

Although there are only two different types of surrogacy, you have many surrogacy options to choose from:

  • Compensated
  • Altruistic
  • Domestic
  • International
  • Agency
  • Independent

These surrogacy options each have different processes and benefits. Continue reading to learn more about how many types of surrogacy there are and to determine which may be best for you.

Compensated Surrogacy

When a surrogate is paid beyond reimbursement for pregnancy-related expenses for carrying a child, this is known as a compensated or “commercial surrogacy.” Compensated surrogacy helps protect intended parents and gestational carrier’s rights and ensures both parties are on the same page throughout the surrogacy process. 

Both parties will work with a surrogacy lawyer to determine the base pay they are comfortable with. The base pay will be determined by many different factors such as:

  • The policies of the surrogacy agency you are working with
  • Intended parent budget
  • Experience level of being a surrogate
  • And more

Compensated surrogacy is a great opportunity for intended parents who may not feel comfortable asking a friend or family member to become an uncompensated surrogate. Also, for surrogates who fear they may be taken advantage of during the surrogacy process, it helps ease their mind. If you are interested in learning more about compensated surrogacy, follow this link to learn more or fill out this online form to get more information. 

Altruistic Surrogacy

One of your options for surrogacy is the opposite of a compensated surrogacy and is called altruistic surrogacy. During this type of surrogacy, a gestational carrier carries a child to term without any additional base pay or compensation. Like compensated surrogacy, in most cases, the medical costs a gestational carrier acquires throughout the pregnancy and delivery will be reimbursed.

In most altruistic situations, intended parents work with a friend, family member, or someone they know and feel comfortable with. The purpose is to provide the intended parents with the gift of parenthood without the expenses that can come with a compensated surrogacy. 

Although in most altruistic cases the intended parents already have a relationship with the surrogate, it’s important to work with a surrogacy professional. This helps to ensure the process is being completed legally, that the medical requirements are being met, and that all parties involved have the support and professional guidance needed throughout.

Follow this link to learn more about altruistic surrogacy as one of your surrogacy options.

Domestic Surrogacy

When considering your options for surrogacy, in addition to compensated and altruistic, you will have the option to choose domestic or international surrogacy. Domestic surrogacy is when intended parents and the surrogate are from the same country. This is the most utilized type of surrogacy, as it tends to be much cheaper, safer, and less complicated than international surrogacy. 

This type of surrogacy helps make it easier for all parties to meet and stay connected throughout the process, as you are not having to travel out of the country, deal with drastic time differences, language or cultural barriers, and more. 

Domestic surrogacy helps eliminate the legal hurdles of bringing a child from a different country back into the intended parent’s country. It decreases travel time and ensures your surrogacy is being completed to your country’s rules and regulations thoroughly. If you think you would like to pursue domestic surrogacy or just want to learn more about the process, you can click here to get more information.

International Surrogacy

International surrogacy takes place in a country other than yours. International intended parents tend to come to the United States to complete their surrogacy dreams because they live in a country that prohibits surrogacy. They often have no other choice but to work with a surrogate from the United States or another country that does not ban surrogacy.

This surrogacy option will require extensive travel, have more in-depth legal procedures, and many other added hurdles along the way. Whether you are a hopeful intended parent or a prospective surrogate, it’s important to research this option fully before making any decisions. Contact us today if you would like to learn more about international surrogacy, or follow this link to learn more.

Agency Surrogacy

When pursuing surrogacy, you will have the option to work with a surrogacy agency or complete the process independently. In an agency surrogacy journey, intended parents and surrogates will have the help of a trained professional throughout the entire process. 

One of the largest advantages of working with an agency is their help to match intended parents with surrogates. This eliminates the concerns surrogates and intended families may have about finding the best match, as well as trying to find matches on their own. Other services include: 

  • Screening
  • Mediation
  • Legal representation
  • Assistance with creating a surrogacy contract
  • Compensation plans (when choosing compensated surrogacy)
  • And more

When discussing your surrogacy goals with an agency, you must determine what type of surrogacy the agency supports. Having an agency to guide everyone involved through each step of the process helps lessen the responsibility of any individual. To learn more about agency surrogacy, read this article or fill out this form to get in contact with a trained professional.

Independent Surrogacy

In some situations where the intended family already has a surrogate chosen, such as a friend or family member, they choose an independent surrogacy journey. This surrogacy option means the intended parents and carrier do not use the services of an agency and find a lawyer and fertility clinic on their own to handle the medical and legal steps of the surrogacy process. 

This tends to save money for the intended parents, as independent surrogacy is often less expensive than that of an agency surrogacy. Keep in mind, your needs should come first when making such a life-changing decision. No matter which way you may be leaning towards when deciding on one of the different types of surrogacy, talking with a trained professional is a great place to start.

By filling out this form, you can get the information you need and get better peace of mind about what may be best for your specific surrogacy goals. To learn more about independent surrogacy, you can also read this guide.

If intended parents are working with a surrogate they know (usually a friend or family member), they may feel comfortable without the mediation services offered by a surrogacy agency. Because they will already be matched, they may just need a surrogacy lawyer and fertility clinic to handle the legal and medical aspects of the surrogacy.

Contact Us to Learn More

With such an important decision as surrogacy, you’ll want to make sure you have the best information and resources by your side before making your choice. Here, you gained a basic understanding of the different types of surrogacy options available as an intended family or a surrogate. 

For more in-depth information, follow this link to read articles dedicated to each option. You can also fill out this form to get in touch with a surrogacy professional to learn more about your options for surrogacy and which path may be best for you.