What to Know About Traditional Surrogacy [6 Steps]

Whether you are a hopeful intended family, or a prospective surrogate, understanding your options for surrogacy is important. You have two surrogacy processes to choose from, gestational or traditional surrogacy. Although both share the same goal of providing intended parents the opportunity of raising a child, traditional surrogacy is very different than gestational surrogacy. Some of those differences include:

  • The traditional surrogate is the biological mother of the child
  • Differences in the medical procedure
  • More legal requirements than gestational surrogacy
  • Increased emotional and legal risks
  • Fewer professionals will complete traditional surrogacies, and exclusively complete gestational surrogacy
  • Fewer states permit traditional surrogacy compared to gestational surrogacy

This guide provides information needed to help you determine which type of surrogacy is the best path for you. From defining traditional surrogacy, explaining the process, and providing you the resources you need to help determine if traditional surrogacy is right for you, here, you will find everything you need to know.

Anytime you have questions, you can always fill out this online form to get in contact with a trained surrogacy professional. Until then, continue reading this guide on what you need to know about traditional surrogacy.

What is Traditional Surrogacy

Traditional surrogacy, sometimes referred to as “genetic surrogacy,” means the surrogate is the biological mother of the baby she carries to term. At a fertility clinic, the surrogate’s eggs are fertilized through intrauterine insemination (IUI), using the sperm of either a donor or the intended father.

Because the surrogate uses her own eggs and is the child’s biological mother, she will need to agree to relinquish her parental rights to the child in order for the intended parents to obtain them. Although this type of surrogacy is less common, it may be the best option for intended parents who are:

  • Single men
  • Same-sex male couples
  • Intended mothers who cannot produce healthy eggs
  • Those who cannot carry a pregnancy on their own

It is important to note, given the emotional and legal risks that are involved, not all agencies will complete traditional surrogacy journeys. Because of this, gestational surrogacy is the most commonly chosen of the two types of surrogacy. It is highly recommended that you speak with a professional from one of the traditional surrogacy agencies in the United States, if this is the path you plan to choose. 

6 Steps to The Traditional Surrogacy Process

Traditional surrogacy is now much less common than gestational surrogacy, primarily because of traditional surrogacy’s legal and emotional complexities. However, it is still a viable option for some intended parents as they look to grow their families. Much like gestational surrogacy, the process itself follows six traditional surrogacy steps. 

Step 1. Meet screening requirements: Traditional surrogacy agencies have screening processes in place to determine if you are eligible to be an intended parent or surrogate. This process will include answering questions about your medical history, completing a background check, social history, and more. Screening may vary from each professional but is always required before being able to advance to the next step in the process. 

Step 2. Find a surrogacy partner: One of the most exciting steps in the process is finding a match. In most traditional surrogacy situations, the surrogate is a friend or family member of the intended parents, but not always. If you do not have a match in mind, your professional will assist in helping you find a match candidate. Choosing a match you are comfortable with helps make the surrogacy process go much smoother. 

Step 3. Create your surrogacy contract: The surrogacy contract legally protects everyone involved and helps prevent legal or financial disputes throughout the surrogacy. This contract is essentially a guideline for surrogacy, which your professional and attorney will help you create. This is one of the most important steps throughout the traditional surrogacy process.

Step 4. Begin the medical procedure: The medical process for traditional surrogacy is where traditional primarily differs from gestational surrogacy. Traditional surrogacy uses intrauterine insemination (IUI) to artificially inseminate the surrogate and uses the intended father’s or donor sperm. IUI is less complicated than that of in vitro fertilization (IVF), so it requires fewer medical procedures.

Step 5. Prepare for the baby: After a confirmed pregnancy, all parties can begin planning the delivery of the baby. The intended parents will plan for parenthood, while the surrogate will determine all of the delivery details and more. The involvement from each party will vary on personal preferences and previously discussed goals for surrogacy.

Step 6. Deliver the baby and complete post-birth legalities: Once the baby has been born, there will be various legal steps that need to be completed. The most important of those steps is transferring parental rights from the traditional surrogate mother to the intended parents. In the eyes of the law, traditional surrogacy is often treated as an adoption, because the surrogate is the biological mother of the baby. Depending upon individual state laws and guidelines, you may have other legal steps to follow. Your surrogacy attorney will be by your side every step of the way to ensure you are completing each requirement to the fullest.

The medical process, emotional considerations and legal steps may differ from gestational surrogacy, but the goal of parenthood for intended parents or giving the gift of a child for a prospective surrogate remains the same. Everyone will have their own reasons for pursuing either traditional or gestational surrogacy. Understanding your options is essential for making the best decision. 

If you have questions about the types of surrogacy available or would like more information on traditional surrogacy, fill out this online form to get more information and to speak with a professional.

Is Traditional Surrogacy Right for You?

There are several advantages to choosing traditional surrogacy. Generally, it is less expensive and requires fewer medical processes as gestational, but before setting your heart on traditional surrogacy, you may want to speak with a surrogacy professional and determine your local laws on this procedure. 

Some states have banned traditional surrogacy practices due to the increased emotional and legal risk. Because traditional surrogacy laws tend to be more complicated, having the assistance of a well-versed attorney throughout each step of the process is vital towards a successful surrogacy.

Whether you are a prospective surrogate or an intended family, having the best resources and information to make a well-educated decision on the type of surrogacy you want to pursue is essential before making your choice. Weighing the pros and cons of traditional vs. gestational surrogacy can help.

To learn more about traditional surrogacy and the options you have available, fill out this form to speak with a surrogacy professional and to get more information. They will be more than happy to discuss your specific situation and goals and point you in the right direction of what the best option is to achieve them.