What are the Different Types of Surrogacy and What are
Surrogacy involves using one woman's uterus for the purpose of implanting and carrying
an embryo in order to deliver a baby for another person or couple.
The woman who will carry the embryo is known as the surrogate. This process entails
using in vitro fertilization in order to place the fertilized egg into the surrogate's
uterus. There are two primary types of surrogacy. These are traditional and gestational,
and each works in a somewhat different fashion.
- Traditional Surrogacy
When using traditional surrogacy, the surrogate acts as both the egg donor and as
the actual surrogate for the embryo, and she is impregnated using a process known
as intrauterine insemination, or IUI.
In this IUI procedure, the doctor will transfer sperm that is taken from the biological
father and will subsequently transfer that sperm into the surrogate's uterus so
that fertilization may take place naturally.
Therefore, with traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is also the biological mother
of the child. This type of surrogacy is typically only used if the biological mother's
egg and/or the biological father's sperm are unable to be used.
- Gestational Surrogacy
With gestational surrogacy, the surrogate's eggs are not used at all. Therefore,
the child will not be related to the surrogate biologically. Using the gestational
type of surrogacy, the embryo is actually created by using both the biological father's
sperm and the biological mother's egg through a process called in vitro fertilization.
It is not until after the biological mother's egg is fertilized that the embryo
is transferred to the uterus of the surrogate using the process of in vitro fertilization.
In most cases, it will take between three and five days for the embryos to develop
in the laboratory prior to transferring them to the surrogate. Then, once the embryo
has successfully been placed into the surrogate's uterus, the surrogate will carry
the embryo through the pregnancy term until its birth.
The rate of success when using in vitro fertilization will depend upon several factors
such as the age and health of the biological mother who is providing the eggs. Interestingly,
however, in many cases, the rates of pregnancy are actually higher when using eggs
that are taken from biological mothers who are otherwise infertile versus when eggs
are taken from fertile women.
Surrogacy Factors to Consider
Even though traditional and gestational surrogacy are very different, both are typically
just as safe as going through a traditional biological pregnancy. Prior to starting
the surrogacy process, the surrogate is first screened in order to determine her
overall health. If she is not deemed healthy enough to carry the embryo, another
surrogate must be chosen. Once ready to proceed, if using gestational surrogacy,
the surrogate will be required to take certain medications that will assist her
in developing numerous eggs for use in the fertilization process. When the baby
is ready for birth, the surrogate will go through the typical process for delivery
of the baby. After the baby's birth, he or she will then go home with the new parents.
When an infertile couple (or a single male or female) desires a family, several
options present themselves. They include: egg donation, sperm donation, traditional
surrogacy, gestational surrogacy, or adoption. Surrogacy is a desirable option for
many intended parents because a genetic link to their child is possible, unlike
adoption. For medical or genetic reasons, some intended parents need only the assistance
of anonymous egg or sperm donors. In addition to securing a surrogate, we can assist
with securing egg/sperm donor for the intended parents.
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News & Events
- Risks of using an unregistered donor
- If you don’t use a registered donor from an HFEA licensed clinic:
- you could be putting your health and that of the unborn child at risk as the same
checks and screening do not apply
- the legal position is less clear and the donor could have a claim on or responsibility
for the child
- people born as a result will not have a statutory right to access information about
their donor from the HFEA register.