Traditional Surrogacy: Everything That You Need to Know

Surrogacy is becoming a more popular choice for people hoping to grow their families. Surrogacy has been around for decades and with advances in medical technology, it is very safe for everyone involved. Unfortunately, despite the growth in its popularity surrogacy is still very much an enigma to many people.
One of the most confusing aspects of surrogacy is understanding the differences between traditional and gestational surrogacy. Traditional and gestational surrogacy are often confused and the major differences between them sometimes unknown. Whether you are considering surrogacy or just want to know more on the topic, we’ve got you covered. Below, we’ll discuss the differences between traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy.

Traditional Surrogacy

Traditional surrogacy was the only kind of surrogacy available before medical advancements opened the door for gestational surrogacy. Traditional surrogacy involves a surrogate carrying a child that is biologically related to her. In this type of surrogacy, the surrogate acts as both the gestational carrier and egg donor.
In the early 1980’s, a court case regarding a traditional surrogate captured the nation’s attention. The widely-debated case revolved around a traditional surrogate’s fight for parental rights to her child after reneging on a surrogacy contract that she had made with the child’s intended parents. At some point during the pregnancy, she had a change of heart and tried to give back the money that she had received to be a surrogate and keep the child as her own.
The “Baby M” case, as it was called, was the first introduction to surrogacy for many Americans and fueled a lot of negative misconceptions about surrogacy. The courts eventually decided that the child should remain with the intended parents. However, immediately following the ruling, many states enacted laws that protected birth mothers’ parental rights in similar cases.
With the introduction of gestational surrogacy, traditional surrogacy has been all but erased. The vast majority of surrogacies that take place in the United States are gestational surrogacies. Traditional surrogacies make it difficult for intended parents to guarantee that they will have sole parental rights to their child, gestational surrogacies don’t.

Gestational Surrogacy

Gestational surrogacy allows intended parents to implant a fertilized embryo into a surrogate as she acts as the gestational carrier for the child. Surrogates in gestational surrogacies are not biologically related to the child that they carry. Parental rights in gestational surrogacies favor intended parents as they are biologically related to the child. Gestational surrogacies make up the majority of surrogacy cases in the United States. Many restrictive surrogacy laws across the country have been overturned with the emergence of gestational surrogacy.


Choosing which surrogacy option is right for you depends on your situation. Many people favor gestational surrogacy because of its relative ease when it comes to the law. Currently, most laws favor biological parents over surrogates, when it comes to parental rights. However, in traditional surrogacy cases, both intended parents and surrogates are related to the child so it can be difficult to navigate in the judicial system.

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