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The Difference Between Gestational and Traditional Surrogacy

Couples struggling with infertility may use certain procedures and services to help them achieve their dream of conceiving, such as the use of a surrogate carrier. There are two forms of surrogacy, gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy.

Gestational surrogacy is the most common type of surrogacy. In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate carrier is not biologically related to the child being carried. Instead, gestational surrogacy involves the use of eggs from the intended mother or an egg donor and sperm from the intended father or a sperm donor to form an embryo that is transferred into the uterus of a surrogate carrier through in vitro fertilization (“IVF”). IVF is a procedure where eggs are fertilized in a laboratory and a limited number of resulting embryos are transferred into the uterus of the surrogate, the carrier.

A gestational surrogate is sought by a couple when an intended parent wants to have a child and either does not have a uterus or has a medical condition that would prevent the mother from safely carrying a baby. Some of these medical conditions or reasons may include abnormalities in the uterine lining, being older than 45, cancer, or diabetes. An intended parent with such health conditions that would make it difficult to conceive and carry a child of her own may seek out a surrogate to carry her biological child.

Many steps are involved for a couple seeking gestational surrogacy. First, a couple must find a suitable surrogate either through websites, fertility clinics, attorneys, or private agencies. The ideal gestational surrogate should be a healthy woman between the ages of 21 and 45 who has had a successful term pregnancy and is physically and emotionally fit. It is very important that the proper screenings take place for both the surrogate and the intended parents. The appropriate surrogate must undergo a complete history and physical examination, as well as a psychological exam. The intended parents must also be tested to make sure they are healthy enough to go through the procedures associated with IVF, as well as undergo genetic testing and psychological exams.

To increase the chances of a successful fertilization, it is optimal to be able to extract multiple eggs from the intended mother or egg donor. This is achieved through the use of fertility drugs, which are prescribed to increase egg production for the intended mother or egg donor. Once eggs are extracted and then fertilized, they are transferred to the uterus of the surrogate carrier, with the hope of implantation in the uterine wall. The surrogate releases the baby to the couple right after birth.

The other type of surrogacy is traditional surrogacy. In traditional surrogacy, the child is genetically related to the surrogate because the surrogate’s egg is used to create the child. Eggs from the surrogate are combined with sperm from the male partner or donor sperm to create an embryo. Traditional surrogacy used to be the only option for intended parents who needed to use a surrogate. This type of surrogacy may result in pregnancy through the use of varying procedures. Two of these procedures include: the use of intrauterine insemination (“IUI’s”) or cervical inseminations (“ICI’s”). IUI is a fertility treatment that uses a catheter to place a number of washed sperm directly into the uterus. An ICI is where a small catheter is used to deposit semen near, but not inside, the cervix. Many intended parents choose to use a gestational surrogate due to the genetic link between the traditional surrogate and the child she is carrying. Some surrogates may find it difficult to detach from the baby because of the genetic relationship. Additionally, there may be greater legal protection for the parents in a gestational surrogacy.

In order to protect the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved, from the surrogate carrier, the intended parents and/or donors, an attorney is required to prepare all legal documents before any procedures begins. The surrogate and egg donor should also have independent legal counsel from the intended parents.

Source by Alexia Gertz

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