Surrogacy – Traditional? Gestational? What does it all mean?!

Surrogacy is a family building option for those who want a child and have not had success with other assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatments. There are two types of surrogacy — traditional and gestational — that are practiced today.

In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is both the egg donor and surrogate, and is therefore genetically related to the child. The surrogate carries an embryo that was created with her own egg and the sperm of the intended father who, with the intended mother, will obtain legal and physical custody of the child. Traditional surrogacy can be accomplished either by intrauterine insemination (IUI) or by in vitro fertilization (IVF). The Traditional Surrogate is inseminated with the Father’s or Donor’s sperm monthly at ovulation until pregnancy occurs.

In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate gives birth to a baby created with an egg and sperm from the “intended parents,” or the embryo can be created from a donor egg and/or donor sperm. The majority of surrogates today are gestational carriers and have no genetic relationship to the child born from the arrangement. IVF is used to fertilize the eggs in a laboratory. If the fertilization is successful, a fertility doctor transfers some or all of the resulting embryos (usually two or three) into to the surrogate’s uterus. After delivery, the gestational surrogate immediately surrenders the baby to the intended parent(s).

Many different people can use surrogacy as an option to build their families, including couples and single women who have had multiple failed pregnancies, those who are unable or have difficulty conceiving, those who are unable to carry a fetus to term or same-sex male couples who want a child with a genetic link to one of the partners.

With that said, we are continually reminded that many people still believe surrogacy can’t happen in Indiana. Surrogacy can and does happen in Indiana! Stay tuned for our upcoming blog on surrogacy and the law in Indiana.