Types of Surrogacy

What is Gestational Surrogacy, and How Does it Work?

If you’re considering becoming a surrogate, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is determining which type of surrogacy you are comfortable pursuing. The most common choice for surrogates by far is gestational surrogacy.

Gestational surrogacy, which is also known as “partial surrogacy” or “host surrogacy,” is the surrogacy path that offers the most protection and security for both parties, eliminating the potential legal complications of traditional surrogacy. Most surrogacy professionals today will only complete gestational surrogacy, which is yet another reason that most surrogates choose this path.

But, what is gestational surrogacy, and how do you know if it’s right for you?

The Gestational Surrogacy Definition

Before beginning any gestational surrogacy process, you need to understand exactly what it means to be a gestational surrogate.

In gestational surrogacy, you will not be related to the baby you are carrying. Unlike in traditional surrogacy (where a surrogate uses her own eggs for the intended parents’ embryo), your eggs will not be used to create the embryo. Instead, the embryo will often be created prior to your matching with the intended parents. In most cases, at least one intended parent will be genetically related to the baby, making the legal steps of establishing parentage much easier.

Most surrogates feel more comfortable carrying a baby that they are not genetically related to, as it helps eliminate some of the more complicated emotions that come with genetic motherhood. They are happy knowing that they are helping intended parents who can’t carry their own child have a genetic relationship with their baby.

The Gestational Surrogacy Process

So, how does gestational surrogacy work?

There are many steps to the gestational surrogacy process but, fortunately, there are also many surrogacy professionals available who can help you through these various steps. In general, here’s what the surrogacy process looks like:

  1. After initial screening, you will find intended parents who are also interested in completing a gestational surrogacy.
  2. You will complete a legal surrogacy contract that details things like your surrogate compensation, legal rights and responsibilities and more.
  3. You and the intended parents will start the surrogacy medical process. After you all are cleared for any necessary medical procedures, the intended parents’ fertility clinic will either prepare an already-created embryo for transfer or create the embryo from the intended parents’ egg and sperm (or with a donated gamete). Remember, you will never use your own eggs in gestational surrogacy. The embryo will then be transferred to your uterus.
  4. After a confirmed pregnancy, you will carry the baby to term through a fairly normal pregnancy process, keeping in touch with the intended parents along the way.
  5. The parents will confirm their parentage with appropriate legal steps based on gestational surrogacy laws in your state, you will give birth to the baby, and the gestational surrogacy process will be complete.

While each surrogacy process is unique based on the preferences and goals of the surrogate and intended parents, most gestational surrogacies follow these basic steps. The best way to learn what your individual surrogacy journey may look like is by contacting an appropriate surrogacy professional.

The Gestational Surrogacy Cost

It’s normal for prospective surrogates to wonder, “How much is gestational surrogacy?”

Both traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy are always completely free to surrogates. All of your surrogacy- and pregnancy-related expenses will be covered by your intended parents, and you’ll receive a certain amount of surrogate compensation, as well.

A gestational surrogacy can be expensive for intended parents — running anywhere from $75,000 to $150,000 — but that is because of all the professionals required to safely and successfully complete the gestational surrogacy process. Some surrogates who wish to help save the intended parents money choose to receive a smaller surrogate compensation or even complete the process altruistically. If you think you want to pursue this surrogacy path, speak with your surrogacy attorney to learn more about what is allowed with your state’s gestational surrogacy laws and what he or she recommends for your own legal protection.

The Gestational Surrogacy Success Rates

Gestational surrogacy statistics are not as easily available as statistics from other family-building processes, as surrogacy is relatively new. The actual number of children born through surrogacy is not accurately known, as reporting is not absolutely complete. This is because many factors influence gestational surrogacy success rates and the definition of “success” in assisted reproductive technology methods varies.

In general, gestational surrogacy has one of the highest pregnancy rates of all ART procedures, according to the Reproductive Medicine Institute.

If you’re interested in learning more about gestational surrogacy statistics before deciding to become a surrogate, we encourage you to speak to a surrogacy clinic or fertility clinic to find out their program success rates.

Find out if Gestational Surrogacy is Right for You

Every prospective surrogate is different, and it’s important that you find the surrogacy process that’s best for you — whether that’s traditional or gestational surrogacy. The best way to make this decision is by being as informed as possible about all of your surrogacy options. You can learn a lot from perusing the information on this site, but it’s also a good idea to speak to an experienced surrogacy professional to learn more about what your specific surrogacy journey may look like. Get started by contacting one today.

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