Surrogacy and gestational carriership are both forms of assisted reproduction. While surrogacy (classic surrogacy) is a good kind of assisted reproduction, we favor the use of a gestational carrier instead. In this article, we explain both methods to help you understand which is the better choice for you.
About Surrogacy (Traditional Surrogacy)
This is the process in assisted reproductive medicine whereby a person referred to as the surrogate agrees to carry and deliver a child. The child is conceived through intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in-vitro fertilization (IVF) for someone else, referred to as the intended parents.
Here, the parent or a donor’s sperm fertilizes the surrogate’s egg, and she carries the pregnancy and delivers the baby to the intended parents based on agreed terms. As the egg donor, she is genetically related to the child and the biological mother.
Intending parents can arrange the surrogacy process in either of two ways; commercial surrogacy or Altruistic surrogacy. In commercial surrogacy, the surrogate receives payment or material benefits for carrying the pregnancy and delivering the baby on behalf of the intended parents. The intended parent also pays for costs relating to the pregnancy.
In Altruistic surrogacy, the surrogate receives no payment or benefit for carrying the pregnancy and delivering the child. However, the intended parents pay the pregnancy bills.
- It Is Demanding
Surrogacy (traditional surrogacy) is usually very tasking, emotionally, physically, and mentally demanding for the surrogate and intended parent(s). It is also financially demanding for the intended parent(s), especially when the agreement is commercial. It also requires that all parties concerned receive adequate counseling and psychological support.
A sense of fulfillment usually accompanies the birth of the child through the surrogate mother. The intended parents also feel fulfilled that they have a child and can experience the joy of parenting. The family is made complete with the help of a surrogate mother. The latter also feels a sense of accomplishment from carrying the pregnancy successfully and giving the gift of a baby to the intended parents.
- Builds Relationship
Persons who would otherwise not have met themselves but for the surrogacy arrangement are brought together to have a relationship. Meaningful relationships with strong bonds are often built during the surrogacy process, and some of these relationships last a very long time or even a lifetime.
- Surrogate mothers feel a sense of accomplishment
- It leads to beautiful relationships that could last a lifetime
- Opportunity to be pregnant without bringing another child into the surrogate’s family
- It provides an opportunity for either parent to be biologically affiliated with the child
- More affordable than paying for a gestational carrier
- Possibility of complications in pregnancy and other related risks
- It involves a lot of time and physical commitment
- Has higher chances of legal complexities that could be emotionally draining
About Gestational Carriers
In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate (gestational carrier) has no biological or genetic relationship with the baby she is carrying. Eggs from the intended parents or a sperm donor are fertilized through in-vitro fertilization and implanted in the gestational carrier, who carries the pregnancy and delivers the baby to the intended parent.
A gestational carrier is a woman who carries the fertilized egg from another woman during pregnancy and delivers the child to the other woman or the intended parent. She only serves to carry the pregnancy safely to term. Many prefer this because there are fewer legal issues here since the gestational carrier is unrelated to the child.
- High Success Rate
Gestational carriers have a track record of carrying pregnancies successfully and birthing healthy babies. This makes gestational carriers more attractive as a means of having children fertility treatments for the intended parent, which may not be so successful.
- Requires Commitment
The gestational surrogacy process involves and requires a lot of commitment from all parties. The gestational carrier commits her time and emotion to successfully carrying the pregnancy and delivering the child on behalf of the couple or individual parent.
The couple or individual, on their part, are also committed to fulfilling the terms and conditions under which the gestational carrier is carrying the pregnancy. They must also pay costs associated with the pregnancy.
- Based on Trust
Gestational surrogacy is a process based on trust. The gestational carrier trusts that all the conditions under which she carries and delivers the pregnancy will be taken care of by the couple or individual she is carrying the pregnancy for, and costs associated with pregnancy will be paid. The couple or individual, on their part, trusts that the carrier will invest the time, energy, and emotions required in carrying the pregnancy and giving birth to a healthy child on their behalf.
- Gestational carriers have a less emotional attachment to the child than a surrogate
- Couples get the opportunity to have biological offspring
- Women can be biological mothers without carrying the pregnancy themselves
- Gestational carriers reduce the risk of miscarriage
- Single parents can have children through this process
- The gestational surrogacy process and locating a gestational carrier can be quite complex
- It may be expensive to get a donor and carrier separately
- A gestational carrier may still experience pregnancy-related risks and complications
Similarities Between Surrogacy and Gestational Carrier
A traditional surrogate and gestational carrier are two popular options for people considering assisted reproductive medicine. Both describe methods of assisting couples or individuals in achieving their dream of becoming parents despite medical or biological limitations that make such naturally impossible.
Both involve a lot of commitment and trust. They also take a lot of time, energy, and money to ensure all parties involved are satisfied with the process from start to finish.
Furthermore, the conditions for carrying the pregnancy and birthing the child could be commercial or altruistic for both the surrogate mother and the gestational carrier.
Differences Between Surrogacy and Gestational Carrier
In surrogacy, the surrogate mother donates her eggs for the process, which makes her the biological mother of the child in her womb. However, the gestational carrier will not share their genes or biological features with the child they give birth to at the end of pregnancy. They use a donor’s egg instead.
Also, the doctors can do artificial insemination to attain pregnancy in surrogacy, but the gestational carrier can only receive an embryo formed through in vitro fertilization (IVF).
For various reasons, traditional surrogacy is not as prevalent as it once was, leading to increased use of gestational carriers. Careful consideration of both processes’ features, advantages, and disadvantages should help a couple or an individual make the best choice given their peculiar circumstance.