What is a Gestational Surrogate?

Gestational surrogate mother: Experienced versus non-experienced surrogates

What is a Gestational Surrogate?

Gestational surrogacy is the most common type of surrogacy in Canada and the United States today. In gestational surrogacy, the baby is not genetically linked to the surrogate, who is often referred to as a gestational carrier or a gestational surrogate. So, in other words, a gestational carrier is a woman who carries a child for some prospective intended parents and who has no genetic connection to the child she carries.

While the surrogate mother carries the pregnancy and gives birth, the prospective parents raise the baby and will be listed on the birth certificate as the parents.

In general, the gestational surrogacy process consists of finding your surrogacy soul mate, completing legal agreements, creating and transferring the embryo to the surrogate, using one of the following:

  • The eggs of the intended mother and sperm of the intended father
  • A donated egg fertilized with sperm from the intended father
  • The intended mother’s egg fertilized with the sperm of a donor
  • An embryo created using donor eggs and donor sperm

At this point, it’s important to understand the main differences between gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy.

What is Traditional Surrogacy and Gestational Surrogacy?

The terms “gestational surrogate” and “traditional surrogate” are usually intermixed and this can create some confusion. They are both women who decide to carry a pregnancy for some prospective parents who cannot carry a pregnancy to term without help. However, a traditional surrogate will use her own eggs in the process and she will be biologically connected to the baby. While, a gestational surrogate is a woman who carries a baby that has been conceived using an egg donor or the egg of the intended mother, so she has no genetic link with the baby.

For the intended parents, one of the most challenging steps in the surrogacy journey is to find a surrogate mother.

When looking for a gestational carrier, many questions will cross your mind and might even make you feel overwhelmed. One of those questions may be whether an experienced gestational carrier will improve your odds of a successful pregnancy or not.

gestational surrogate

Experienced versus non-Experienced Gestational Surrogate Mothers

What is an experienced surrogate? An experienced surrogate (or proven surrogate) is a surrogate mother who previously had a successful embryo transfer and surrogacy delivery.

At first sight, intended parents could prefer an experienced surrogate because she will know what to do or because she will perform better. However, there are no clear statistics if it’s likely to improve your odds when you match with a proven surrogate.

When you look for a gestational carrier, her age, Body Mass Index (BMI), overall health, and own pregnancies can be better indicators of a good candidate than if they have been a surrogate before. So, younger, healthy BMI, active, with good personal pregnancies are good characteristics to look for, regardless of whether it is her first time or not.

Experienced surrogates may have some pros that make it a popular choice for intended parents, but there are some cons to take into consideration. If you decide to match with a proven surrogate mother, maybe your journey will be a bit less stressful as she and her family know how the surrogacy process works and what to expect, however, they may ask for higher compensation.

gestational surrogate mother

The gestational surrogacy process can differ somewhat, based on your country’s regulations, your individual circumstances and more. It’s important that before locating a surrogacy opportunity you get in contact with a surrogacy professional for more information about the qualifications required for gestational surrogates, how surrogacy works and what is a surrogate mother.

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Written by David
I work daily to make surrogacy available to as many intended parents, surrogate mothers and egg donors around the world as possible.
  1. Family support is extremely important in such delicate question as surrogate motherhood.
    It’s not easy to make the decision to be a gestational surrogate. It means you should carry a baby and after 9 months of pregnancy you must give him to his biological parents. Surrogates know all these things but it is difficult anyway.
    I know it from the first hand because my sister was a surrogate, so I believe family support is very important!

  2. I read your blog and how useful! I am researching because I want to become a surrogate too. I always known that I wanted to be a surrogate since I was a teenager. I had my daughter 3 years ago (perfect pregnancy and delivery) and I believe the time is about right for me.

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