What Is Traditional Surrogacy?

Although not as common as gestational surrogacy, traditional surrogacy is still a possibility for prospective parents and surrogates.


Third party reproduction is a great alternative way for some same-sex people to start a family. For others with medical issues, it may be their last chance to have a biological child. No matter what your sexual orientation, age, race or religion is, surrogacy (whether traditional surrogacy or gestational surrogacy) can be your journey to parenthood.

Traditional Surrogacy vs. Gestational Surrogacy

Gestational Surrogacy is when a woman (gestational surrogate or carrier) carries a child for someone else (Intended Parents). This woman, “the surrogate” would have no biological connection to the child. In order to achieve pregnancy, the surrogate would need to have embryos medically transferred into her uterus . Embryos may consist of the intended mother’s egg and the intended father’s sperm or any combination of donor eggs and donor sperm.

The main positive aspect of gestational surrogacy is that the surrogate is completely unrelated to the child. Fertility clinics usually require legal agreements to be in place before egg retrievals (from the egg donor) and embryo transfers (to the surrogate mother) take place.

Traditional Surrogacy is when “the surrogate” is genetically linked to the child. The surrogate’s eggs are used with either the intended father’s sperm or donor sperm. This procedure can be done through IVF(In Vitro Fertilization) but more commonly, it is done through IUI (intrauterine insemination). The sperm is washed and medically injected into the surrogate’s uterus. Home insemination is another method commonly used with Traditional surrogacy. Check with a medical professional before attempting home insemination.

Traditional Surrogacy Regulations

Surrogacy regulations vary from country to country and traditional surrogacy may be illegal, even in some countries where gestational surrogacy is legal.

Traditional surrogacy is a legally complicated process, and in a lot of situations, regulations are vague at best. This kind of surrogacy includes extra-legal challenges (for example, the termination of parental rights of the surrogate), so it is very important to get in contact with an experienced lawyer before starting your process.

Traditional Surrogacy Cost

The cost of traditional surrogacy will vary depending on different variables, including the surrogacy professionals you will work with, the many services you will need during the process, and the needs of your surrogate mother.

Whereas a surrogacy process is typically expensive, traditional surrogacy is usually cheaper than gestational surrogacy. This lower cost is mainly due to the fact IUI is more cost-effective than IVF.

The lower surrogacy costs associated with traditional surrogacy make it an attractive option. However, it carries remarkable legal risk because the surrogate is the biological mother of her baby, so she has the power to change her mind and keep the baby. In this scenario, the intended parents would need to go to court to gain custody of the baby.

surrogacy and parenthood

Final Thoughts

Although there are many challenges with traditional surrogacy to be taken into consideration, people still make use of it.

Whether you are a prospective surrogate or an intended parent, before starting your process, weigh the risks of traditional surrogacy before moving forward. Here you can learn more about the different types of surrogacy processes.

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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.

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