When couples are faced with infertility, many have to decide between traditional and gestational surrogacy. After exploring IVF, many couples look at surrogacy as an option that will help them become parents one day.

While the Rite Options program focuses solely on gestational surrogacy, you must understand your options and learn the differences between both types.

Here is a brief explanation of the prevailing differences between traditional and gestational surrogacy:

Gestational Surrogacy

This form is also called a host or partial surrogacy. It is the most favored option for most couples. In gestational surrogacy, the carrier or surrogate does not share a biological link with the baby she will be carrying. The embryo is formed in an In Vitro Fertilization lab using eggs from either the intended mother or donor. The eggs are fertilized with either the intended father or the donor’s sperm. When the embryo forms, it is transplanted into the surrogate mother’s womb at the IVF clinic.

Traditional Surrogacy

In this form, the surrogate mother acts as both the biological mother and egg donor of the baby she will be having. The embryo is formed with the sperm obtained from the intended father or a donor. It is transferred into the mother’s womb through intrauterine insemination. Traditional surrogacy is also referred to as genetic or full surrogacy.

Since this form of surrogacy is often emotionally and legally more complicated, it is far less common.

Primary Differences Between Traditional and Gestational Surrogacy

The most crucial difference between both forms of surrogacy is the biological link to the child. This simple variance has a significant impact on surrogacy processes in many ways. It is recommended that intended parents understand every aspect before making a final decision.

Listed below are some of the differences:

Medical Process

IVF is used in gestational surrogacy, while IUI is used in genetic surrogacy. These are both very different medical procedures. IUI is a more straightforward process requiring fewer fertility treatments. Intended mothers are not required to undergo egg retrieval procedures or take fertility drugs.

Legal Process

Laws surrounding traditional surrogacy are more complicated. Since the biological mother is also the surrogate, she possesses parental rights to the unborn child. This needs to be legally terminated after the birth of the baby. Some states require non-biological parents to complete step-parent adoption procedures to get parental rights.

Wait Time

Since there aren’t as many individuals who would want to participate in traditional surrogacy, nor are there many centers that offer these services, the wait time can be quite long. In gestational surrogacy, the legal process is more straightforward, and the agency you’re working with will facilitate the process.


The cost of gestational surrogacy may seem higher in the beginning due to IVF procedures. However, since there are more legal hurdles to overcome in traditional surrogacy, this form may prove more expensive.


There are more legal and emotional risks involved in genetic surrogacy than gestational surrogacy. Due to the shared biological connection, the mother is more likely to bond with her baby-making it extremely difficult for her to hand it to you after the birth. In addition, since she possesses parental rights, she may challenge the surrogacy arrangement at any time in court. This can spill out into a long and costly legal battle.

There are many variables to consider when deciding between traditional and gestational surrogacy. If you feel gestational surrogacy might be a good fit for you, contact Rite Options.