Types of surrogacy. Gestational and traditional surrogacies

Throughout the existence of mankind the main purpose of marriage was to give the world a new life – to have a baby. However, not every family can have their own children due to various reasons, which may be infertility, tight schedule, personal preferences, and many other. Now any of those do not seem to be an insoluble problem, and can be solved via assisted reproductive technologies, such as extracorporeal fertilization, surrogacy, egg/oocyte donation, etc.

The notions “gestational carrier” and “surrogate mother” are applied for a female of a childbearing age who gives a birth to a baby for potential parents. But still those types of surrogacy bare the difference, which might be quite significant, since in certain countries one of them is strictly prohibited.

The term “gestational surrogacy” means that a surrogate mother gives a birth to a genetically alien baby. For this procedure the biological material is taken from both potential parents and the ovum undergoes the fertilization in the laboratory, and after that the embryo is placed to the surrogate’s uterus. In this case surrogate has no rights to claim the child to be hers. Transfer of embryos began to be carried out only in the XX century, although there is an Indian legend, according to which the fetal transfer was performed by the gods in 599 BC. Since the last decade of the previous century gestational surrogacy has been chosen as a more appropriate solution for infertility, and now it is usually the only option offered by the agencies.

The traditional surrogacy implies that the female is both surrogate and biological mother of the future baby. Previously, this was reached by means of natural insemination, but in the 20th century it became possible to fertilize the egg without coming into contact – this is called artificial fertilization. For this case only one parent – the future father – gives the genetic material for the future baby. In some countries this very procedure is prohibited.

Term “gestational carrier” more definitely depicts a woman who gains no genetic bounds to the child she gives birth to for future parents. This very term is more and more frequently used in courts and by lawyers. The preference given to this term shows not only the progress in the technology of surrogacy, but also a shift in the evolution of notion of artificial fertilization itself. Some people consider that the term “gestational carrier” can’t fully convey the concept of being a surrogate or seems to be less personal.

So the application of terms “surrogate” or “gestational carrier” depends on the specific situation. In most cases these terms can be considered interconvertible, except the cases (e. g. in legal context) in which their modest differences might be significant. But no matter which words we use to describe the process of artificial fertilization, it won’t change the main idea – to help the future parents to have a long-awaited child.