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OK Surrogacy: The Difference Between Traditional and Gestational Surrogacy

Surrogacy has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Since kings and rulers needed children but their wives couldn’t bear them since the beginning, there has been some form of surrogacy. Surrogacy is even referenced in biblical times, although it’s changed a lot from the days of Sara and Abraham. The practice of surrogacy started making some much-needed changes around 1884. The first successful artificial insemination paved the way for more ethical practices of both traditional and gestational surrogacy. Big changes really came about in the mid-1970s with the first ethical and successful IVF (in vitro fertilization) embryo transfer, followed by the first legal surrogacy agreement. Needless to say, surrogacy has changed a lot and significantly for the better. 

Adoption and Surrogacy Choices of Oklahoma is proud to be part of the surrogacy community in the 21st century. We help women through the entire surrogacy process and even postpartum healing. If you’re considering becoming a surrogate mother or want to know more, we’re here for you. We never pressure you or try to convince you to make any decisions you aren’t comfortable with. Surrogacy is a wonderful and beautiful thing, but it’s not for everyone. 

If you’re new to surrogacy, you may only think one type of surrogacy exists. When you think of surrogacy, you probably picture gestational surrogacy. It’s the most common and most practiced form of surrogacy today and the only legal form in most states. You may be surprised to learn there are, in fact, two types of surrogacy: traditional and gestational. So what’s the difference between the two? 

What is Gestational Surrogacy?

Gestational surrogacy is the most popular surrogacy type in the United States, and numbers increase every year. In essence, gestational surrogacy means the surrogate acts as an oven to create a sweet little bun made from ingredients provided by the intended family. 

In gestational surrogacy, eggs and sperm are taken from one or both of the intended parents or a donor. In the event that one of the parents can’t provide eggs or sperm, in infertility cases, LGBTQ couples, or single intended parents, a donor is used. The surrogate will go through a series of medications and injections to ensure the embryo transfer is successful. The egg is fertilized, and then the embryo is transferred to the surrogate’s uterus. 

IVF and Gestational Surrogacy

IVF is a method of artificial insemination using mature eggs and sperm, completing fertilization in a lab. Afterward, the fertilized egg or eggs are transferred to the surrogate’s uterus. The IVF procedure is similar to a pap smear most women are used to. A speculum is used to insert a thin tube through the cervix into the uterus. The embryo is directly inserted into the uterus through the tube, sometimes using a syringe. The procedure is usually done at a fertility clinic or doctor’s office and is generally painless. If any of the embryos attach to the lining of the uterus, then congratulations! You’re pregnant! 

What is Traditional Surrogacy?

Traditional surrogacy is the oldest form of surrogacy. It used to be the only way for infertile parents to have children, but thankfully we’ve come a long way with modern medicine and surrogacy laws. Essentially, in traditional surrogacy, the surrogate provides the eggs that are fertilized. There’s no embryo transfer, and sperm is placed directly into the surrogate’s uterus. 

IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) and Traditional Surrogacy

IUI is a type of insemination often used for couples who struggle to get pregnant since it puts the sperm directly into the uterus, helping the sperm get closer to the egg, making it easier to fertilize. In IUI, healthy sperm are collected and are placed into the uterus using a small tube, similar to the IVF process. Once an egg is fertilized and sticks to the uterus, you’re pregnant. 

Why do People Choose Traditional Surrogacy?

The artificial insemination process used in traditional surrogacy, IUI, is a very simple procedure. Since it’s so low-tech, it can be significantly less expensive than IVF. Although people may have other reasons for choosing traditional surrogacy, the price difference can be a big motivator. 

Why do People Choose Gestational Surrogacy over Traditional Surrogacy?

Aside from traditional surrogacy not being legal in most states anymore, there are several reasons why surrogates and intended parents prefer gestational surrogacy. 

  • A gestational carrier, is not biologically related to the baby, causing less internal conflict and easier to heal postpartum. 
  • Additionally, intended parents prefer to use their own eggs and sperm if possible. Not having the surrogate immediately related to the baby makes it less complicated for everyone. 
  • Gestational surrogacy is less emotionally complicated. 
  • Surrogacy agencies tend to have more experience with gestational surrogacies.
  • More intended parents are interested in gestational surrogacy over traditional; therefore, there are fewer available to choose from if you’re looking at traditional surrogacy. 

Could Gestational Surrogacy Work for You?

If you are considering OK surrogacy and on the fence about which type is right for you, don’t feel backed into a corner because of external pressure. Traditional surrogacy works well for some people, and gestational surrogacy works well for some people. The beauty of the world is everyone is different, and we have the freedom of choice when it comes to surrogacy. After all, the end product is the gift of a child for the intended family. If you’re still not sure, talk to us at Adoption and Surrogacy Choices of Oklahoma or check out our surrogate website for more information. We’ve been doing this for 20 years, and we know a thing or two. We can help you determine if surrogacy is a good option for you, if you qualify and what type of surrogacy fits you. Taking the first step to reach out, ask questions, and do research can be difficult. Traditional or gestational, you never know whose life you’ll change by being a surrogate. 

Adoption and Surrogacy Choices of Oklahoma is a surrogacy and adoption agency, licensed by the state of Oklahoma and leader in the community. We assist both intended parents and gestational carriers (surrogates). Our staff members are committed to providing an ethical, empowering, and personalized experience to all involved in the surrogacy process.
Toll-free: 800-898-6028 | OKC Local: 405-755-1999 | Tulsa Local: 918-447-7777 | Text: 405-310-8790Email

Meet the AuthorMichelle Brugioni is a practiced, well-versed college-educated writer and avid coffee drinker. She has ten years of experience as a freelance writer and has written for an alarmingly wide range of clients and publications. She has written on topics like: life science, biopharmaceutical company acquisitions, dealing with anxiety, and creative drinking games. 

As a fearless writer and masterful researcher, each time Michelle is approached with the question, “Can you write this?” she responds confidently with, “When do you need it?”


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