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How do surrogates and gestational carriers differ?

On Behalf of | Jul 12, 2022 | Surrogacy Law |

Many couples in California may need fertility assistance to have children. Those who need a woman to carry a baby for them need to know the difference between a surrogate and a gestational carrier.

What is a surrogate?

The term “surrogate” has long been a source of confusion. In the traditional sense, a surrogate is a woman who agrees to carry a baby for another person or couple while using her own egg. She is impregnated usually through intrauterine insemination (IUI) with the intended father’s sperm or donor sperm, which means that she shares a genetic relationship with the child.

Traditional surrogacy is not advised due to its legal implications. The surrogate might decide she wants to keep the baby, which can create numerous legal and moral complications.

What is a gestational carrier?

A gestational carrier is a woman who carries a baby for another person or couple. However, the intended mother’s egg or a donor egg is used instead. The intended father’s sperm or donor sperm is used to fertilize the egg before it is implanted into the carrier’s uterus through in vitro fertilization (IVF).

The carrier has no genetic relationship with the baby. She enters into an agreement with the person or couple. Because of the lack of genetic link, there is far less likelihood of any legal implications arising with gestational surrogacy.

A gestational carrier can be found from an agency or even right in a person’s own family. If one is obtained through an agency, there are various financial costs associated with the pregnancy and other services. However, if the carrier is someone related to the couple or a close friend, there is usually no financial compensation involved. This situation is referred to as altruistic surrogacy.

Gestational surrogacy is only one of the options available for those with fertility issues. Doing your homework is important.