Surrogacy is a beautiful way to expand your family. When you consider surrogacy, you will need to choose between two types: traditional and gestational. The first step to making that decision is understanding the difference between the two.

Traditional surrogacy

In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate who carries the baby is the biological mother because her eggs are used.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is typically the medical procedure used in traditional surrogacy. This process creates the artificial insemination of the surrogate’s egg. Couples can choose to use a donor or the father’s sperm. In vitro fertilization (IVF) can also be used.

Due to the use of IUI and no need for an egg donation, traditional surrogacy can be cheaper than gestational. However, it can also be more difficult to find a surrogate willing to use their own eggs.

Gestational surrogacy

Gestational surrogacy, on the other hand, does not use the eggs of the surrogate. This type is more common than traditional surrogacy in the U.S. Typically, this process uses the egg and/or sperm of the parents or those of chosen donors.

IVF is usually used to create the embryo and transfer it to the surrogate. The surrogate will be the birth mother because she carries the baby, but she will not be the biological mother. The biological mother and father will be those who supply the egg and sperm. However, gestational surrogacy may be more expensive because it may require egg donation, harvesting and IVF.

Surrogacy professionals specialize in either traditional or gestational surrogacy, so it is something to consider as you find a surrogate as well.