What Is a Surrogate Mother? – Everything You Should Know

A surrogate mother, surrogate or gestational carrier is a woman who is is willing to carry someone else’s child through a procedure called gestational surrogacy, surrogate motherhood, or just surrogacy. Although you may hear terms such as womb for rent, they are all considered offensive and their use should be avoided.

The various sections of this article are assembled in the following table of contents.

What is a surrogate?

Commonly, surrogates are young, healthy women with their own family, that is to say, women who have had at least one natural pregnancy in the past, with the delivery of a healthy child. Surrogates are usually between the ages of 20 to 35 years.

In accordance with the definition provided by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a surrogate mother is:

a woman who becomes pregnant usually by artificial insemination or surgical implantation of a fertilized egg for the purpose of carrying the fetus to term for another woman.

Women who wish to become surrogates are employed, although some of them are housewives who want to help other families selflessly. It is important that they are middle-class in order to prevent them from becoming surrogates for just monetary reasons.

In general, surrogates build a close relationship with the intended parents—they are in continuous communication for more than 9 months. Some IPs become friend with her and end up considering her as another family member. The choice is up to you.

Types of surrogates

There exist two types of surrogates depending on the fertility treatment used and their genetic relation to the child born as a result:

Traditional surrogate In addition to being the birth mother, she is the genetic mother of the child as well, given that she gets artificially inseminated with the intended father’s sperm. In other words, the child is conceived using her own eggs. Gestational surrogate She is referred to as gestational carrier or GC because she is just the birth mother of the child, without any kind of genetic link to the baby. An embryo is created via IVF and transferred into her uterus. The embryo will be created using gametes from the intended parents or donors.

In the United States, gestational surrogacy is less complex from the legal viewpoint, given the absence of a genetic link between the surrogate and the child. And the same happens in other countries where surrogacy is permitted by law. As a result, gestational surrogacy is the preferred option over traditional surrogacy nowadays. More info