Nothing Traditional About Traditional Surrogacy

Do you have a fear about exactly what it takes for a traditional surrogate to become pregnant? Don’t worry, it has absolutely nothing to do with swapping partners.

There might be some confusion amongst people unfamiliar with surrogacy regarding exactly how it works. Some people may assume that the intended father must physically impregnate the surrogate mother. Well, let me tell you – that is not the case. I have been a surrogate mother three times and my husband and I have had to field many questions about it. We have even been asked straight out if my husband had to “share me” with another man.


Although the question strikes me as amusing, I realize that it is probably a common misconception, especially for those who do not follow the current trends in science and medicine. I have, therefore, decided to take some time to disabuse people of some of the rumors that are floating out there about surrogacy.

To begin with, there are two forms of surrogacy – traditional and gestational. I have gone the gestational route for each of mine. Gestational surrogacy is one in which the surrogate has no biological link whatsoever to the child that they are carrying.

Essentially, the surrogate becomes pregnant via an IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) treatment. This is a medical procedure through which eggs are retrieved from the mother’s (or a donor’s) ovaries and fertilized with sperm from the intended father in a petri dish. The embryo is then implanted into the womb of the surrogate. If a pregnancy is achieved, the surrogate carries the child until term and, upon birth, it is give to its intended parents. The surrogate has no legal claims on the child since they share no biological makeup.

On the other hand, with a traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is actually the biological mother of the child she is carrying. This may sound as though there must have been something risque going on, but that is not the case.

The intended father goes to a clinic to make a sperm deposit. This is then placed in the surrogate’s uterus or cervix during her ovulation. If pregnancy is achieved, the surrogate would sign over her parental rights to the intended parents. In fact, this process is viewed much like an adoption.

Let me clarify that there is no sexual contact whatsoever between the surrogate and anyone else in the partnership. In fact, the surrogate can be clear across the country from the intended parents.

But I can definitely understand why people would find this confusing. Maybe I should think before I speak the next time I feel the need to inform my friends and family that I am leaving my husband at home with the kids to go get pregnant in Vegas (where my fertility clinic is located).

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Posted in Getting Started.