Types of Surrogate Parents – Traditional ~ Single ~ Gay

Surrogate parents, those that contract for a commercial surrogacy and bring the baby home, are actually referred to as intended parents in surrogate motherhood. There are three main types of intended parents: traditional couples, same-sex couples, and single intended parents. Learn about these three different types of parents and how commercial surrogacy can work for them.

There are two main reasons that a couple would seek to become surrogate parents: either the couple is having trouble conceiving or carrying a child, or they are a same-sex couple who has turned to surrogacy to start their family.

Surrogate Parents: Traditional Intended Parents

The term intended parents usually refers to a male/female couple who are the parents of the child conceived via commercial surrogacy.

Most of the time, at least one of the parents is the biological parent of the child conceived, though quite commonly, both the intended mother and the intended father are the biological parents of the child.

There are a myriad of reasons that a woman may turn to a surrogate mother to carry her child:

  • Fertility Problems
  • Multiple Miscarriages
  • Advanced Age
  • Cancer Survivors or other Chronic Illness Survivors
  • Lack of Uterus
  • Any other of a number of infertility issues

Contrary to what some people may believe, intended mothers do not turn to commercial surrogacy because they don’t want to, or are afraid of, carrying a baby. The physical and emotional process of surrogacy is much too difficult, and much more complicated than a typical pregnancy.

Rayven’s Words: 

I am very vocal about my surrogate pregnancies. I want to educate people about surrogacy, and so, when people ask me about the child I am carrying, I tell them it’s not mine.Most often, the response I get is something commending my heroism, my generosity, and how wonderful I am. Honestly, this makes me uncomfortable, as I am not the extraordinary person in this relationship.

I’m just a woman who is lucky enough to be fertile. I have taken that for granted. I am not special in any way.

It is my Intended Mother who is the extraordinary one. She is the woman who has gone through years of heartache that I will never pretend to understand. She is the one who has watched her dreams of having her own children slowly fad with miscarriage after miscarriage. She is the one who has been through cancer.

This woman is the woman who has sacrificed so much in her attempt to have a family. She has taken an unbelievable leap of faith by putting the most important things in her world: the very lives of her children; into another woman’s hands. A woman who, a few short months ago, was a total stranger.

I cannot even begin to fathom the strength it takes to do this.

I can think of no one more deserving or better suited to become a mother.

Me? I’m nothing special. I’m simply a fertile woman. My Intended Mother is truly remarkable.


Infertility hits people in all walks of life, in all races, in all countries. Though it typically affects more women over 40 than not, infertility can affect women of any age.

Surrogate Parents: Intended Fathers

Intended Fathers generally refers to a same-sex male couple who has sought out a surrogate mother to help them have their own children.

These men will either seek a traditional surrogate mother and use the sperm of one of the fathers, or will seek a gestational surrogate mother, and also an egg donor.

Most likely, sperm of one father will be used, but in the case of a gestational surrogacy, it is not uncommon for intended fathers to use sperm from both partners.

Though uncommon, it should be mentioned that there are some circumstances where a set of homosexual intended mothers would seek a surrogate mother. The reason this is rare is that with two women, the chances of both experiencing fertility problems becomes rarer.

Surrogate Parents: Single Intended Parents

Occasionally an unmarried man or woman will enter into commercial surrogacy. The reasons for an unmarried woman to seek a surrogate are usually the same as that of a male/female couple, but for the single male, he is most likely ready to start a family, and has not found the perfect partner.

For the purpose of this website, the term “intended parents” is used to describe all types of intended parents, whether they be traditional parents, same-sex parents, or single parents.

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