Surrogacy – the difference between Traditional and Gestational Surrogacy

Surrogacy is an amazing gift of life and one of the most amazing gifts anyone can ever give. From that moment a child enters our lives, our world changes for the better. Helping someone else experience having a family is one of the greatest gifts anyone can give.

What is the difference between Traditional and Gestational Surrogacy?

In traditional surrogacy, the egg donor also carries the child. Therefore the child is related to the carrying mother.

In the majority of gestational surrogacy cases, the intending mother can’t conceive a child of her own. Using IVF to create an A grade embryo in order to increase the chance of success is a much more viable option than traditional surrogacy. While it’s significantly more expensive and requires IVF via a clinic, the child is biologically related to the (straight) parents.

In our case, being two men, we can’t conceive at all. We went through years of looking for a surrogate and egg donors so we could have our family.

Of course we would have loved the same amazing woman to carry our child and be the biological mother. Not only because of the cost and bureaucracy, but to keep it less complicated.

Having a traditional surrogate is a huge ask for someone to go through pregnancy and then give up their biological child. Having someone else’s baby is hard enough.

In all our time of wanting a child, no one we asked would be a traditional surrogate as they could not bear giving up their child. Which we 100% understand.

Our situation is perfect, whereby our child’s biological Mum (Alisa) is part of our family (sister in law), and our surrogate was someone we met, who is also now a huge part of our family, but didn’t have the extra burden of ‘giving up’ their own child.

Home insemination has huge risks involved, not only emotionally with failed attempts and length of time, but due to the fact there is no counselling, no official agreements, no follow up and no clear process.

We know people that are still battling to get custody of their child because of the way their process was handled doing a home insemination. This is a person’s life (both mother and child!), and it needs to have clear guidelines and systems to ensure the child has the best start to life it possibly can.

The adoption laws in NZ are not difficult because of traditional surrogacy. They are complex and outdated because it was written in 1955. 64 years!

In this case, my petition to change the law around adoption, and create a new law specific to surrogacy, is what we are appealing for. In either case, traditional or gestational surrogacy still requires the adoption to be formalised from
the birth mother to the intending parents. This doesn’t change. And the process is complex, difficult and costly for the intending parents. Another reason why it needs to change.

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