Some people are curious to know if there is a benefit of traditional surrogacy over gestational surrogacy. The problem with questions like that is that each type of surrogacy has its advantages, especially given that not all people are in the same situation.
The very fact that there exist multiple types of surrogacy demonstrates how each type has its own advantages that different people recognize as important to them.
Traditional surrogacy holds one distinct advantage over other forms of surrogacy. It is clinically simple. Yes, there is something to be said for the simplicity of the procedure, as all it requires is the insertion of the intending father’s or donor sperm into the surrogate mother. The process may be more sanitary and less intimate than it used to be, but it is still the same basic system that was used for thousands of years, long before anybody could understand what a complicated term like “reproductive technology” would even mean.
Today it remains simple, because there is no need to grow an embryo in a lab, which is a significant process, nor is there a need to insert that embryo in the surrogate mother’s uterus. So those two steps in themselves make it simpler.
But it is also simpler because there is no need to extract an egg from the intended mother or from a third party. The man’s sperm is easy to extract, but the woman’s egg is a more difficult matter. So you save a lot of medical processes both removing the egg and putting in the embryo.
However, the emotional and legal concerns are more complicated with a traditional surrogacy than with a gestational surrogacy. That’s because the surrogate mother’s egg is being used, which means that she is passing on her genetic code to the child. And that means that she could have both a moral and a legal claim to parenting rights.
The moral claim is simply one where she provides half the DNA, so she is biologically the child’s mother. And if she begins to feel a strong emotional attachment to the child, maternal instincts can kick in with a vengeance.
The legal claim is based on the moral claim. As the biological mother who carried the child to term, she can claim to be its mother. In fact, in the State of Florida, a genetic surrogate mother has the right to claim parenting rights within the first seven days after the child is born. The best available information is that this claim has never been exercised, but it does legally exist.
From an emotional and legal perspective, gestational surrogacies are much less complicated, even if it means seeking a third party donor (other than the intended mother) to find a suitable egg.
So which is better? A lot depends on what is most important to you. There are complications either way, and both approaches have their advantages. Decide what is most important to you, and make sure you have a solid contract in place to help mitigate any complications that might arise.