What Is A Surrogate?

Be a surrogate

Updated 2022-10-12

What is the definition of a surrogate? A surrogate is a woman who carries a child for someone who cannot. The surrogate mother undergoes IVF to have an embryo that has no genetic relation to her transferred and she carries the baby to term for the Intended Parent(s). The embryo can be created by both the parents egg and sperm or with an egg donor and/or a sperm donor. In modern surrogacy with a gestational surrogate, her egg is not used and she has no genetic or legal relation to the child she is carrying for the intended parent(s).

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The Definition of A Surrogate

Watch Dr. Anate Brauer of Shady Grove Fertility in New York define as surrogate.

The History Of The Word "Surrogate"

Traditional Surrogacy v. Gestational Surrogacy

Today, modern surrogacy is gestational surrogacy. With gestational surrogacy, the surrogate carries a baby that shares no DNA or genetic relation to her for someone who cannot carry the child themselves. Traditional surrogacy is rarely practiced today. Family building professionals, the media, and the surrogate community itself now use the term to refer to women previously described as “gestational carriers” or GCs. Learn more about the difference between traditional and gestational surrogacy from Dr. Shapiro, Medical Director of Reproductive Biology Associates .

In April 1985, the first “gestational carrier” gave birth to a child to whom she had no genetic link. Since that time, aided by the advancements of IVF, gestational surrogacy has seen a dramatic increase in both success and popularity, practically eliminating the practice of traditional surrogacy altogether.

Surrogacy Is the Most Successful Fertility Treatment

According to the CDC, surrogacy is the most successful fertility treatment to help people have children of their own. Becuase of the medical advancements and increasing success, more people are turning to surrogacy to build their families. Dr. Brian Kaplan Fertility Centers of Illinois shared more about Understand Surrogacy Success Rates.

Terms for Surrogates From “Gestational Carrier” to “Surrogate”

There are a few different terms used when speaking about surrogacy. Surrogate, surrogate mother or surrogate mom, gestational surrogate, gestational carrier, and even GC are used when referring to surrogates. At ConceiveAbilities, we use the word "surrogate" when referencing one of our gestational carriers. This shorthand in no way leads to any confusion. The staff, as well as all of our professional partners, are united in our meaning. To see how the GC community shares their surrogacy journeys check out these common Surrogate hashtags #ProudSurrogate, #Surrogates, #SurrogateMother, #GestationalSurrogate, #GestationalCarrier and #Surrogate on Instagram
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Why Does Someone Use A Surrogate?

When should someone use a surrogate? People need the help of surrogates for many reasons like infertility, medical reasons like cancer, or men who do not have a uterus. Fertility doctors will help in determining if surrogacy is the right option to pursue building your family. You can explore more videos from fertility experts, experienced surrogates, parents and doctors on our Surrogacy YouTube channel.

Using The Term "Surrogate" Today

The label “surrogate” has been adopted wholeheartedly by the GC community. The more people learn about surrogacy and what a surrogate is, the more we can debunk old misconceptions and surrogacy myths.

Ready to learn more about surrogacy?

Connect with others in the surrogacy community on the Surrogacy Learning Center.

Find out how you can become a surrogate.

Apply to be a surrogate or find a surrogate to build your family today!