Thanks to modern science, married couples and single adults have several options when traditional methods of conceiving prove difficult or impossible. One of the more common options is called surrogacy. In the simplest of terms, surrogacy is the process of having someone else carry and birth your child. For those looking to add to, or start a family through surrogacy, there are two options: gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy. These are two very different practices so it is important to understand the difference between the two, especially when you're considering taking your own surrogacy journey.
In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother is (typically) artificially inseminated with the sperm of the intended father (or sperm donor). With this traditional surrogacy method, the mother is using her own egg, and as a result, she is biologically related to the child. This biological relationship is a key difference between the two types of surrogacies. Traditional surrogacy in Texas can sometimes be considered risky, as Texas does not have statutory authorization over traditional surrogacy arrangements. Because the surrogate is biologically related to the child, she (and her husband, if married) must relinquish her parental rights to the intended parent(s) after the birth, and there is always a small chance that she may fail to do so. Unlike gestational surgery (described below), Texas surrogacy laws have not been established to allow parentage to be transferred to the intended parents prior to the birth of the child; it must take place after the birth.
In a gestational surrogacy, the egg(s) are extracted from the intended mother (or egg donor) and then mixed with sperm from the intended father (or sperm donor) in vitro (outside of the mother, in a petri dish). After 3-5 days, the fertilized embryos are then transferred to the surrogate’s uterus. This means that the surrogate is not biologically related to the child in any way. As in most states, Texas gestational surrogacy laws have been established to govern gestational surrogacy agreements. With a Texas gestational surrogacy agreement and a pre-birth order, married couples, including same-sex couples, and (depending on the court) single adults and unmarried heterosexual couples can establish parentage before the child is born.
In summary, traditional surrogacy means that the carrier mother is genetically related to the child, and in gestational surgery, she is not genetically related to the child.