Surrogacy includes, in its wider sense, all situations where a surrogate carries a pregnancy for another person. Recently, there has been a tendency to separate the gestational carrier situation from the “true” surrogate restricting the term for a woman who provides a combination of ovum donation and gestational carrier services.
In a ‘conventional surrogacy’, a surrogate agrees to be inseminated with the sperm of the male partner of the ‘commissioning’ couple, or with the sperm of one of the male partners in a same-sex relationship, or with sperm provided by a sperm donor. The surrogate is inseminated, conceives, and hands over the baby at the completion of the pregnancy. In conventional surrogacy, the egg which is fertilized is therefore that of the surrogate.
In a ‘gestational surrogacy’, a surrogate agrees to the implantation in her of an embryo which may be created either by using an egg provided by another woman who may be part of a ‘commissioning’ couple, or she may be a single woman. Alternatively, an egg provided by a donor may be used to create the embryo. The embryo implanted in the surrogate may be fertilised using sperm from the male partner of the ‘commissioning couple’, or by using sperm provided by a sperm donor.