How Surrogacy Works | Surrogacy Overview

How Surrogacy Works: An Overview of Surrogate Parenting

For those who want to start a family but face a variety of challenges in the process: surrogacy is a great way achieve this goal. You're likely wondering how surrogacy works? There are two main types of surrogacy: gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy. Both types of surrogacy require a surrogate mother to carry the baby for the intended parent(s).

Gestational Surrogacy

On the other hand, gestational surrogacy uses in vitro fertilization (IVF) to create an embryo that is then carried by the surrogate. In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate has no genetic ties with the baby since her eggs are not used. Gestational surrogacy allows many heterosexual intended parents to be the biological parents, contributing embryos created from their own egg and sperm. If an egg donor is needed, intended parents match with one of hundreds of women listed in our egg donor database. In this case, the egg donor would provide an egg to be fertilized by the intended father’s sperm through IVF. Gestational surrogacy is the common  

Traditional Surrogacy

Before IVF, traditional surrogacy was the only option. Now traditional surrogacy, which involves inseminating the surrogate mother with the biological father's sperm, is rare. A traditional surrogate shares a genetic connection with the baby she carries.

IVF and Pregnancy

Once eggs are retrieved, they are fertilized in a laboratory to create embryos, which grow for 3-5 days before being transferred to the surrogate or frozen for later use. Typically, one to two embryos are then implanted into the surrogate’s uterus.

Six weeks later, upon heartbeat confirmation, the gestational mother is officially considered pregnant. Throughout her pregnancy, the intended parents, the surrogate, and their program coordinator will stay in touch, discussing tests and any other matters that may arise. We believe that this consistent communication allows for an honest and fluid process.

Legal Work

Around the 22nd week of pregnancy, our legal team will be in touch with the intended parents regarding parental rights and other legal matters to ensure a smooth post-birth transition. Finally, the gestational mother gives birth to the baby.

Not only does surrogacy allow people to overcome obstacles on their journey to creating a family, but also it allows surrogates the incredibly rewarding experience of playing an integral role on this journey. Surrogacy is an enriching experience for everyone involved.

About Circle

Surrogacy is an incredible way for families to grow. Since 1995, Circle has helped do just that through comprehensive match-making that pairs intended parents with surrogates and/or egg donors. With over 1500 babies brought into the world through our programs, Circle is at the forefront of gestational surrogacy, providing support and legal assistance throughout the process. 

For more information on how surrogacy works, view these frequently asked questions about surrogacy.