Candidates for Surrogacy
There are two types of surrogacy:
- Traditional Surrogacy (or Conventional Surrogacy): The surrogate mother is the biological mother of the baby she carries because she contributes one of her egg cells and is artificially inseminated with the father's sperm. The child she bears carries her genetic material.
When the baby is born, the surrogate signs away parental rights and responsibilities and the intended parents (IPs) take full custody. The intended mother is officially the stepmother and the intended father is the biological father.
- Gestational Surrogacy: The surrogate mother is not biologically related to the baby. The intended mother and father contribute their genetic material, which is prepared via in vitro fertilization (IVF). The fertilized egg(s) are then placed in the carrier's uterus and carried by the surrogate.
A twist on gestational surrogacy is when the mother is unable to provide her own eggs but does not want the surrogate to provide an egg, so an egg donor provides the egg for the IVF. Similarly, if two gay men hire a surrogate, they sometimes also use an egg donor.
For a woman who is unable to carry a child but who has healthy eggs, like Kelly, surrogacy is the only way to have a baby who is genetically related to her. Kelly's eggs were still good, but the blood-clotting disorder made another pregnancy inadvisable. The Russells were ideal candidates for surrogacy.