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A Surrogate Mother is a woman who agrees to carry a pregnancy for another person or a couple called the Commissioning Parent(s). There are two kinds of surrogate mothers. The preferred route to go with surrogacy in South Africa is using a Gestational Surrogate Mother.

Traditional surrogates:

Artificial insemination first made surrogacy possible. A traditional surrogate is a woman who is artificially inseminated with the father’s sperm. She then carries the baby and delivers it for the parents to raise. A traditional surrogate is the baby’s biological mother. That’s because it was her egg that was fertilized by the father’s sperm. Donor sperm can also be used for a traditional surrogacy. It is much more complex legally, emotionally and psychologically than the process one goes through with a gestational surrogate.

Gestational surrogates:

A gestational surrogate has no genetic ties to the child because it was not her eggs that were used. A gestational surrogate mother carries the baby until birth. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is used to harvest the eggs from the biological mother or a female donor, which are then fertilized with sperm from the father or a male donor, and the embryo/s are then placed into the uterus of a gestational surrogate.