"Will the baby look like the surrogate?"
If you're considering surrogacy for your pregnancy, you may find yourself wondering if you will always see the surrogate's facial features in your baby's eyes.
The short answer is, it depends.
There is a deep-rooted desire in some parents to see their partner’s smile in their child’s, or their own eyes looking back at them. If you are considering surrogacy, you may be feeling that this is no longer a possibility for you. It can be difficult to understand and reconcile ideas and preconceived notions about surrogacy, but we are glad to tell you that that possibility is still available to you, and that we would love to help you with it.
Understanding the types of surrogacy
There are two forms of surrogacy available to you, traditional and gestational (laws on both differ from state to state, so it is wise to contact us for a free consultation, or get in touch with legal counsel).
A gestational surrogate is not biologically related to the child they will carry. The embryo is created via in vitro fertilization (IVF) with the egg and sperm of the intended parents or chosen donors, and is then transferred to the surrogate. This type of surrogacy is sometimes called ‘host surrogacy’ or ‘full surrogacy’. Usually, at least one intended parent is genetically related to the child, and the surrogate is not biologically related at all. This makes gestational surrogacy less legally complicated as stepparent or second-parent adoption is not required.
In contrast to the above, a traditional surrogate is the biological mother of the child. The embryo is created with her egg, either through intrauterine insemination with the intended father’s sperm, or through IVF.
Will the baby look like you?
The answer to this depends on the type of surrogacy that you choose. With traditional surrogacy, the baby will share the DNA of the surrogate, and therefore bear resemblance to them. In this case, the baby will also bear resemblance to the sperm donor, whether that is the intended parent’s sperm or of the sperm donor.
With a gestational surrogacy, the surrogate is not genetically related to the embryo they carry, and so the baby will not look like them, but will look like the intended parents.
It is important to note that in both traditional and gestational surrogacies, it is possible for the baby to look like the father or one of the fathers, as their sperm can be combined with an egg via IVF. However, it is only possible for the baby to look like their intended mother with gestational surrogacy.
Factors to consider when choosing your surrogacy method
There are many factors that should affect your decision of whether surrogacy is right for you. These considerations could consider financial, legal, emotional, and so on.
While gestational surrogacy has less legal and emotional complications, traditional surrogacy is the better option for you if you are uncomfortable with anonymous donors, looking to reduce the cost of the surrogacy, or even if you can’t find an egg donor you like.
There is sometimes a deep emotional issue with a child that doesn’t look like yourself, and for some parents, it is more difficult when the child looks like one of them, but not the other. This is another important factor when deciding on which type of surrogacy to choose.
The surrogacy process
Once decided, the process of choosing the right surrogate is key as well.
If you would prefer the baby to look like you, but gestational surrogacy is the option for you, then the only thing you can do is try to find a gestational surrogate that resembles you. With some luck, we can do that for you!
If you have decided on traditional surrogacy and that it is alright with you and your family that the baby only resembles one of you, then we can find you a wonderful surrogate as well.
How likely is the surrogate to look like the baby through gestational surrogacy?
Even with a gestational surrogacy, what some may not consider is that due to pure chance, the baby may still end up looking like the surrogate or even their intended parents. Many surrogates find that the families they have helped send them updates of the children they have carried, and that those children bear some resemblance to them! This happens purely by chance, and is not because the child is the surrogate’s. Many children have common resemblance to other children of their age, and as such, the intended parents may be inclined to ‘include’ their surrogate or believe that the child is the surrogate’s child. We’d like to assure you, this is purely chance and that gestational surrogates are not genetically linked to the baby in any way.
If you have found that any of the above has resonated with you, we’d love if you contacted us for information and the beginning of your surrogacy journey.
SurrogateFirst helps individuals and couples, regardless of race or sexual orientation, with building out their families through the miracle of surrogacy.
We are a boutique surrogate agency that specializes in quickly matching intended parents around the world with our fully-vetted, experienced and exceptional surrogate teams. Every team member is either a former intended parent or an experienced surrogate; we have first-hand knowledge of what it takes to have an amazing, successful surrogate journey. Let us help you on yours.