If you’re just starting to learn about the surrogacy process, it can sometimes feel like you’re reading a whole different language. You’ll find a sea of abbreviations, acronyms, and obscure terms that only exist inside the community of those whose lives have been touched in some way by the surrogacy process. Here’s a quick rundown of the different terms you’ll commonly see, so it’s easier to follow along.

Intended Parents: People who want to grow their families via the surrogacy process.

Gestational Surrogate: Often referred to as a gestational carrier, the term refers to a woman who carries a baby that she has no blood relationship to for someone else.

Traditional Surrogate: During traditional surrogacy, the woman who carries the baby is also the biological mother. Most surrogates today are gestational surrogates / carriers.

Egg Donor: Because most carriers are not related to the babies, intended parents who do not have an egg of their own may also contract with an egg donor.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): During IVF, a medical fertility specialist joins the egg and sperm in some form of a controlled setting. In some cases, the sperm is directly injected into the egg, while in others the two are mixed together.

Embryo: A fertilized egg.

Blastocyst or “Blast”: An embryo undergoes rapid changes and development. When it reaches the blastocyst stage, which typically happens in just under a week, it is ready to be transferred.

IVF Cycle: During an IVF cycle, a gestational carrier is monitored given medications to help ensure a pregnancy can be maintained.

Uterine Embryo Transfer/ Frozen Embryo Transfer: During the transfer, one or more embryos are transferred to the gestational carrier’s uterus. If the embryo was frozen, it is thawed before this occurs.

Beta Testing: The initial pregnancy test, which takes place approximately ten days after the transfer, is often referred to as beta testing. Progesterone, Estradiol, LH, and HCG levels are commonly measured.

Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE): A physician who specializes in reproductive medicine.

Surrogacy Agreement/ Contract: The legal document that explains the rights and requirements of intended parents and surrogates.

Parentage Documents: Papers filed with a California court that establish parenting rights. Can be filed before a baby is born.

Reproductive Lawyer: An attorney who specializes in handling cases that relate to surrogacy, fertility, and egg donation.

Escrow Account: An account that holds any funds due to the gestational carrier.

Begin the Surrogacy Process Today

SPS has been serving the area for years and has played a role successful surrogacies hundreds of times. We create ideal matches of surrogates and intended parents based on expectations, values, and other important factors, and then help the team through every step of the surrogacy process. If you’re considering becoming a surrogate, please take a moment to review the requirements and apply. If you’d like help growing your family, contact us for more information or to get started today.