Surrogacy Terminology

by Admin on June 3, 2016

Welcome to the wonderful world of surrogacy, where gratification is plentiful and the terminology is… sometimes confusing. We’ve created this list to help you decode some common terms you’ll hear during your journey as a surrogate.

1. Carrier/Surrogate/Surrogate Mother: These terms are often used interchangeably. There are two types of surrogates: traditional surrogates and gestational surrogates. Family Creations ONLY works with Gestational Surrogates.

2. Gestational Surrogacy: (GC) Pregnancy where the surrogate is genetically unrelated to the baby. The embryos are created using the eggs from the intended mother or an egg donor and sperm from the intended father(s) or a sperm donor.

3. Traditional Surrogacy: Pregnancy where the surrogate becomes pregnant through artificial insemination and is genetically related to the offspring. While this was popular in the past, majority of surrogacies today are gestational. Family Creations facilitates only gestational surrogacy.

4. Egg Donor: A woman who donates eggs, or oocytes, for assisted reproduction via IVF.

5. Egg Retrieval: This is the process by which eggs (oocytes) are retrieved from the egg donor’s ovaries.

6. Intended Parent(s): (IP) Legal parent(s) of child (ren) born through surrogacy. More specifically, you’ll likely see/ hear Intended Mother (IM) and Intended Father (IF).

7. Matching: This is the part of the process where the surrogate and intended parent(s) are paired. The matching process includes a sharing of profiles (surrogate and Ip’s), and a phone, Skype, or in-person meeting facilitated by a Family Creations representative.

8. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2): One of two types of required clinical assessment tests that both egg donors and surrogates may be asked to take as part of the screening process.

9. Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI): One of two types of required clinical assessment tests that both egg donors and surrogates may be asked to take as part of the screening process.

10. Carrier Agreement/Surrogacy Contract: Once you have been medically cleared, your case manager will refer you to an attorney with expertise in third party reproduction. The Intended Parent(s) have a contract drafted by an attorney that will be sent to your attorney for review. You will schedule a consultation (over the phone) with your attorney, who will review the contract with you in detail. This legal document explains the rights and obligations of both parties. Once both parties agree to all the terms, the legal document is signed.

11. Monitoring Clinic: Fertility clinic that is generally local to the surrogate or donor that provides medical treatment, such as blood work and ultrasounds, during an egg donation cycle and/or surrogate pregnancy.

12. Obstetrician and Gynecologist (OB/GYN): OB is short for obstetrics or for an obstetrician, a physician who delivers babies. GYN is short for gynecology or for a gynecologist, a physician who specializes in treating diseases of the female reproductive organs and providing well-woman health care that focuses primarily on the reproductive organs.

13. Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE): An OB/GYN that specializes in function/dysfunction of the reproductive system.

14. Cycle Schedule: The facilitating IVF clinic doctor/coordinator creates a timeline that lists important appointment dates leading up to the embryo transfer.

15. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): This process is performed by a reproductive endocrinologist at an IVF clinic. IVF is the process of fertilization by manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish to create an embryo.

16. Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET): is a cycle in which the frozen embryos from a previous fresh IVF or donor egg cycle are thawed and then transferred into the surrogate’s uterus.

17. Beta Testing: A blood test used to help indicate whether a woman is pregnant. This is performed approximately 10 days after an embryo transfer. The test is used to measure levels of Estradiol, Progesterone, LH, and HCG (indicators of pregnancy).

18. Amniocentesis (Amnio): A test used to detect any chromosomal abnormalities, neural tube defects, and genetic disorders through the examination of the cells in the amniotic fluid. This test is done between 14 and 20 weeks of pregnancy.

19. Hysterosalpingogram (HSG): A radiology procedure that determines the condition of the fallopian tubes and uterus.

20. Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS): Similar to an amniocentesis, a CVS is a diagnostic test for identifying chromosome abnormalities and other inherited disorders. This test is performed between 10 and 12 weeks to look at cells in the placenta by either inserting a catheter into the uterus though the vagina or by inserting a needle through the belly into the uterus.

21. Blastocyst or “Blast”: An embryo that has developed for five to seven days after fertilization and has 2 distinct cell types and a central cavity filled with fluid (blastocoel cavity). This is the last stage of development an embryo must reach before it is implanted into the uterus.

22. Pre-Birth Order (PBO): A court issued order that is acquired before the surrogate gives birth. This allows IP’s and the surrogate access to the baby in the hospital.

23. Post-Birth Order: A court issued order that is acquired after the baby is born. This removes the surrogates name and leaves just the intended parent’s names on the newborn’s birth certificate.

Still confused? A Family Creations staff member will gladly answer any questions you have regarding the surrogacy process- just give us a call.

We’re here to help along every step of the way!


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