The Surrogacy world is full of many terms that can be
very confusing. This guide will be helpful while you navigate
all things relating to surrogacy. These are terms frequently
used in the surrogacy process.
Gestational Carrier/Gestational Surrogate/Surrogate- A woman that has the fertilized egg from another woman implanted in her uterus and gives birth to the Intended Mother and/or Intended Father’s baby. There is no genetic relation connecting the Gestational Carrier to the baby she is carrying. At Surrogacy With Love we like to think of our Gestational Carriers as a Prenatal Nanny that loves and takes care of the Intended Parent’s baby until he/she is ready to go home.
Traditional Surrogate- A woman that uses her own eggs and the sperm sample of the Intended Father or sperm donor and carries the baby for the Intended Parent. The baby of a Traditional Surrogate does have a genetic link to the baby but the baby is not hers since it was conceived for the Intended Parents. Traditional Surrogacy is not as common as Gestational Surrogacy. Surrogacy With Love only works with Gestational Surrogates.
Journey- A term frequently used amongst the surrogacy community to represent a surrogacy from matching to birth. A surrogate will usually say how many journeys or surrogacies she has done.
RE/Reproductive Endocrinologist- The fertility specialist the Intended Parents pick to address their reproductive needs and do IVF with their Gestational Carrier
IP- An Intended Parent is someone who has taken steps to have a Gestational Carrier carry their child for them. Intended Parents can be a same-sex individual or couple, a single parent or anyone that can not carry a baby safely..
IM- Intended Mother- The mother of the child/children the GC carries.
IF- Intended Father- The father of the child/children the GC carries.
Matched- An IF and/or IM meet with a potential Gestational Carrier to see if they mutually agree to proceed with a surrogacy and work together. They have a matching call where they all meet over the phone or a matching meeting that is done in person or by group video chat. All initial meetings are done with the guidance and support of a rep from Surrogacy With Love. Once the parties are officially “matched” they can begin communicating on their own to continue their friendship during the journey.
Embryo- sperm from the Intended Father or a sperm donor and an egg from the Intended mother or an egg donor is used to create a fertilized egg that will be transferred into the Gestational Carrier’s uterus during the IVF process.
FET- Frozen embryo transfer- When the embryo was created and then frozen until it is time for the transfer.
SET- Single embryo transfer- One embryo will be transferred into the uterus of the Gestational Carrier.
DET- Double embryo transfer- Two embryos will be transferred into the uterus of the Gestational Carrier. Usually REs transfer two embryos with the hopes that both will implant and result in twins. There are times the RE wants to transfer two embryos because one or more of the embryos are not good quality and he is hoping that at least one of them implants and results in a healthy baby.
Splitter- When an embryo splits into identical twins.
Transfer- a RE uses a thin catheter that looks like a small tube to place a 5 or 6 day fertilized embryo into the Gestational Carrier’s uterus. It is a painless procedure that takes only a few minutes. It feels very similar to an annual pap.
Medical screening- The medical screening may include all or some of these in the exam; blood test for medications, STDs and smoking for both the GC and her partner, a physical, a vaginal ultrasound to look at the the GCs lining of her uterus, and a hysteroscopy to look at the whole uterus.
IVF- In Vitro Fertilization- the process of fertilization in which an egg and sperm are fertilized outside of a woman’s body and then placed into her uterus. Various fertility medications are usually used to help her body accept and grow the embryo that was created.
Fertility medications- The Gestational Carrier will be put on various medications during the IVF process. Not all meds are used by every clinic for every surrogacy. It depends on the RE which meds are used. Medications that may be used are birth control, prenatal vitamins, lupron, progesterone, estrogen, baby aspirin, and antibiotics. Some meds are in pill form, vaginal suppositories, or injections.
Independent/Indy- Going independent is doing a surrogacy journey without an agency. Many Intended Parents can do surrogacy without an agency but it can become a part time job for both the Intended Parents and the Gestational Carrier. One of the downsides to going independent is the relationship between the Intended Parents and the Gestational Carrier can become strained during difficult topics of conversation such as money. One of the many benefits of using an agency is the expertise the agency has with all things surrogacy related, especially if a difficult situation comes up and having the agency as a middle man to help both Intended Parents and the Gestational Carrier have a smooth surrogacy.
PBO- A pre birth order is completed around 19 weeks of pregnancy and it states that the baby the surrogate is carrying is the child of the Intended Parents and the Intended Parents name will be on the birth certificate.
1099- tax form for independent contractors. We do not send our Gestational Carriers a 1099 but please ask your tax preparer for tax advice. During the interviewing process all Gestational Carriers should ask each agency they contact if they send 1099s to their surrogates.
Escrow company- a company that holds the funds used for the surrogacy deposited by the IPs at the start of the surrogacy process. All payments and bills during the surrogacy are paid by the escrow company. Surrogacy With Love does not hold any funds used for the surrogacy.
Surro Sister- we can match you up with a surrogate that has been through a surrogacy before and completed at least one journey. Your surro sister will be excited to go through your surrogacy journey with you and be a mentor.