There is a lot of information regarding surrogacy, and some of the terms may be confusing if you are unfamiliar with them. In this blog, we wanted to define some of the common terms you’ll see as you research surrogacy topics.
Surrogacy: Surrogacy is a method of assisted reproductive technology where a woman (known as a ‘surrogate’ or ‘gestational carrier’) carries a pregnancy for an individual or a couple.
Intended Parent, also referred to as IP: An Intended Parent is an individual or couple who cannot conceive on their own or carry a pregnancy safely – for any reason – and choose surrogacy to build their family.
Traditional Surrogate: A woman who uses her own eggs and carries and gives birth to a baby for the intended parents. She gets pregnant by artificial insemination or IVF with sperm from an intended father or sperm donor. Traditional surrogates are genetically related to the baby. Due to the legal complexity of traditional surrogacy, Shared Conception does not work with traditional surrogates and only utilizes gestational surrogacy to help build families.
Gestational Surrogate: Eggs from the intended mom or an egg donor are fertilized in the laboratory with sperm from the intended father or sperm donor to make an embryo. The embryo is implanted in the uterus of the gestational surrogate, who carries the baby until birth. The gestational surrogate is not genetically related to the baby and is not the biological mother. Another term for a gestational surrogate is gestational carrier.
Matching: A process in which a surrogate is matched with intended parents. Here at Shared Conception, we take many factors into consideration when matching surrogates and IPs. We make matches based on legal requirements, personality compatibility, and shared expectations.
In Vitro Fertilization, also referred to as IVF: Is a procedure in which eggs are removed from a woman’s ovary and combined with sperm outside the body to form embryos. The embryos are grown in the laboratory for several days and then either placed in a woman’s uterus or cryopreserved (frozen) for future use.
Egg Donor: A woman who donates eggs, or oocytes, for assisted reproduction via IVF.
Egg Retrieval: The process by which eggs are removed from either the intended mother or egg donor for fertilization.
Frozen Embryo Transfer: A process that occurs when a frozen embryo (an already fertilized and frozen egg) is thawed and transferred into a surrogate.
Fresh Embryo Transfer: The Intended Mother or egg donor takes hormones to stimulate egg production. The eggs are retrieved and fertilized to form embryos, then the embryo is transferred to the surrogate. Over the years, fresh embryo transfers have become much less popular as IVF experts feel that frozen embryo transfers have similar or even better success rates than fresh transfers.
Surrogacy Contract: A legal contract between the surrogate and intended parents. The parties negotiate the terms of the contract through their legal representation. Once the contract is signed, the terms of the contract govern the parties’ interactions. It is vital for both the intended parents and the surrogate to read the contract carefully so that all conditions are understood.
Pre-Birth Order: A court-issued order that is acquired before the birth of the child. This document places the names of the intended parents on the birth certificate and allows them to access to the child while he/she is in the hospital.
Post-Birth Order: A court-issued order that is acquired after the birth of the child. This order can be used for different purposes based on the specific state’s laws on surrogacy. In Texas, it’s just to complete the surrogacy process.
Surrogacy Agency: A surrogacy agency, such as Shared Conception, provides intended parents with all – or at least most – services required throughout the surrogacy process. Agencies aim to make the process as straightforward and stress-free as possible so you can focus on what’s important: the excitement of building a family.
Interested in Surrogacy?
An experienced surrogacy agency like Shared Conception can help you navigate the entire surrogacy process. Our mission is to give all that want a family the proper path to achieving one. Give us a call today or visit our Contact Page.