Surrogacy Terminology

Surrogacy Terminology

For those of you just embarking on your surrogacy journey, you may have come across some terms or acronyms that you’re not familiar with. Things like “reproductive endocrinologist” can be shortened to “RE” and long winded words like Intended Parent can be easily nicknamed “IP”. These terms have become pretty common in the surrogacy world so to save you some time and confusion, check out our Glossary of Surrogacy Terms below!


To start, here are some basic Surrogacy terms you may hear often:


IP- Intended Parent

IM- Intended Mother

IF- Intended Father

TS- Traditional Surrogate

GS- Gestational Surrogate

GC- Gestational Carrier


Fertility clinics and surrogate agencies have adapted some terms and have created acronyms to make communication just a little easier.


RE- Reproductive Endocrinologist

DPT- Days Post Transfer

EDD- Estimated Due/Delivery Date

IVF- In Vitro Fertilization

IUI- Intrauterine Insemination

FET- Frozen Embryo Transfer

SET- Single Embryo Transfer

DET- Double Embryo Transfer

U/S- Ultrasound

OTC- Over the Counter

BCP- Birth Control Pills

DPT- Days Post Transfer

EPT- Early Pregnancy Test (ex. At home tests)

FHR- Fetal Heart Rate

BMI- Body Mass Index

Beta- blood test used to determine pregnancy

HCG- hormone levels that determine pregnancy

PGD (Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis and Screening)- Testing that can be done on embryos prior to transfer, to test for any specific diseases and/or abnormalities

PGS (Pre Genetic Screening)- Testing that can be done on embryos prior to transfer, to test for ALL specific diseases and/or abnormalities

Monitoring- While taking any medications, the surrogate will be seen weekly at a local facility (to her) for blood work and/or ultrasounds.

Cycle- A schedule of medications managed by the fertility clinic that will prepare the body for an embryo transfer.

Mock Cycle- A schedule of medications with no embryo transfer to ensure that the body reacts appropriately.

Amniocentesis (Amnio)- To detect any abnormalities or defects, a small sample of amniotic fluid will be taken between 14-20 wks to be tested.

CVS (Chorionic Villus Sampling)- To detect any abnormalities or defects, a small sample of cells will be taken from the placenta between 10-14 wks to be tested.

D&C (dilation & curettage)- A procedure to remove any non-essential tissue in the uterus.


The legal processes involved in gestational surrogacy can also be confusing. Every state has their own set of laws regarding the legal process that would allow the Intended Parents to become the legal parents of the child. Here are some surrogacy specific legal terms you might come across:


Pre Birth Order- Court issued documents put in place PRIOR to the baby being born, naming the biological/intended parent(s) as the legal parents.

Post Birth Order- Court issued documents put in place shortly after the baby is born, naming the biological/intended parent(s) as the legal parents.

Step Parent Adoption- After the baby is born, the birth records and certificate will be amended by the courts to add the non-biological parent as the “step parent”.

GC Contract- Legal agreement between surrogate and intended parents that covers: financial responsibility, compensation, insurance options (health & life), and should include agreements between all parties regarding the potential reduction and/or termination of the surrogate pregnancy.


Surrogacy agencies like Reproductive Possibilities may have some of their own terms and/or abbreviations. Every agency and process is different so to learn more about RP’s terms, keep reading!


Profile- A profile is a document containing information, medical history, state laws, fees, and pictures  of potential surrogate candidates that are shared with Intended Parents. *All personal and/or contact information will be redacted and not shared until matched.

Matched- Once you’ve chosen a profile and have agreed to move forward with her as your gestational surrogate, Reproductive Possibilities will “match” you and begin the screening portion of the process.

Screening- To ensure that your gestational surrogate is physically and emotionally able to carry a baby, she will be screened by your fertility clinic, a psychologist, a social worker who will complete the home visit, and a criminal background check.

Home Visit- Your surrogate agency will locate a social worker close to your GC that will schedule a time to visit the family in their home. An extensive report of their findings will be shared with the agency and Intended Parents.


These are some of the national organizations dedicated to third party reproduction (ie. gestational surrogacy). These organizations set the standards and guidelines for who can or cannot participate in surrogacy.


ASRM- American Society of Reproductive Medicine

SART- Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology


We hope that this list helps and makes you feel just a bit more comfortable about the “lingo”!


For more information on gestational surrogacy (as a surrogate mother or Intended Parent), please visit our website to learn more!


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