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
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
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!