As you embark on a surrogacy journey either as a surrogate mother or an intended parent, you may notice from the very beginning there are acronyms and abbreviations and terminology used that you may not recognize. In fact, if you’re a surrogate mother, you’ll likely be referred to as the “GC” – or Gestational Carrier – and if you’re an intended parents, you’ll see the abbreviations “IPs”. These are just a few of the surrogacy terms you may already be hearing.
To help you understand some of the more common terms and acronyms, you can use the list below to decipher any surrogacy term you come across!
Glossary of Surrogacy Terms
IM Intended Mother
IF Intended Father
TS Traditional Surrogate
GC Gestational Carrier
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
MET Multiple Embryo Transfer
OTC Over the counter
BCP Birth Control Pills
DPT Days Post Transfer
EPT Early pregnancy Test (at home pregnancy test)
FHR Feral Heart Rate
BMI Body Mass Index
POAS Pee on a stick (take an at-home pregnancy test)
BETA Blood test used to determine pregnancy
HCG Hormone levels that determine pregnancy
PGD Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis and Screening: testing done on embryos prior to transfer to test for any specific diseases and/or abnormalities
PGS Pre Genetic Screening: testing done on embryos prior to transfer to test for ALL specific diseases and/or abnormalities
Cycle Schedule of medications managed by the fertility clinic to prepare the body for an embryo transfer
Mock Cycle Schedule of medications with no embryo transfer to ensure the body reacts appropriately to medications
CVS Chorionic Villus Sampling: a test done to detect abnormalities or defects, a small sample of cells will be taken from the placenta between 10-14 weeks 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 have some unfamiliar terminology. 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 encounter:
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 that they use with their surrogate mothers and intended parents.
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 with the terminology that you may see surrounding your surrogacy journey.
If at any time you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at: 888.363.9457 or fill out our contact form!