Eight Important Surrogacy Terms You Should Know
There is an awful lot of learning that comes with the gestational surrogacy journey, whether you’re an intended parent or a surrogate. While it is a gratifying and wholesome experience for everyone involved, it can get to be a tad overwhelming. Not only do you have a new sort of routine to get used to -- doctor’s appointments, times to meet with your match and agency, etc. -- but you also have a whole new vocabulary to learn! Unless you’re an experienced player in this field, there are quite a few terms that come up that you may not be familiar with at first. There may even be some that those of you who have gone through the surrogacy journey haven’t come across.
At Adoption and Surrogacy Choices of Reno, we are here to help! We’ve compiled a list of eight of the most important surrogacy terms that everyone should have on hand.
Surrogate Mother: A surrogate mother is a woman who has a fertilized embryo from another woman implanted into her womb. She has no biological connection to the child she is carrying, as the egg and sperm are provided by the intended parent(s). If you see the terms “gestational carrier” or “gestational surrogate,” they will be referring to the same definition as surrogate mother.
Surrogacy Agency(ies): When you’re looking at becoming a gestational surrogate, these will likely be your first stop on your journey. These surrogacy agencies and clinics are full of professionals who are dedicated to help you organize the fine details of your surrogacy journey, whichever part of the journey you’re on. They are there to help keep things as comforting and simple for you as possible. If you’re in Nevada, check out this blog post that details the best surrogacy agencies in the state!
Egg Donation: If an intended mother is not able to use her own eggs, she has the option of using an egg bank or egg donor to combine with her partner or spouse’s sperm to be fertilized into an embryo. When the embryo is deemed viable, it is then transferred into the surrogate via IVF. We have a list of egg donor requirements here for any readers out there who are interested in learning more about the ins and outs of egg donation and how it relates to gestational surrogacy.
Intended Parents: Put simply, intended parents are the couple or individuals who enter into an agreement (see the definition of a surrogacy contract below) with a gestational carrier through gestational surrogacy. They’re often found in couples who have had a struggle conceiving naturally, but who still want to raise a child who is genetically theirs. Intended parents of gestational surrogacy can also include, but are not limited to:
Same sex female couples
Same sex male couples
Matching: Once the gestational surrogate and intended parents have met every requirement, their surrogacy agency brings forth the second half of their puzzle. Matching is the process of surrogates and intended parents meeting one another, finding the similarities in what they want their journey to look like. Once they’ve been matched, they can continue onto the next step.
Carrier Agreement/Surrogacy Contract: This definition comes from our interview with the renowned Adoption and Surrogacy attorney, Virginia Frank!
“Once the gestational carrier has been cleared medically and psychological and the fertilized embryo has made the transfer, a Gestational Carrier Agreement is drawn up by attorneys.The agreement states how many times intended parents can transfer within a certain time period. Usually, it’s one year or three transfers. The reason that it’s usually limited is if they have transferred three times and the gestational carrier does not get pregnant. Then, it may be time for them to get checked out by their medical doctor. [It could be] that they might not be the right surrogate for [the intended parent].”
In Vitro Fertilization: In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the process in which an egg is fertilized by sperm outside the body. Then, the embryo is transferred into the uterus of the gestational carrier. There are usually five main steps to IVF:
Stimulation of the Ovaries
Retrieval of the Eggs
Retrieval of the Sperm
Fertilization of the Eggs
Transfer of the Embryo
Gestational Surrogacy Terms
We hope that these definitions have helped clear up any confusion that you may have previously had! We know, there are a lot more terms that come up during the journey. That said, if you think there should have been more terms and definitions listed here, let us know in the comments!
If you’re ready to get started on your own gestational surrogacy journey, whether you’re a hopeful intended parent or a heroic gestational surrogate, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us! We’re always happy to help you in any way we can. We’re available to you via phone, email, instant messaging through our website, and social media. Whichever type of communication is your preference, we’ve got your back!
Be safe and be well, friends!
Adoption and Surrogacy Choices of Reno has been providing adoption and surrogacy services across Nevada since 2012. You can call us to speak to someone now!