Important Terms to Know During the Surrogacy Process

Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists


The surrogacy process is an exciting, but stressful one.

Many factors need close consideration, such as choosing a surrogate and deciding on the right surrogate matching agency for you. Whether you're preparing for your first consultation of you're already in the matching process, it can be easy to get caught up in all of the new technical, legal, and medical terms and phrases that are involved in the surrogacy process.

Here are a few key terms you'll likely run into that are important to know and understand:

  • Anonymous Egg Donor: A woman who donates her eggs (gametes, ova, ovum) to another person or couple in order for the eggs to be used to create embryos that will belong to the recipient. The donor remains anonymous and is identified by a donor number.
  • Anonymous Sperm Donor: A man who donates his sperm to another person or couple in order for the sperm to be used to create embryos that will belong to the recipient. The sperm donor remains anonymous and is identified by a donor number.
  • Assisted Reproduction: The use of medical techniques such as drug therapy, artificial insemination, or in vitro fertilization, to enhance fertility.
  • Egg Donor Contract: The written agreement or document between the egg donor and the intended parents.
  • Gestational Carrier: A woman who carries a baby for the intended parents. A gestational carrier is NOT genetically related to the baby she is carrying. The pregnancy is achieved through the egg of the intended mother or an egg from an egg donor.
  • Gestational Surrogacy Contract: The written agreement or contract between the gestational carrier and the intended parents. This agreement should be drafted by a lawyer familiar with assisted reproduction law, and should be reviewed by competent legal counsel on behalf of the gestational carrier.
  • IVF: In vitro fertilization, which is the process by which an egg is fertilized by sperm outside the body.
  • Pre-Birth Order (PBO): A court order obtained prior to the birth of a child being carried by a gestational carrier that provides for the establishment of the intended parents' legal parentage, and to place the names of the intended parents on the child's birth certificate.

Surrogacy is an ever-evolving practice nationwide and around the world—and there are countless more words and phrases beyond these key terms. Get to know the most important surrogacy terms and phrases in our exclusive surrogacy dictionary.

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