What Are All These Surrogacy Acronyms You Keep Mentioning?


Due to its close-knit ties with the medical community, gestational surrogacy has its own set of acronyms that are used frequently among those working with or pursuing gestational surrogacy. For individuals who are new to the community or simply researching available options with gestational surrogacy, these acronyms can seem foreign and confusing at first. If you are just beginning your own surrogacy journey, consult this quick reference guide for descriptions of many key acronyms you will be sure to hear time and time again!

  • IP, IF, IM. IP, IF, and IM refer to intended parent or parents, intended father, and intended mother, respectively. Because many surrogacy agencies understand that traditional and nontraditional families alike often share the same dream of building a family, these three terms are used to refer to the recipient parent or parents of the baby, but are unable to carry the baby on their own.
  • GS, TS, ED. A gestational surrogate (GS) carries the baby or babies for an intended parent or couple and has no genetic relationship to the child she is carrying. A traditional surrogate (TS), however, uses her own eggs to create the child that she is carrying for the intended parent or couple.  An egg donor (ED), is not a surrogate and does not carry a baby, but instead donates her eggs to be used in creating the baby to be carried by the gestational surrogate (GS).
  • IVF, AI, ART, DE, ET, FET. These acronyms refer to different processes and steps taken in the process of surrogate conception. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the manual process of fertilization by manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish, whereas artificial insemination (AI) directly inserts the sperm into a woman’s cervix, fallopian tubes, or uterus.  Assisted reproductive technology (ART) is a blanket term including all types of fertility treatments in which both eggs and sperm are handled. DE (donor egg), embryo transfer (ET), and frozen embryo transfer (FET) are all terms used in the process of successfully achieving a surrogate pregnancy.
  • PBO. PBO is the acronym for pre-birth order. Not to be confused with the surrogacy contract, the pre-birth order officially declares to the world that the intended parents are the child’s legal parents despite the fact that neither one of them has given birth to the child. Pre-birth orders also require the hospital where the child was born to put both intended parents on the child’s birth certificate.

Although the many acronyms associated with surrogacy may seem overwhelming at first, gaining a solid grasp on their definitions and using them frequently will allow them to become part of your daily vocabulary in no time. Surrogate Solutions understands that it is only natural to have many questions and concerns when beginning your surrogacy journey, whether you have already made the decisions or you are simply gathering information to consider. If you are looking for a one-on-one conversation about surrogacy and your personal options, do not hesitate to contact Surrogate Solutions today!

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