Surrogacy Definitions And Meaning Parents Should Know

Surrogacy Definitions And Meaning Parents Should Know

by Neelam Chhagani

Surrogacy Definitions that parents should know aobutSurrogacy definitions and other associated terms that intended parents should know.

The first question that comes to a new parent seeking surrogacy is “What is surrogacy definitions” or “what is surrogacy meaning”?

In this article, we will touch upon the definition and meaning of important terms used in surrogacy arrangements.

When intended parents or surrogate mothers wish to participate in the complex surrogacy process, they are intrigued by the extent of information they need to go through. Put, they find it overwhelming with so many associated medical terms.

If you are not a surrogacy professional and have no expertise in this subject, it will be challenging to comprehend all the terms of assisted reproductive technologies.

Consequently, to be entirely ready for the surrogacy process, it is essential that you understand the surrogacy definition and also professionals specify terms used throughout the procedure.

In this article, we will briefly touch all surrogacy related terms so that parents can be more aware and confident in their surrogacy process.

  1. What is surrogacy – Glossary of terms used to understanding the surrogacy definitions and surrogacy meanings.
  2. What is surrogacy and different types of surrogacy?
  3. Conclusion for the surrogacy pregnancy

What is surrogacy – Glossary of terms used to understanding the surrogacy definitions and surrogacy meaning.

Additionally, to know the surrogacy meaning, you will also have to comprehend the many different terms which are involved in the process.

Below are a few surrogacy definitions that parents should know:

Prospective Intended Parent:

These are individual or couples who are unable to have a baby due to any reason, and they need to hire a surrogate to take a baby to term and delivery.

Their eggs or sperms are used to create embryos that are then transferred to the surrogate mother uterus. Most embryos are either both biologically related to both parents ( both parents use their gametes). Sometimes, the intended parents use an egg donor ( another lady) to create the embryos. In this case, the only intended father is genetically related to the baby.

Intended parents can be :

  • The single male wishes to start without getting married.
  • Married hetero couples, where the female partner is unable to carry due to a medical condition or due to professional reasons.
  • Gay couples or single male who need the help of a gestational carrier to compete, family. They are also known as surrogacy father.

Surrogate Mother or gestational carrier:

Surrogates defined as a woman who carries and delivers the baby for another couple. She is a woman between the ages 21 and 38, and had a successful pregnancy and already has children.

  • Surrogates are sometimes also known as gestational carriers.
  • She should have a good reproductive history with no issues in past pregnancies.
  • She needs to be mentally, physically, and emotionally healthy as it is a long time commitment and can take more than a year to complete.
  • Besides money, she should have the desire to help childless couples.

Egg Donor or oocytes donor:

In some cases, the female partner is unable to use her eggs. This can be due to high age factor, hormonal imbalance, or genetic issues related to the X chromosome. In such cases, they can use a young and fertile woman who already has proven fertility. The age of egg donor is between 21 to 28 years.

Who needs an egg donor for IVF and surrogacy:

  • Gay couples need egg donor so that they can create embryos with her eggs and one of the partner sperms.
  • Use of egg donor is more common than a sperm donor
  • Parents can use their family member or friend as an egg donor.
  • An egg donor can be known or anonymous
  • She should be mentally and physically healthy an committed to helping the parents.

Sperm donor:

In male-related infertility, the number of sperms or quality of sperms can be worse. If due to any reason, a couple is unable to use male partner sperms, they can opt for a sperm donor. A sperm donor is a male, between age 21-40 years. He should be healthy with a good sperm count.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF):

This is a medical process- IVF– used to fertilize eggs and sperms outside the body. Once fertilization has done and embryos are created, these are transferred to surrogate mother.

In surrogacy, a fertility specialist will collect eggs and sperm from the intended parents, fertilize the egg in a test tube or culture dish and after that implant this embryo to the surrogate’s uterus.

Surrogacy Agency:

This is the organization that can help both intended parents and potential surrogates throughout the surrogacy process.

A typical function of a surrogacy agency is:

  • Counselling and educating about the surrogacy process.
  • Hiring egg donor and surrogate mothers
  • Screening and matching the parents with surrogate mother
  • Carry out full medical process liaising with intended parents, IVF clinics, egg donor and surrogate mother.
  • Provide support during surrogacy pregnancy and after that.

Fertility Clinic:

This is the medical organization that completes the IVF and embryo transport processes.
Both intended parents and surrogates will need to work closely with their fertility clinic to finish their surrogacy.

Surrogacy baby with motherWhat is surrogacy and different types of surrogacy?

A complete process where a surrogate mother carries the baby for another couple is known as surrogacy. Surrogacy is a long and complicated process, which includes many parties, with legal and financial agreements and involvement of medical procedure to achieve the desired result–that is to have a surrogacy baby. This is also known as surrogate pregnancy.

There are far more terms connected with surrogacy, but these are the surrogacy definitions you want to know whether you are considering this process.

Commercial Surrogacy :

This is also known as Paid Surrogacy. This is a surrogacy agreement in which surrogate mother get financial benefit.

  • Gestiona surrogate is paid good money in commercial surrogacy.
  • A surrogacy agency can be involved to provide the professional services to help the intended parents and surrogate mother navigate through the full surrogacy process.
  • Most countries prohibit commercial surrogacy on ethical grounds.
  • Commercial surrogacy is legally allowed in a handful of countries like in the United States, Ukraine, Georiga, and Russia.

Altruistic Surrogacy:

This is also known as Unpaid Surrogacy. In this kind of surrogacy agreement, no financial gain is involved for surrogate mother.

  • In an altruistic surrogacy, the surrogate is not compensated except her actual expense like medical tests and consulting fee. Travel fees and her maternity cloth allowance and work loss allowance can be given.
  • It is not much common and generally, it takes a long time to find a qualified surrogate mother.
  • Few countries allow altruistic surrogacy arrangments are United Kingdom, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands and parts of Australia.

Traditional Surrogacy:

It is a surrogacy arrangement where the surrogate mother is biologically related to the baby. She is half genetically linked with the baby she is carrying.

  • The surrogate mother may be impregnated through sexual intercourse
  • By intrauterine insemination, by injections sperms directly in woman’s uterus).
  • This form of surrogacy risky legally as surrogate is genetically linked so she has the parental right of the baby.
  • It is not very common surrogacy arrangments.

Independent Surrogacy:

This is also known as Private Surrogacy or Indy surrogacy. In Independent Surrogacy, Intended Parent do not take help of a surrogacy agency. They directly work with the surrogate mother, IVF Clinics and legal attorney.

  • Independent Surrogacy is less expensive as no surrogacy agency fee is involved.
  • But intended parents need to give more time and attention. Although indy surrogacy reduces surrogacy cost, it comes with own share of issues like no emotional support or first-hand knowledge sharing as done by the surrogacy agency.

Gestational Surrogacy:

It is a surrogacy arrangement where the embryos are created with the medical process like in-vitro fertilization and then implanted into the surrogate uterus. She carries and delivers the baby for the intended parents.

  • In most cases in gestational surrogacy, the intended parents are biological parents as they use their gametes to do IVF.
  • Sometimes it is possible to use an egg donor.
  • In some rare cases, a sperm donor can be used.
  • The surrogate mother is never using her eggs or not genetically related to the baby.
  • The gestational surrogacy is a more secure form of surrogacy as parents are the legal parents of the baby as they are biologically linked.
  • It is a more costly form of surrogacy.
  • This is the most common form of surrogacy practised around the world.

Conclusion for surrogacy pregnancy

Surrogacy signifies something different to each person.  Beside high financial stake, lots of emotional aspects are involved as creating a new life is not easy!

For intended parents, it is an opportunity to finally complete their family and realize their dreams of parenthood. For surrogates, it’s a lifetime chance where she selflessly can complete family for a childless couple.

For both parties, surrogacy is a remarkable journey — deeply rewarding yet scary enterprise to enter.  Like in any other field, having knowledge give power to parents so that they can make the right decision.  Our aim to educate the intended parents and surrogate mothers so that they can make informed decisions.

Are you interested in learning more about surrogacy definitions or meaning or starting the surrogacy process? Get in touch to get free surrogacy information. 




I am Neelam Chhagani, CEO and International Patient Follow-up Manager, representing IVF Conceptions. I work as a surrogacy consultant and assist and guide the Intended Parents to become parents via surrogacy, globally.It will be my great pleasure to assist you.

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