Surrogacy Definitions and Terms

 

What is the definition of surrogacy? What is gestational surrogacy? If you’re wondering what all these surrogacy terms mean, you have come to the right place! 

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines surrogacy as “the practice by which a woman (called a surrogate mother) becomes pregnant and gives birth to a baby in order to give it to someone who cannot have children.” 

Within that broad definition, there are many different ways to define surrogacy — by the way the embryo is created, by whether the surrogate is compensated or not, by which professional you work with, and so much more! Here are just a few different types of surrogacy to define:

  • Traditional vs. Gestational Surrogacy
  • Commercial Surrogacy: any surrogacy arrangement in which the surrogate mother is compensated for her services beyond reimbursement of medical expenses.
  • Altruistic Surrogacy: any surrogacy arrangement in which the surrogate mother is NOT compensated for her services beyond reimbursement of medical expenses.
  • Agency Surrogacy: any surrogacy arrangement in which the intended parents and/or gestational carrier work with a licensed surrogacy agency.
  • Independent Surrogacy: sometimes called private surrogacy is any surrogacy arrangement in which the intended parents and surrogate mother do not work with a surrogacy agency.
  • Identified Surrogacy: any surrogacy arrangement in which the intended parents already have a gestational carrier in mind when beginning the surrogacy process. Often, it is a family member or close friend.  

In addition to understanding the definition of surrogacy, you also need to understand the various terms that are associated with the surrogacy process. Here are some surrogacy definitions to be aware of:

  • Intended Parent: this is the person who cannot carry a baby to term and hires a surrogate instead. In gestational surrogacy, egg and sperm from the intended parent (or a donor) are a part of the transferred embryo. An intended parent may be a single parent, same-sex couple, or a married couple.
  • Surrogate: this is the woman who carries a baby to term for the intended parents. Usually, she is between the ages of 21 and 39, has had a previous successful pregnancy, and already has child(ren). Surrogates are also often called gestational carriers.
  • Surrogacy Agency: This is the organization that helps intended parents and prospective surrogates through every step of the surrogacy process, from screening to matching to mediating contact and more.

There are more terms associated with surrogacy, but these are the general surrogacy definitions you need to know while exploring our website. If you’re interested in more information on what surrogacy is and how it works, we recommend you contact a surrogacy professional at Adoption and Surrogacy Choices or Colorado to learn more about how to get started with the process.

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