Surrogacy language

Jumping into the world of surrogacy can be overwhelming for many reasons, and one of them is all of the new terms you need to learn. Sometimes it can feel like learning a whole new language. We’ve pulled some of the most common surrogacy terms together in this list, which we will update periodically as we learn and grow more in our journey.


Intended Parents (IPs): The parents, biological or not, who will be raising the child.

Surrogate: A woman who carries a pregnancy on behalf of intended parents. She can be either a gestational or traditional surrogate.

Traditional surrogate: A woman who acts as a surrogate using her own donated egg.

Gestational surrogate: A woman who acts as a surrogate and does not use her own egg.

Match: When a surrogate and Intended Parent(s) formally agree to move forward on a surrogacy journey together.

Rematch: A term used to describe a match after an initial match has fallen through.


In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): A process where a medical fertility expert combines the egg and the sperm to create an embryo.

Embryo: A fertilized egg.

Blastocyst: The stage when an embryo is ready to be transferred.

Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidy (PGT-A): An elective test of embryos to determine the number of chromosomes it carries. This test is often recommended to decrease risk of transfer failure and miscarriage.

Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Monogenic and Single Gene Defects (PGT-M or PGD): An elective test done on embryos of patients who are at an increased risk for passing down a specific genetic condition. The test identifies which embryos carry the genetic condition.

Transfer: A procedure where a blastocyst is transferred to the surrogate’s uterus.

PUPO: Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise/Pregnant Unless Proven Otherwise. This term is used post-transfer before a pregnancy has been confirmed by a beta hCG test.

Beta hCG test: A quantitative test to measure the level of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) present in the blood.

Prefer to listen rather than read? Watch the YouTube version of this content here.

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