You will encounter many terms and abbreviations when you embark on your infertility journey as either a recipient parent or an egg donor or surrogate. We thought it might be helpful to include a glossary of definitions.

Egg or Eggs: Also known as gametes/ova/oocytes which are retrieved from a woman and include her genetic material. Washed sperm is mixed with the eggs for fertilization and the creation of embryos.

Egg Retrieval Procedure: This is a transvaginal aspiration of Eggs from a donor’s ovaries. This is typically done following a cycle of medication and is performed under anesthesia.

Embryo or Embryos: Refers to any and all fertilized eggs created with the genetic material provided by Donor and derivatives of such fertilized eggs, provided that such fertilized eggs and derivatives have not been transferred into the body of a female.

Embryo Transfer: Describes the mechanical transfer of one or more embryos from the IVF clinic laboratory into the uterus of Gestational Carrier.

Escrow Agent: In the context of a reproductive cycle, an escrow agent is a third-party holding money for distribution according to a donation or a surrogacy agreement. While it is preferable that the Agent be an attorney, at minimum the Agent needs to be licensed, insurance and bonded.

Gestational Carrier: Another term used for a gestational surrogate mother, used to confirm the lack of genetic connection between she and the child.

Fetus or Fetuses: The medical term provided an unborn child, with a rough timescale from embryo implantation through birth.

Gestational Surrogacy: A surrogacy arrangement where the surrogate mother is not genetically related to the child. Pregnancy is achieved when an infertility physicians transfers embryo(s) to her uterus as part of in vitro fertilization (IVF). The embryos are created with eggs (oocytes) from the intended mother or from an egg donor and sperm from either the intended father or a sperm donor.

Gestational Surrogate: A surrogate mother who is not genetically related to the child she is carrying and delivering. Under most legal constructs, a gestational surrogate never retains a right to keep the child.

Parentage Action: A reference to any and all legal activity in a Court of Law initiated to establish or enforce Parental Rights including but not limited to pre-birth orders, maternity, paternity, parentage, custody, and guardianship.

Parental Rights: A legal reference to the rights, responsibilities or obligations of a legal parent including, but not limited to, residential responsibilities, decision-making responsibilities, custody, financial support, medical treatment, access to information, education, moral guidance, religious affiliation, and name selection.

Personally Identifying Information: Refers to the identifying characteristic of a party to a reproductive cycle. Generally this includes name, spouse’s name, partner’s name, date of birth, social security number, address, phone number, amd/or email address that is linked to a particular individual or which reasonably could be expected to allow identification of a particular individual.

Surrogate Mother: A surrogate mother is a woman usually between 21 to 42 years old who carries and delivers a child for a couple or an individual who are identified as intended parents. The child is typically genetically related to at least one of the intended parents.

Traditional Surrogacy: A surrogacy arrangement where the surrogate mother is also the genetic mother. Pregnancy typically occurs via intrauterine insemination.

Traditional Surrogate: A surrogate mother who is also contributing her genetic material to the child. Under most legal constructs, a traditional surrogate has a post-birth timeframe within which she can elect to retain the child and her parentage of the child.

IVF or in vitro fertilization: This is a reference to all clinic procedures which lead up to pregnancy, including ovarian stimulation, uterine lining preparation, egg retrieval, fertilization, embryo culture, and embryo transfer.