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What To Know About Termination in Surrogacy

May 22, 2024

When you’re thinking about being a surrogate and carrying a baby for someone, you will likely hear the word “termination”. We get it—termination can be a scary word! What exactly does “termination” mean? Do you have to be willing to terminate a pregnancy? Can you be a surrogate if you don’t wish to terminate? We answer these questions and more below. Here’s what to know about termination in the world of surrogacy.

What Does Termination Mean in Surrogacy?

Termination can be an unsettling term, especially when you think of its meaning and the action of ending a pregnancy. In the context of gestational surrogacy, the decision to terminate a pregnancy is based on careful discussions between the intended parents, surrogate, and medical professionals.

Why Would Intended Parents Ever Want To Terminate Their Baby?

Even though every precaution can be taken, such as genetic testing and transferring the best quality embryo(s), abnormal development can still arise, and most intended parents want to have the choice to continue with the pregnancy or terminate it at that point.

If a fetus has catastrophic defects or genetic abnormalities, there will be discussions with the doctors. Intended parents need to be made aware of all possibilities and scenarios so they can make an informed decision that is best for them and the baby. No one wants to have to consider termination; however, all parties need to be ready to talk about it.

Can I Apply To Be a Surrogate if I’m Not Willing To Terminate?

If you come to surrogacy with views that you are not willing to terminate—or “no to term” as we may call it—you will have some choices to make. While there are handfuls of intended parents who would not terminate a pregnancy no matter what (except if the surrogate’s life was in danger), they are few and far between. However, if you are open to waiting to find a parent match who is also “no to term,” it may happen for you.

It’s important to keep in mind that intended parents want to be able to make decisions for their future, just as you did with your own pregnancy(ies). Those decisions include having the choice to move forward or end a pregnancy where there is an abnormality or severe defect. These decisions are not made easily, and may not even be considered until a defect arises, which is why most intended parents prefer a surrogate who will ultimately defer to them.

Talking About Termination With Intended Parents

Conversations about termination—and education on what it means—are had with all surrogates and intended parents before they embark on a journey. Your surrogacy agency will be sure to present matches in which all parties have the same views on termination. 

Please note that there are are protections in place for you and the parents that disallow terminating for the sake of terminating (e.g., if the parents don’t like the gender of the baby). Remember, your intended parents want this baby so very much, and the decision to terminate is typically made under only the most extenuating circumstances.

On the flip side, intended parents must be willing to terminate the pregnancy if the surrogate’s life—your life—is ever in danger. A healthy pregnancy will never be terminated unless it needs to be done to save your life. Remember: at, you are always our top priority.

What Misconceptions Do Surrogates Have About Termination?

Let’s be real: termination is a touchy subject backed by big emotions (and personal feelings) for everyone involved. To help clear up any confusion, here are some common misconceptions about terminating during surrogacy:

  • You will be required to terminate a pregnancy

  • Intended parents can terminate the pregnancy if they change their minds about having a baby

  • Intended parents can terminate if they do not like the gender of the baby

All of the statements above are FALSE! As mentioned above, you have a voice in this decision, you will be matched with intended parents who share your views, and your intended parents cannot decide to terminate unless there are urgent, life-threatening circumstances for the fetus or surrogate mother.

Our Community Is Here for You

While we hope that you will never face the decision to end a pregnancy, you can take comfort and find support among our extraordinary community of surrogates. These women have been in your shoes and can answer questions or offer guidance.

Our team is also committed to guiding you through this journey. If you have questions or concerns about termination, our experienced team is ready to answer them! You can reach out to us at

To learn more about what it means to be a surrogate, visit our website to see how amazing being a surrogate can be!

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