We will help you to think through whether you want to become a surrogate. You need to understand what is involved, and think about the short and long term implications for you and your family. You also need to choose what kind of intended parents you want to help, and how to find the right ones for you. Surrogacy is an 18-24 month journey (and sometimes longer if things don't go to plan) and so we want to make sure that you have what you need to start the journey but also that you are matched with the right intended parents for you and your family.
Once you having completed our detailed initial application form, we will spend time getting to know you by phone, Skype and face-to-face (including visiting you at home). We will take a detailed history and check whether there is anything preventing you from becoming a Brilliant Beginnings surrogate, and we will help you get your world set up for surrogacy. We will also talk to your partner and/or the other people who will support you. We ask for a letter from your GP to ensure there are no concerns about the safety of you carrying a pregnancy for someone else, and we ask for a recent DBS certificate to confirm you don't have a criminal record. We also speak to two personal references you give us to find out more about you. From there, we will organise professional surrogacy preparation counselling for you and your partner if you have one. After you are matched, we will also provide you with independent legal advice to make sure you fully understand the legal implications of being a surrogate. All the costs are covered by us.
We match on a personalised basis, putting the right people together very carefully. We want your journey to be as seamless as possible - nature will sometimes throw a curve ball so ensuring that you 'click' with your intended parents and are aligned in the key decisions is critical. We match on personality and values, as well as key issues like views on termination, treatment preferences and the kind of relationship that you hope to have during and after your surrogacy. In the first instance, having got to know you and the intended parents we work with, we give you an in-depth profile of the intended parents we propose to match you with, including photos, anonymised references and confirmation of their DBS certificates. This is all anonymised initially and we will talk to you about them in advance of you committing. With your permission, we then give them the profile information about you which we have prepared together with you.
If you both feel that you would like to meet, we will introduce you, firstly through a match call (which we facilitate). If everyone is keen to proceed, then we give you each other's contact details so you can pick up the conversation from there. If all goes well, we will help you to build a relationship through calls and face-to-face meetings. It is important that you take your time to build solid foundations and let things develop organically. If you agree to proceed with the match, we will give you the information and guidance you need to talk through the details of your surrogacy arrangement thoroughly and settle what should be recorded in your surrogacy agreement. Your agreement will be finalised with the help of a mediated meeting all together (with one of our team who is a professionally qualified mediator) to make sure you've covered all the details and there is clarity and understanding between everyone. We will provide you with a template document to work from, prepared by our solicitor colleagues at NGA Law.
We have handpicked the best fertility clinics for surrogacy from across the UK to work with, and can recommend a clinic with a proven track record and supportive approach. We will help to ensure that the treatment runs smoothly, managing the various steps in the process and being on hand to answer any queries or worries you have.
We will help you and your intended parents to support each other all the way through the pregnancy. We will check in with you regularly and be on hand to help you with any concerns, no matter how big or small. We will help you to plan for the birth, both practically and emotionally, to ensure that all goes as smoothly as possible. You will also have the support of other surrogates and we try hard to get everyone together from time to time.
We will support you all in planning for the birth, and in the weeks that follow, making sure you get settled and everyone has the support they need at this sensitive time.
Brilliant Beginnings will bow out at this stage in terms of our professional service but we love to stay in touch with the families we help to create and our amazing surrogates who make it possible. You may even be thinking of another journey (whether with the same intended parents or someone else).