Our aim is to ensure that all women who become BB surrogates have a bedrock of support and understand the realities of surrogacy. Everyone is different and we approach each woman that comes forward on her own merit, taking time to understand her expectations and hopes for the journey. Having a surro baby isn’t just about changing the lives of the intended parents, it will also change the surrogate’s life and is an incredible experience for everyone.
The first steps begins with the application form which is fairly long but will help us understand if our baseline criteria is met (click here for more info on our criteria). We encourage as much information as possible so we can get a true picture but there is always lots to talk about from here. So once we have the form, then we aim to speak on the phone or via Facetime/Skype to answer any questions and for us to delve into some of the details.
It is a two way process. As much as we are learning about these amazing women, it is important they learn about us and the intended parents that we hope to match them with.
All our surrogates and intended parents need to supply an up to date DBS certificate. All our surrogate’s request a letter confirming there are no reservations from their GP or issues that could impact the health of the surrogate. Once we have these, we move onto the face to face stage with the surrogate and her main supporter (partner/best friend/family member) via Skype or Facetime. That way she and her supporter get to know us and vice versa.
We run Facebook groups for potential surrogates which gives a peer to peer support platform and keep everyone updated on what is happening in the BB surrogate world. Outside of that, all our surrogates can connect with some of our experienced surrogates themselves to give an understanding of what it’s like to be a Brilliant Beginnings surrogate and answer any questions on life as a surrogate. While each journey is different, having someone who has been through it with our support is super helpful and we find it gives an extra layer of comfort alongside the social media platforms. We also run retreats to help honour and acknowledge the uniqueness of surrogacy and bond that surrogates have with each other.
And of course, our team of client managers are on hand to answer any questions if women are not yet ready to officially move forward but want to take time to unravel decisions or other pivotal things in their lives.
Understanding the implications of surrogacy is deeply personal and ensuring that there are no latent triggers that could result in emotional and mental tolls on our surrogates is critical to us. So some of our surrogates will receive counselling with a BICA credited counsellor before being matched. In addition to this, all our surrogates will be evaluated psychologically which will help inform us both on any deep seated vulnerabilities as well as give us further insight into the right match.
The final part of our screening is the home visit. At this point the client manager who will be helping the surrogate with her journey and match will visit in her home. This is a happy occasion which finalises and celebrates their joining of the Brilliant Beginnings surrogate team.
There is no financial cost to our surrogates although there will be some upfront expenses that BB will reimburse (Click here for more info on costs). The initial cost of their DBS checks and GP letter (if they have to pay) are paid back to our surrogates once they complete the screening.
We talk openly about expenses and the context of the UK legal landscape. Some typical expenses include maternity clothes, pre-pregnancy and pregnancy vitamins, home pregnancy tests, child care if needed towards later stages of pregnancy or at the start if they suffer with morning sickness etc. Ultimately our surrogates are not out of pocket for helping another family in such a huge way. Our drive is to empower women to feel confident and clear in relation to their expenses.
Like our intended parents, all our surrogates will sign an agreement with us that sets out the commitment we have with each other. Our support and care does not end when the journey ends and continues for as long as is needed and wanted.