Special deliveries (birth experiences)

right matchWe are working hard to improve birth experiences for UK surrogacy.

UK hospitals and midwives currently lack clear national guidance on how to manage surrogacy births.  As a result there is often confusion about the hospital's legal responsibilities and how to handle things in practice.  In some cases, hospitals even get social services involved (which they do not need to do).  As a result many parents and surrogates find the birth a difficult and stressful process and feel that their situation has not been properly supported.  Ultimately, it means that surrogate children do not get the best start in life.

We want to see a policy addressing these issues for every maternity hospital in the UK which should consider:

  • Who can be present at the birth
  • Dealing with sensitive issues such as cutting the cord and skin to skin contact immediately after the birth
  • Arranging for the parents to be able to care for their child until he or she is ready to be discharged from hospital
  • Giving the surrogate and her family space and support during this time
  • Giving appropriate support to encourage bonding (and where relevant breastfeeding) with the intended parents
  • Dealing with decision making about the child's care while he or she is in hospital, with clarity on what the law says
  • Handing over to appropriate post-birth support services, such as midwives, GPs and health visitors.

In the meantime, we have helped write government guidance on care of surrogates and parents through surrogacy, published in February 2018.