The following are a number of common questions that we get from surrogates, or hear asked at surrogacy events. They range from general queries to personal concerns to logistical and process questions.
Being a surrogate is an incredible gift to a family and the rewards can be lifelong. It might be something you’ve always thought about doing or a new consideration. Either way, it is emotionally and physically demanding and women who become surrogates don’t enter it lightly.
You will need to consider what support you will have throughout your pregnancy and after delivery, and what practical and emotional help you will have from your partner, family and friends. You will also need to think carefully about the medical, legal, emotional and practical implications of carrying a child for someone else.
You will need to think about how being a surrogate affects your existing children, as well as your partner. Our surrogacy preparation counselling will help with this. Our experience shows that this sets up your relationship with your intended parents so that it is mutually happy and fulfilling.
Breastfeeding can delay a woman’s return to fertility by causing a lack of ovulation and periods, and can prevent an embryo from implanting properly. Therefore to become a surrogate, you would have to stop breastfeeding and resume your regular menstrual cycle for a more successful IVF process.
It is important that you give your existing family and your breastfeeding child the attention that they need at this early stage of their life.
At Brilliant Beginnings, we would not want to interfere in that special time with your children and you would have to have stopped breastfeeding before becoming a BB surrogate.
Surrogacy in the UK is only allowed on an altruistic basis so the only thing that is paid to you as a surrogate are pregnancy related expenses. We would always recommend you are upfront with the relevant benefit office and be clear about what your expenses are covering, to avoid any confusion in relation to the payments you receive.
As part of the Parental Order process (to extinguish your legal responsibility) your intended parents will need to outline what expenses they have paid. You would want you to be honest with both your intended parents, in terms of your expectations for expenses, as well as your benefits office.
Choosing your intended parents means considering a lot about who they are and what sort of relationship you want to have. Surrogacy is a 18 – 24 month journey and so helping the right person or people, for you, is very important.
There are lots of people who would welcome your help with completing their family. The most important element is that you are comfortable with them, and they with you, so that you can form a trust based, honest relationship.
At Brilliant Beginnings, we will do that matching for you and present you with the couple that are aligned with you on the big issues (like termination and expenses) as well as softer things but no less important (like lifestyle and personality).
The surrogacy process itself varies in length of time, with screening and preparatory discussions needed before you are ready to be matched. As you near the end of this part of the process, the final stage is an in-home visit. This is the time when we will aim to begin to talk to you about the potential intended parents that we would like to match you with.
From there assuming that there are no obvious barriers, then we will look to match you shortly afterwards. We match 1 to 1 not 1 by 1. You aren’t matched with the next parent/s on the list, but rather the intended parent/s that are the best match for you, and them.
In the UK, the person that gives birth to the child is the legal parent. This doesn’t change for children born through surrogacy, and this means that if you are married or in a civil partnership, your spouse/partner will be the other legal parent.
In order for your intended parents to become the legal parents, they will need to to extinguish you (and your spouse/partners’s) legal responsibility. This is a well travelled path for UK surrogacy and we’ve taken many IPs and surrogates through this.
As the law in the UK recognises the surrogate mother as the birth parent, it means that you are entitled to maternity leave in the same way as if you were having your own child.
Success rates for surrogacy do not exist, at least not in a reliable way. Some fertility clinics can cite data on the success rates they have with IVF, the medical process by which the embryo will be implanted in you as a surrogate, but surrogacy success rates are not currently collected separately.
There are far too many variables including the response of surrogates, as well as embryos, sperm and eggs’ quality. It is always sensible to anticipate two to three attempts to get pregnant.
If you would like to know more about what it takes to be a surrogate and how the process works, you should look at the following pages: Requirements and restrictions Screening, matching and support Pay and expenses
Alternatively, if you would like to apply to be a BB surrogate or speak to one of our team members, contact us today.