Our process for UK surrogates

Brilliant Beginnings helps supports surrogates, and their intended parents, through their surrogacy journeys. For surrogates, this means making sure you are informed about what you are undertaking, who you’ll be working with and how we will support you.

To help you get to grips with how we as a surrogacy agency work with our surrogates, we’ve outlined our matching and management process.

If you prefer to speak to someone directly, you can contact us by email or by phone.

Matching and management for surrogates

We believe in the personal approach, and every match has unique needs. In order to support you as a surrogate, we have to ensure there is clarity and honesty from everyone. To do this, we focus on the following areas:

  • Ensuring that anyone undertaking surrogacy is fit and healthy to carry a child
  • Making a match with compatible intended parents
  • Supporting relationships between surrogates and intended parents (throughout conception, pregnancy and birth)
  • Assisting with clinic and hospital appointments and plans
  • Support post birth

Application and medical screening

There are some requirements for a Brilliant Beginnings surrogate, which protect your wellbeing as a surrogate, as well as reflecting our ability for us to match you with our intended parents.

If you meet all those requirements then we would encourage you to apply for an application form. Once you’ve returned this short questionnaire, we can talk about the journey ahead.

Medical screening is a necessity of surrogacy, as it is in all cases of IVF. This is done to ensure the safety of our surrogates and the baby that they are planning to carry.

If you have a medical condition for which you are being treated, you may be precluded from becoming a surrogate, although some conditions and treatments can be managed during pregnancy without risk to you or the baby.

Additionally, surrogates over the age of 35 will need extra medical screening. We also operate with an upper age limit of 45, given the greater risk of pregnancy complications as you get older.

Contact us to receive an application form

Finding the right match

One of the questions that we get most from potential surrogates is: how do I choose which intended parents to help? We can’t tell you who to work with, and never would.

You will want you to work with intended parents you feel comfortable with, and personalities can be a significant factor here. Similarly, why you are thinking of being a surrogate may lead you to the “right” intended parents.

There are many different kinds of families who need the help of a surrogate, such as:

  • couples and single women who have had unsuccessful fertility treatment or whose family-building plans have been thwarted by cancer or other medical issues
  • women with MRKH who were born without a womb
  • same-sex couples and single dads who have always known they would need help
  • trans men who may suffer from bodily dysphoria should they become pregnant; this individual may be single or in a relationship with someone who cannot carry a baby for some reason also

Some may have children already. Some may have met later in life. Some may have spoken to families and friends while others may have chosen to share their plans further down the line.

What to consider when choosing intended parents

Although we will discuss who you do (and do not) want to work with as part of our matching and management, there are a few questions that you can consider ahead of time including:

  • What kind of family do you want to help?
  • How important is it that you have similar interests with your intended parents?
  • Do you want your intended parents to be within easy travelling distance or further away?
  • Do you hope that your intended parents will have a relationship with your children and/or wider family?
  • What kind of relationship do you want to have, if any, after the child is born? How would you fel about them attending your clinic and antenatal appointments?
  • If there was an issue during the pregnancy, would you be prepared to terminate the pregnancy and under what circumstances?
  • What might be your expenses to cover a pregnancy?

As a Brilliant Beginning surrogate, we will help you to find the right intended parents through our personalised matching process. This ensures that each match is done to make sure that everyone is aligned in their approach as much as possible.

We match on big things, like views on termination or treatment or pregnancy preferences, as well as the no less critical nuances, like geography, personality and lifestyle.

This establishes a strong bedrock from which a foundation of trust and friendship can develop. You will be given lots of information about the intended parents that we think will be a great fit for you and you will have the option before meeting them, to decide if it feels right. They too will have this opportunity so that by the time you do meet, you will have a clear picture of each other.

Supporting you as a surrogate

Our role at Brilliant Beginnings is to help you find the right intended parents to work with, and to support you at every step. We take this very seriously and want to make sure that you are fully supported in every avenue of your life whilst you are a surrogate.

Some of that support will come from us, but it will also come from the other professionals you will come into contact with, along with your friends and family.

Keeping you informed and independently advised

We start every surrogate’s journey with a detailed discussion with you about your background and your wishes. We’ll take you through:

  • what the surrogacy process involves
  • the treatment that you will undergo
  • what happens once you are pregnant
  • the experience of hospitals and clinics

We’ll also answer your questions and make sure that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision about whether this is right for you. We will then meet with you, and your partner if you have one, via Skype or Facetime as well as face-to-face in your home.

In order to make sure that you have all the advice you need, all our surrogates are prepared, medically and psychologically, and we provide you with professional surrogacy preparation counselling (together with your partner if you have one) as well as independent legal advice.

You will also have the opportunity to speak to one of our experienced surrogates about their journey and what to expect.

Joining our BB surrogate community and being matched

Assuming you are happy with everything up to this point, you’ll then be a part of our BB surrogate community and be able to connect online with our other surrogates.

Having got to know you (and the intended parents we work with) we will suggest a one-to-one match. We share the profile information of intended parents with you who we think may be a good match for you. We will also prepare a profile for you which, with your agreement, we will share with the potential intended parents we have in mind. If you both want to meet, we will facilitate a match meeting and give you support in getting to know each other and establishing a relationship based on mutual trust, respect and friendship for as long as is needed.

Email us to get a surrogate application form

Getting to know your intended parents

Once you have been matched, there are lots of issues for you to discuss as a group, and it is critical that you take the time to get to know your intended parents.

Key issues will need to be explored and any discrepancies identified and considered. Our job is to guide, steady and support you throughout this.

The law does not allow us, even as a non profit-making agency, to negotiate the specific terms of your surrogacy agreement, but we will give you guidance and information to help you work out the terms of your agreement and to put this in writing (with our team including professionally-qualified mediators).

Once your agreement is in place, we will support you all throughout the journey. This means help with the practicalities including the fertility treatment, giving practical advice on how to deal with doctors and hospitals and what to do at the birth registration and through the parental order.

It also means we are there at every step to give encouragement, reassurance and support whenever needed, and continuing to facilitate the communication between you to help you deal with any issues that arise. The team are all here to be with you, to cheer you on your way and to hold your hand when you need us. Being a surrogate is an amazing thing, and you don't need to navigate the process alone.

Ready to complete an application form? Apply here

Other considerations when thinking of being a surrogate

If you still have questions about being a surrogate, we are happy to speak with you. Alternatively, you can find more information about being a BB surrogate here: