Your questions answered
You are considering doing one of the most amazing things that one human being can do for another. But, it is important to be upfront: being a surrogate is an emotionally and physically demanding task. It is important that a woman considering this option has the backing of a partner, family or friends to provide emotional support and practical help throughout and after the pregnancy. Surrogacy is not something to enter into lightly. Careful consideration must be given to the medical, emotional, legal and practical issues, and to the implications of surrendering the child at birth. Thought must also be given to the effect on any existing children, the potential surrogate’s partner, family and friends.
Absolutely not. While it is illegal for a surrogate to receive payment, it is perfectly legal (and expected within Surrogacy UK) that the IPs will pay you for any reasonable expenses that you incur. This might cover loss of earnings; the cost of maternity clothes; the travel costs that you and your family incur when you visit the IPs; and the travel and accommodation costs for attending any fertility clinic or hospital appointments. Childcare costs to look after your own children if you’re away from home will also be paid.
At Surrogacy UK it is also expected that IPs pay for any counselling or professional support, in connection with surrogacy, that you may need during pregnancy and after birth. Surrogacy UK’s full rules and policies are set out in a separate document – Rules and Policies link . Please make the time to review this important document.
Are there any criteria for becoming a surrogate?
A potential surrogate must be in good overall health and be able to undergo a pregnancy with the minimum amount of risk to her own health. Some medical conditions will prevent a woman becoming a surrogate, for example if there are any known medical problems which could lead to complications with the pregnancy, or put the surrogate at risk.
As the risks of illness and problems are much higher in the first pregnancy, it is strongly recommended that surrogates should have borne at least one child previously, and preferably have completed her own family. Only in very exceptional cases should a woman who has not had a child herself consider becoming a surrogate. Surrogacy UK does not have an upper age limit for surrogates, however, as the risks of pregnancy increase with age, any woman over 35 should give careful consideration before offering to become a surrogate. We do only accept applications from surrogates aged 21 and over.
Death in pregnancy and childbirth is not common but it does happen. 1 in 10,000 pregnancies result in the death of the pregnant woman.
How do I choose which Intended Parents to work with?
Surrogates often feel guilty because they feel that they are playing God with someone’s life. A Surrogate can’t help everyone, but if she decides to help just one couple, she will have changed that couple’s life forever and have given the most extra-ordinary gift.
Your choice of which Intended Parents to work with can only be a decision for you and your family, but below we have tried to think of a number of points you may want to bear in mind:
- What sort of surrogacy relationship are the Intended Parents looking to enter into: Straight or Host?
- Are they of an age that you feel comfortable with?
- Do they already have children as a couple?
- Are they within easy travelling distance? (Boring and practical we know – but it is important!)
- Do you have similar interests?
- Does your family like them?
Surrogacy is very much about personalities and you will be spending a lot of time together before, and probably after, the baby is born. At Surrogacy UK we very firmly believe that friendship should come first and surrogacy second. If you find a couple that you like, and who you trust as friends, then you will have a strong foundation for a Surrogacy Arrangement.
How long will it take?
There is no ‘usual’ time frame for finding the couple that is right for you. Some Surrogates find a fantastic couple straight away; others may meet two or three couples before they find the right ones. The most important thing is that you and your family are totally comfortable with your choice. If you do not take time to get to know one another before becoming pregnant, nine months can seem a very long time!
Can I be a member of Surrogacy UK and another surrogacy organisation?
Surrogacy UK does not restrict you from joining another organisation after all, the point of Surrogacy UK is to allow families to be created.