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Surrogacy Guide


What is Surrogacy?

There are now more and more people considering Surrogacy as an option both within and outside of the United Kingdom. Although the process is quite complex, can be emotionally taxing with a vast amount of legal and financial aspects attached to this process, many more parents are seeing this as a viable way of having children.

Surrogacy is where another woman carries and gives birth to a child for another individual or couple. There are two main types of surrogacy arrangements that take place:

Traditional Surrogacy

Here a woman receives fertility treatment through artificial insemination with either the known donor or unknown sperm donor through a process called IUI or IVF. This process can take many months to become a successful pregnancy and is often used when heterosexual or gay couples wish to have a child but does not have an appropriate female to carry the child.

When the baby has gone full term and is born, the surrogate mother signs all of her parental rights away, you (and your partner) are then legally able to apply to the courts to become the legal intended parents, this can be done through applying for a parent order (if one of you are genetically related to the baby) or apply directly to adopt the baby, this is where you will need the services of a specialised solicitor or interlink with a registered surrogacy agency, such as Surrogacy UK to act on your behalf.

Gestational Surrogacy

This is where a surrogate female is impregnated with the donated egg or embryo of another female, the egg is usually fertilized by the sperm of the intended father or sperm donor and is inseminated as an embryo back into the surrogate mother through IVF. The surrogate mother is not biologically linked genetically in any way to the child but is simply carrying the baby as a host for the single female or couple.

Surrogacy within the United Kingdom is currently not regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). Assistance and referrals to find a suitable surrogate through private arrangement or organisations in this field can be found through Surrogacy UK who are a not for profit making organisation.

Where are you allowed to look for a Surrogate?

Surrogates can be found worldwide through contacting a range of private agencies who administer these services directly such as COTS or Surrogacy UK. In order to do this, you have to register yourself and/or your partner with that agency concerned and follow their application process and administrative requirements and checks. Rest assured, they are experts within their own given field and will remove a lot of the stresses that can be placed upon you in following this pathway. Once all necessary arrangements / documentation and legal requirements have been followed, you and your surrogate will interlink whilst you both attend a registered fertility clinic for IVF or IUI treatments.

Co-ParentMatch.com strongly advises that you use a credible surrogate as finding an honest, trustworthy surrogate can be lengthy. We recommend that you seek the services of a registered organisation to carry out all appropriate checks and seek the services of a solicitor to act on your behalf.

What is the time length involved with choosing the Surrogate Option?

The time length can be variable dependant on which route you choose and the different types of checks and health / fertility treatments and tests that will be required. Co-ParentMatch.com recommends that you use the services of a registered organisation to act on your behalf to speed the process up for you and interlink with you in relation to legal documentation and requirements.

Is Surrogacy Illegal within the UK?

Surrogacy is not illegal to undertake within the United Kingdom, however you are only able to receive "reasonable expenses", no professional or commercial fees can be paid out in relation to surrogacy law. Under the terms of the Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985, strict guidelines need to be followed in relation to surrogacy, within the United Kingdom it is a criminal offence to advertise for a surrogate mother, for a surrogate to advertise themselves, or to state that you require payment of fees that are above and beyond what is classed as reasonable expenses.

Any members found to be advertising or breaching this legislation will be immediately removed from the website resulting in all future memberships being revoked due to contravening our terms and conditions and breach of legislation. 

What are the Pro’s and Con’s of Surrogacy?

An advantage to using Surrogacy as an option is that it allows Gay Couples to legally become parents, and allows you and/or your partner to create a baby which is in part or whole biologically yours. You can experience the excitement of parenthood with your surrogate mother from the start of conception through to the birth itself!, sharing all of those emotions and attachment from the start of your journey.

There can be many disadvantages and complications that occur with surrogacy. The first being the health and emotional wellbeing of the surrogate mother herself. Going through the ups and downs of pregnancy, testing phase and fertility treatments themselves can be no mean task. Building that relationship up with your surrogate is important and choosing the right one, as detachment following birth can be an emotional rollercoaster! The child cultural heritage is important when matching yourself to a surrogate and disclosing history and background to the child when the time is right. Some families choose to create a diary or memory book to show the journey that was made highlighting details about the surrogate mum from conception to birth and beyond.

Fertility treatment itself, this can be a complex, lengthy and very emotional process within itself. The procedure may not all be plain sailing. Not all clinics currently offer surrogacy within the UK, so finding the right clinic that matches your needs is crucial. Organisations such as Surrogacy UK, COTS, or HFEA Clinic Locator can help you find the right one for you. It is important that you understand what you are getting yourself into from the start – but remember, this is an important journey to make and that you will be bringing a child into the world starting your parenting journey from this pint on.

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