A word from Helen and Natalie
“When we set up Brilliant Beginnings in 2013, the UK surrogacy landscape was very different. Through our years of surrogacy law work running our sister organisation NGA Law, we had seen so many problems, almost all of which were avoidable. For parents and surrogates going through informal and unstructured UK surrogacy, we had seen a lack of adequate support and preparation leading to communication difficulties and worry for all. More intended parents were instead looking overseas, and we saw them struggling to identify reputable ethical professionals and getting caught in the gaps between mismatched legal systems. We knew that surrogacy could be a positive experience for all, but that it needed to be managed safely, legally and ethically. We felt we needed to do more.
“We set up Brilliant Beginnings to create a new way of doing surrogacy in the UK, and to enable more positive family building stories through international surrogacy, particularly in the USA. Safety has always been our guiding star and we are belt and braces in all we do. We want surrogates to get the exceptional support they deserve, parents to create their families ethically and with confidence, and children to feel proud of where they came from.
“Working to make change has always been at the heart of our values. The first voices to campaign for UK surrogacy law reform (from 2007), we have not just talked about law reform but have made it happen through gentle, consistent and positive action. In court we have pushed the boundaries of every one of the parental order criteria, forged new paths and found legal solutions for parents going overseas and even changed UK surrogacy law to include single parents. We have also been the quiet force behind numerous pro-surrogacy legislative changes, including on same-sex parents, maternity leave, embryo storage and British nationality. Whenever there is a need or an opportunity to move things forward, we take it, routinely working with government and leading national and international organisations. We helped write the UK government’s first ever official guidance on surrogacy, the Passport Office’s information for surrogacy children and we helped rescue surrogate-born children stranded overseas at the start of the pandemic and during the Ukraine war. We have also worked with the Law Commission extensively on their surrogacy law reform project.
“Since we started Brilliant Beginnings, our robust surrogacy process has changed the landscape of UK surrogacy, creating a more structured approach and setting the standard for best practice. We have also helped families to navigate US surrogacy smoothly and successfully.
“We also think it says a lot that our team includes former Brilliant Beginnings surrogates, now passionate advocates for our best practice surrogacy and committed to giving other surrogates the support they had.”