The Surrogates (BBC) – UK surrogacy on our TV screens


We were pleased to see the BBC documentary ‘The Surrogates’ on our televisions this week (if you missed it you can catch up on BBC iPlayer here). It followed five women in the UK from the start of their surrogacy journeys to help gay dads, a straight couple and a single dad to parenthood. By Episode 3, each had delivered a beautiful baby into the arms of its loving parents and returned to their own lives fulfilled. And for some, ready to help again.

‘The Surrogates’ tackled surrogacy online and through community organisations, rather than with agency support

The program focused on UK surrogacy journeys through online matching and community organisations, rather than surrogacy managed by a professional surrogacy agency like Brilliant Beginnings. And while the overall message was very positive, the programme did not shy away from the awkward moments which can arise in informal UK surrogacy, for example when surrogates are not sure how to bring up a subject (like needing more money), when intended parents feel they have to be better versions of themselves in order to win the favour of a surrogate at a first meeting, and the inevitable insecurity and uncertainty that everyone feels.

In spite of this, and the many hoops and hurdles of failed transfers and misaligned timelines, the surrogacy teams all achieved their dream of giving the intended parents a biological child, thanks to some incredible surrogates who never gave up.

We offer a different UK surrogacy route

Brilliant Beginnings was founded to offer a different route to UK surrogacy alongside the more informal options shown on the programme, one which minimises the challenges and hurdles shown while honouring the altruism and amazing relationships of UK surrogacy. Through our unique screening and preparation process, we support UK surrogates to ensure they are safe and fully informed and we frontload discussion of potentially awkward issues like expenses and views on termination if there is a difficult decision to be made during the pregnancy.

We then match one-to-one, putting together intended parents and surrogates who are a good fit, dealing with issues which might otherwise be difficult for them to talk about and avoiding the vulnerability both sides feel when putting themselves forward.

Each surrogacy journey is different, requiring support to navigate as it unfolds, and our team offers expert guidance and supports decision-making at every step, with many of our surrogate managers and client managers having lived experience as surrogates or parents through surrogacy.

The work we do minimises those awkward moments and it minimises risk for all involved, ensuring the child being conceived has a positive honest story. Balance in any relationship is critical, and our support gives everyone a sense of control and excitement, without fear of having to be someone they are not.

The team at Brilliant Beginnings are privileged every day to be a part of UK surrogacy – by supporting, advising, steering, navigating and, sometimes, weeping with our surrogates and intended parents as they experience the emotional, physical and mental journey of UK surrogacy. Ultimately, we know that surrogacy brings together families to create families, and that each and every one is unique.

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