Being a surrogate – what is it really like?

Anna is Brilliant Beginnings’ first surrogate and is delighted to have helped bring a gorgeous baby boy into the world in April this year. Anna and her partner Daniel wanted to give others who are thinking about surrogacy an insight into what it’s really like to go through this often emotional journey, so agreed to answer a few questions about their thoughts and feeling during the whole process.

We will post parts of their journey over the next few weeks, starting with:

Part 1: Preparing for surrogacy

Anna and Daniel have been together for 4 years and live in Bournemouth with their young daughter. Anna’s background is in the care sector and Daniel is currently studying business and law at university as a mature student.

What first made you interested in becoming a surrogate?

Anna: “I had been thinking about surrogacy for a few years and one evening watched a documentary about surrogacy in India. I couldn’t believe how hard it was for people to do, with all the travel and various complications, and it made me really start to think seriously about surrogacy. Over the next couple of weeks I did some research online about how to become a surrogate and found Brilliant Beginnings. I spoke to Daniel about my thoughts and, at first, he wasn’t sure so we went to see Brilliant Beginnings to talk everything through.”

Daniel: “I wasn’t comfortable with the idea at first because I didn’t really know much about surrogacy. We are from Poland where surrogacy is not accepted, so it didn’t feel very natural to me, but when we came to see Brilliant Beginnings and talked everything through I had a complete change of heart and started to feel much more positive about the idea.”

Had you thought about your expenses at this stage, and if so what was your thinking?

Anna: “I thought about this from the very beginning because I felt that it was important to be clear on this before entering into an agreement. I knew that there would be expenses and I knew that it would have to be taken into account.  Money is a taboo subject and I felt uncomfortable talking about it at first, but it has to come up at some point so I thought it was better to be upfront. I also wanted whoever I was going to be matched with to know what to expect.”

How did people react when you told them you were thinking of becoming a surrogate? Did you experience any negativity and, if so, how did that may you feel?

Anna: “We told Daniel’s mum and sisters, who live in Poland, and they had mixed feelings about it initially.  But we felt that it was our lives and it was something that we wanted to do. I told my mum who was very surprised at first but was so supportive throughout the whole process. My brother also lives in Poland, but he is very open minded and was absolutely fine about it. When we started telling friends and work colleagues over here, most of them were very open minded.  Most were mainly curious about surrogacy and wanted to know more, and we were happy to tell them everything. We only had one negative response from someone who is very traditional and has strong views about a lot of things, so we weren’t affected by his views. At work, my manager in particular was really supportive and was happy for me to attend all of the appointments that I needed to.”

Part 2: Meeting our intended parents to follow!