How to choose your surrogacy professionals
Professional support and advice for your surrogacy journey, whether you are an intended parent, a surrogate or a surrogate supporter, is an essential part of any successful surrogacy arrangement.
We believe your support should be as unique as you are, to ensure it is the right kind of support. We do this by offering personal support and retreats to our BB surrogates, and by offering intended parents and surrogates advice on all the trusted professionals available to them.
Here, we break down the professional surrogacy providers that are available and how to identify which ones will help you along your surrogacy journey.
Surrogacy support & advice providers: Who is out there?
There are a broad range of professionals available to support your welfare during your surrogacy journey. They can help you anticipate the emotional, financial and legal phases, support you physically and assist with the necessary elements required to create your child.
Common surrogacy support and advice providers include:
- Professional medics
- Surrogacy organisations/agencies
- Occupational therapists – such as: doulas and acupuncturists
- Other professional organisations to help when things go wrong such as: SANDS
Your surrogacy provider requirements will depend on your unique circumstances
As each surrogacy journey is unique to your personal circumstances, your support providers will be tailored to the advice and help you need. For example, if you need to create embryos, you will need clinic help to understand how this is done. If you need to find a surrogate, you will need the help of a surrogacy agency or organisation to find a match.
You may need clinical support with a team of professional medics and counsellors or you may need legal advice to help unravel the parental order. You may also need someone to help support you through pregnancy and labour. Or, you could require a professional surrogacy agency to weave in other professionals, smoothing and stabilising your journey at every stage. Some professional support will be necessary, others will be there to offer a safety net and give you peace of mind.
Identifying the professional surrogacy support you need
Each professional that you choose will provide you with discrete and specialised advice or services to make sure that your goals are achieved. Making sure you know who you need and when, is as important as knowing which services are not for you.
Counselling and legal advice
For every surrogacy journey, there is a need for counselling and legal advice. Counselling will ensure that everyone has thought things through collectively, as well as independently, so that expectations and hopes are aligned and gives objectivity to emotionally charged decisions. For many, having legal advice ensures that your arrangement is galvanised in respect of the law and your parental order application, which reduces stress whilst you juggle your new life with your new-born.
Typically, a clinic is required in some way to help you create embryos: to help with testing, perform transfers and help understand infertility. Finding a clinic that has good experience of surrogacy is no longer a rarity in the UK. But ensuring that the clinic is located conveniently and has surrogacy as a priority should be a key criteria in your choice alongside their clinical experience. The HFEA has a list that you can start from but a call to the clinic directly will get you gauge their understanding of surrogacy.
Other professionals can be called upon in particular circumstances for their therapeutic services. For instance, a doula will help a surrogate with her birthing and recovery by being her voice and supporter. Acupuncturists can support the fertility process as well as offer pain management and stress reduction.
These are options to look into alongside all the other homeopathic and therapeutic disciplines that are widely offered for fertility, stress, birthing, and relaxation. Their sole aim is to help both the surrogate and intended parents through the emotional and physical challenges of surrogacy so that there is less critical after care, and the intended parents can all focus on their new lives once the baby/babies enter the world.
Other surrogacy support
Every surrogacy has its challenges and these can be extreme where cycles fail, miscarriages or even stillbirths occur. There are organisations that offer experience and support to help you through these extreme challenges. Knowing which ones are available to you and where they are will be important when and if you need them.
Questions to help you choose your surrogacy support providers
Choosing the right surrogacy professionals that meet your needs, wishes and expectations is not easy unless you are working within the surrogacy industry. It is always helpful to get a gauge from those who have gone through surrogacy themselves and have learnt what has, and more importantly has not, worked for them.
Each journey is different and has different hurdles and challenges, to say nothing of the things that no one could have anticipated – nothing has made us more aware of this than COVID. But there are some questions to bear in mind when evaluating what support you need and from whom:
- Have they got the expertise and experience that you are looking for? Consider years in their discipline as well as accreditations.
- How do they respond to your enquiries? Do they communicate in a way that reflects that they understand your situation?
- Do they ask you questions that you have not thought about? This often highlights their experience as well as their interest in helping you.
- Do others recommend them?
- How do they compare to others? Compare between 2 or 3 organisations or professionals. Sometimes this helps to work out what you don’t want as well as what will work for you.
How we can help
Brilliant Beginnings is one of the professional organisations that many intended parents and surrogates turn to for support and advice. Our team, many of whom are surrogates or parents through surrogacy themselves, take pride in our experience, our expertise, as well as our passion in helping surrogates and intended parents create families.
Part of our ethos is to ensure that everyone feels confident in their surrogacy journey even when things don’t go to plan. We work alongside other professionals both here in the UK, and also in the USA and Canada if your focus is abroad, who share this passion and signpost onto others who can help where we cannot.
Our services reflect the individuality of each journey – no one child is the same and no journey to helping bring them into the world is comparable. That is why we work with a number of different professionals who work for you and for your own unique circumstances.
We want to help everyone undergoing a surrogacy journey to understand the process. You can find advice and answers to your FAQs in our Surrogacy Information.