Getting prepared for UK surrogacy

As well as screening and background checks, working out expenses and putting a written agreement in place, there are other vital steps everyone should take before embarking on a surrogacy journey in the UK, whether they have been matched for the surrogacy process or are already friends or family.

Implications counselling


A fertility counsellor with surrogacy experience can support surrogates and intended parents to think through all the emotional implications of their plans, how surrogacy is likely to impact on them and their families and how they will cope with the ups and downs of the journey.  It is important to have space to pause and reflect to make sure you look after yourselves properly and are well prepared for the emotional journey you are embarking on.

Implications counselling is routinely offered at UK fertility clinics, and the HFEA Code of Practice requires clinics to offer a service with a qualified counsellor with appropriate knowledge of surrogacy arrangements. 


Legal advice


It is important that both surrogates and intended parents understand clearly how the law applies to them, and what they need to do to resolve the legal issues properly.  Many fertility clinics require intended parents (and sometimes surrogates too) to have legal advice before proceeding with fertility treatment, and the HFEA Code of Practice says that legal advice should be encouraged in order to ensure informed consent is given. The Department of Health best practice guidance also notes that legal advice is recommended by the family court for anyone embarking on a surrogacy arrangement.


Wills and life insurance


It is sensible for surrogacy teams to put in place wills (for everyone involved) and life insurance.  This helps protect everyone involved by:

  • ensuring that the surrogate’s family will be financially protected if she dies during the surrogacy process,
  • appointing guardians to step into the intended parents’ shoes if the intended parents die during the pregnancy,
  • making sure that the surrogate’s expenses can be paid from the intended parents’ estates if they die, and
  • making sure that the child will inherit from the intended parents and not from the surrogate or her partner if anyone dies before a parental order is granted formally transferring parenthood. 

There is no specific life insurance policy for surrogacy and teams can approach a broker to ask about life insurance which would cover the surrogate and her family or ensure that any existing life insurance does not exclude surrogacy for any reason. 

Instructing a lawyer to prepare wills ensures they are carefully drafted.  Given the peculiarities of the law on surrogacy it is important to find a lawyer who is experienced in dealing with surrogacy situations.


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Related articles

Getting pregnant: fertility treatment for UK surrogacy

Surrogacy pregnancy experience in the UK

Surrogacy births in the UK

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