Information for partners and supporters

Having strong support is crucial for all surrogates, and this often starts with a surrogate’s partner or, if she is single, whoever will be her main supporter during a surrogacy journey (perhaps her best friend or her mum).  While support from intended parents is key, they will not be there 24/7 and a surrogate also needs other support just for her, someone she can talk to, confide in or who can even offer physical comfort like a back rub.  It is easy for a surrogate’s partner or main supporter to underestimate the importance and value of their committed support in the surrogacy process.  In reality your role is absolutely essential.

What am I expected to do as a partner or main supporter?

 

As a partner or main supporter, you will typically be involved with:

  • Forming a relationship with the intended parent/s you are helping, potentially spending social and family time with them
  • Being an integral part of the surrogacy agreement
  • Attending fertility appointments and counselling sessions or looking after your/the surrogate’s children while the surrogate does (sometimes with little notice)
  • Being fully engaged with the professionals supporting the surrogacy process, such as the agency, counsellors, fertility clinic professionals and lawyers advising the surrogate (and you)
  • Hands-on support at home with household jobs during the pregnancy
  • Attending the birth as a birth partner or looking after your/the surrogate’s children
  • Being there for the surrogate after the birth as life slowly returns to normal
  • Being the surrogate’s sounding board and advocate, and garnering any extra support if she needs it

At Brilliant Beginnings, the involvement of a surrogate’s partner (or whoever else will be supporting her if she is single) is mandatory and starts right at the beginning of the surrogacy process.  You will be part of the preparation process as well as the match with intended parents.  We are here to support you as well as the surrogate, and we want to promote a strong and open relationship with you as part of an integrated team.

As a surrogate’s partner or supporter, here are some of the questions you may want to ask:

  • What role do you see yourself playing in the surrogacy experience?
  • How will you support your partner (or the surrogate you are supporting) emotionally and physically during treatment, pregnancy, labour, birth and afterwards?
  • What kind of relationship do you hope to have with the intended parent/s you are matched with, both during the process and into the future?
  • If the surrogate has children (who may be your children too), how will you support them (both practically and emotionally) during the surrogacy process?
  • Will you need or want take any time off work? What expenses are you likely to incur?

Specific information for a surrogate’s partner

 

If you are male and in a relationship with the surrogate, you will need to abstain from intercourse with your partner while she is trying to conceive through fertility treatment.  This is very important in order to ensure there is no risk of any uncertainty about paternity if a baby is conceived.  The period of time during which you will need to abstain will be advised specifically by your fertility doctor, but is likely to last at least a couple of weeks in each cycle of treatment.  Before committing to surrogacy it is important that you understand the importance of this and feel able to manage it as a couple.

If you are married or in a civil partnership, you will initially be the child’s legal father (or other legal parent if you are a same-sex spouse).  That means that you will be recorded on the child’s birth certificate (with the surrogate) and will be a legal parent until a parental order is made by the family court.  The parental order will trigger the issue of a new birth certificate for the child which records the intended parent/s as the legal parent/s and once the process is complete your status as a parent will be permanently extinguished.  It is important that you understand how the law works and feel comfortable with the temporary legal implications for you of your spouse becoming a surrogate. At Brilliant Beginnings we provide independent legal advice to our surrogates and their partners to make sure you have the opportunity to ask any questions you have about the legal issues and that you fully understand the legal implications before you go ahead.

 

More information

UK law: birth registration and parental orders

Getting pregnant – fertility treatment for surrogacy

How much can a UK surrogate get paid?