We’ve launched a joint NGA Law and Brilliant Beginnings US Surrogacy Pathway

Despite the challenges and sadness that 2020 and 2021 have brought for many due to the pandemic, there have also been opportunities for people to take time to reflect and rebalance their priorities. During this time Brilliant Beginnings and NGA Law have helped many intended parents with surrogacy in the US.
With the world opening up, and following significant work from our teams, we have been able to secure a viable US surrogacy pathway for those considering surrogacy in the US in 2021 and beyond.

Why this new US Surrogacy Pathway?

Our new holistic pathway for surrogacy for the US combines the expertise of Brilliant Beginnings and NGA Law into one seamless service.
We have always worked closely together as sibling organisations, but combining the practical and logistical advice and experience of the team at Brilliant Beginnings with the legal knowledge and know-how of NGA Law builds on this. Working together we ensure that you get support and guidance at each and every stage of your surrogacy in the US.

On our US Surrogacy Pathway, you will have a dedicated Brilliant Beginnings client manager throughout your journey. They will spend time with you at the outset to talk through the practical considerations and which US organisations will work best for you. Whilst we work with a number of different US organisations, they are all tried, tested and established choices that we know work well for you and with each other. We will introduce you to these organisations, but our support does not end there. At each and every stage of your journey, from the beginning, to birth and beyond, we will be there to help.

You will also have a dedicated legal manager from NGA Law. Your legal manager will help you with every step of the UK legal process from start to finish. They will meet with you at the outset of your journey to advise you, and will continue to be on hand to answer any questions you have. This ensures nothing is missed, including helping you put in place specialist wills and reviewing all the US documents you sign from a UK legal perspective. When the pregnancy is at 20 weeks your legal manager will help you get everything in place for travel in and out of the US, and get started with your parental order application. There are two different options for legal representation after your baby is born, but either way we will get you home and help you through the court process (and your baby’s UK passport application).

If you are interested in hearing more about surrogacy in the US, Canada or the UK alongside other destinations, we are happy to help so do get in touch.

Learn more about our US surrogacy pathway.

How we secured a US surrogacy pathway during COVID-19

Under the unusual circumstances, our team has worked tirelessly to find practical solutions to the additional challenges the coronavirus pandemic has brought, including securing travel into the US for intended parents to attend the birth of their baby, and then home to the UK. This included successfully lobbying the government in April 2020 to introduce a special emergency UK passport application process for surrogate babies born overseas who at that time could not obtain a US passport quickly.

We have also been active and decisive in winning an important regulatory change from the HFEA to help intended parents export sperm or embryos. Now that there is clear progress with bringing the virus under control, we are already seeing renewed interest in surrogacy in the US from intended parents that have been waiting patiently for things to settle before embarking on what is always a daunting journey.We are here to help, and you couldn’t be in safer hands for navigating whatever ups and downs the journey brings.

US surrogacy during COVID-19 FAQs answered

Is the US right for me?

Before embarking on surrogacy in the US, it is important for any intended parent considering surrogacy to gather and evaluate information on any destination offering surrogacy and work out if it is right for them.

If you are at an early stage in your thinking then it is important to look at your specific circumstances, including embryos, budget, timeline, and the legal framework for surrogacy both in the UK and the different destinations. You are unique, and the team at Brilliant Beginnings can help to identify which routes might work well for you. Brilliant Beginnings offer an Options Review to work through all of this, and most importantly speak to your own circumstances.

Surrogacy in the US happens ethically and legally, with reasonable wait times for matching with surrogates. There is an excellent choice of egg donors willing to help (if needed), and clinical expertise for reassurance on success.

The possibility of moving forward quickly, and being able to be on the US birth certificate from the birth of your baby, means that the US is certainly attractive as an option for intended parents. It is important to bear in mind that there can be bumps in the road too, and to be clear on your budget. A sensible range to have in mind would be £130,000-£200,000 in total, and a timeline of 18-24 months to coming home with your baby.

Can I start a surrogacy journey in the US now?

It is entirely possible to start your US surrogacy journey now.

A key part of the surrogacy timeline is the wait for a surrogate, so settling on a US surrogacy agency and getting this wait started as soon as possible is important. This is particularly so as we emerge from the pandemic, as even now there are signs of an increase in the numbers of intended parents choosing the US for surrogacy, and this will likely impact on wait times for surrogates and even egg donors.

Whilst it is possible that there will also be an increase in the number of surrogates coming forward, this may take longer to happen as surrogates continue to focus on their families for some time to come.

The number of organisations offering surrogacy in the US is vast, but it is crucial to make sure that an informed decision is taken here. This is often one of the most difficult things to get right. Alongside budget, there are more nuanced decisions about how an organisation looks after both you and the surrogates that choose to help. Are they used to helping intended parents outside of the US, and how responsive does their communication remain after that first initial call?

From a clinical perspective there are also established routes now to providing and exporting sperm and embryos from the UK to the US, and in time the option to travel to the US to visit the clinic is also likely to return for those that prefer this.

There are certainly some great options however, and the good news is that all of the agencies and clinics that we work with are open to helping intended parents set up right away, and wait times are still far shorter than those in the UK.

Is travel for the birth of your baby permitted?

This is a crucial question and yes, travel for the birth of your baby is possible, and it has always been the case.

One of the key concerns for intended parents during the pandemic is that they would be unable to travel to the US for the birth of their baby, or it would be difficult to come back to the UK once your baby has arrived.

NGA Law, and the US attorneys we work with, were very quick to establish solutions and routes for UK intended parents here, and thankfully it has always been possible (with some hard work on our part) for intended parents to do both.

Everything points to things only getting easier from here, and this will open up options over and above being there for the birth of your baby, to include meeting the surrogate, attending a scan, or meeting your agency. As society has embraced video calling it would be true to say that this has happened to some extent in surrogacy too. It is commonplace for intended parents and surrogates to speak regularly in a video call, and for intended parents to participate in the pregnancy virtually from a distance. When travel is permitted, the option to visit physically is clearly going to be a welcome one, but is not the priority that it once was.

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