Meet the Brilliant Beginnings team
Our founders and directors
Our client managers
Our surrogate manager
Our client care assistant
Our operations team
Our legal team (NGA Law)
Alejandra Rodrigues Ramones
Other professionals we work with
Jerome Tierney, clinical psychologist
Ruth Wilde, BICA counsellor
Vicky Parkin, BICA counsellor
Nicola Scott, solicitor
Miranda Pilchowska, medical screening consultant
Interested in joining our team?
Caring, energetic and creative, Helen has worked in surrogacy for over a decade. She is a CEDR-accredited professional mediator.
Helen is a regular speaker on surrogacy at fertility events and international conferences, and has an extensive network of contacts with surrogacy agencies, medics and lawyers in the UK and internationally. She is often asked to share her expertise with the media, including the BBC, Vogue, GQ magazine and more.
Her notable work includes:
- Contributing to the Law Commission’s review of UK legal framework
- Being a member of the Department of Health’s group to publish surrogacy guidance, the HFEA’s National Donation Strategy Group, and a former trustee of the National Gamete Donation Trust
- Being one of the few international members of the American Bar Association’s Assisted Reproduction and Technology Committee
She has two grown-up children.
Driven, passionate and approachable, Natalie is widely known as the UK’s leading fertility lawyer. With her gentle tenacity, she has been pivotal in much of the change in UK surrogacy law over the last 15 years and has helped to shape it through her numerous published legal cases and lobbying work. She has also contributed to the Law Commission’s review of the UK legal framework.
Natalie is a regular voice on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme and Woman’s Hour and has been quoted in Parliament, ranked in the Independent’s Pink List, invited to meet the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street and nominated for Stonewall’s Hero of the Year Award. She is a former trustee of Fertility Network UK, and speaks regularly at national and international events.
She has two donor-conceived children as a same-sex parent, and has been an altruistic egg donor.
Tracey came to Brilliant Beginnings in 2015 as a surrogate, having previously been an egg donor too, and she gave birth to a surrogate baby in 2018. With four daughters of her own, she felt lucky to be a parent and it meant so much to her to help another couple experience parenthood, something she feels is ‘the most rewarding thing I have ever done’.
Having experienced first-hand how the team supported surrogates and managed each part of their journey, she wanted to be part of helping others too. Tracey is an advocate for the unique way Brilliant Beginnings matches intended parents and surrogates, feeling that the detail and time spent over this fundamental step of the journey is invaluable and that the ongoing relationship she has with her intended parents is testimony to the fact it works.
As one of our surrogate managers, Tracey guides and supports new surrogates as well as raising awareness of surrogacy. Calm and clear, she provides invaluable reassurance to women at all stages of their journey. She loves talking about surrogacy in general and answering any questions, whether on a call, in conversation or when speaking at events.
Particular areas of interest and expertise:
- Supporting and caring for surrogates throughout application, screening and match
- Special interests in colostrum harvesting, expressing milk for surrogate babies and making birth better
- Personal experience as a Brilliant Beginnings surrogate, and previously as an egg donor
In 2023, Olivia joined our team as a paralegal and works as part of the NGA Law legal team . She completed a law degree and LPC LLM before joining the team. She has experience in private and public family law and risk and compliance.
She has always been interested and passionate about helping people to build families and helping families navigate through challenging times.
Olivia is trilingual, speaking both Cantonese and Mandarin.
Having joined the team in 2022, Robyn is a paralegal in the NGA Law legal team. With a passion for inclusivity and clarity in the law, Robyn supports all our legal work, and in particular works on both domestic and international surrogacy cases. Robyn graduated with a degree in Law before joining the legal team. She has worked with individuals in complex and emotive circumstances through her previous roles with the Crown Prosecution Service and most recently working in donor information at the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.
Xander joined the NGA Law team as a Paralegal in 2023 after completing his law degree. In his role, he supports the advancement of our legal work, predominantly in respect of our domestic and international surrogacy cases. Xander’s energetic personality allows him to uphold exceptional client care. He has previous experience volunteering in areas of LGBTQ+ diversity and inclusion and feels it important to strive to ensure that all individuals are heard and understood when building their families, no matter what form they take.
Outgoing and organised, Gemma’s focus is on ensuring that every surrogacy journey is stable from start to finish. Her unending patience and thoughtfulness ensures that intended parents and surrogates (and the professionals working with them) are guided smoothly and sensitively.
Gemma’s background in legal marketing, project management and professional client service shines through in all she does. She guides, educates and supports her clients through their journeys with empathy and integrity, and is committed to establishing meaningful relationships with them and the professional organisations working alongside them.
Gemma has two young children.
Particular areas of interest and expertise:
* Client manager at Brilliant Beginnings since 2015
* Specialist expertise in UK surrogacy, US surrogacy and Canadian surrogacy
* Particular interest in professional relationship building
* Attending and speaking at BB information events
* A trusted point of contact for other professional organisations in the US and UK
What our intended parents and surrogates say about Gemma:
“Your support and involvement in this process are greatly valued, Gemma.”
“Thank you for all your amazing efforts to make this happen for me.”
“Thanks Gemma, you are an amazing supporter.”
“Thank you for all your help and support this year – we’re so grateful to you and the team.”
Empathetic and positive, Esther ensures the teams she supports have a smooth surrogacy experience, whatever their situation. She is always a step ahead to help navigate the myriad of choices available and goes the extra mile to ensure that the best choices are to hand.
Esther’s background in a family law team, at an adoption and fostering agency and as a volunteer at Refugee Action and Citizen’s advice give her the drive and tenacity to help create families. Her zest and professionalism ensure that her teams feel secure and actively supported.
Esther is mum to two young children.
Particular areas of interest and expertise:
- Client manager at Brilliant Beginnings since 2017
- Specialist expertise in UK surrogacy, US surrogacy and Canadian surrogacy
- Particular interest in providing emotional support
- Personal experience of alternative family building through friends and family
- Fluent in several languages
What our parents and surrogates say about Esther:
“I honestly couldn’t have done it without you as part of BB and the support you’ve given and continue to give, you totally understand my feelings and the whole surrogacy process.”
One set of parents even named their daughter after her! “We love the name – and even more so to remind us of the person who brought the three of us together to make our little one happen.”
“Just wanted to say thank you for all your support for my surrogacy journey – the most complex part is building professional ties and it’s your support in managing this as well as the processes that has been invaluable. It is NOT an overstatement to say that I could not have managed this remotely without you.”
Kirstie is our Operations Manager. She runs both our offices, supports our HR function and provides invaluable support to the whole Brilliant Beginnings and NGA Law team as well as our clients
Often the first point of contact for clients and new enquiries, she is warm, understanding and personable. Having been part of the team since 2014, Kirstie is extremely knowledgeable about all areas of our work, and is also exceptionally well-organised with a keen eye for detail.
Becky is an intrinsic part of the daily running of our office, with particular focus on supporting our finances. Always positive and keen to assist, Becky has a Zoology degree and a meticulous approach to detail. She volunteers with the RSPB and her effortless kindness is often called upon. As a team member who answers initial calls, Becky is a font of knowledge, as well as being relied on for her sensitive and calm nature.
Donna is a perinatal practitioner and doula which she re-trained in after her children were born, and following a background in IT support and service management.
She first became aware of Brilliant Beginnings in 2021 when she was back up doula support for a Brilliant Beginnings Surrogate, she was impressed by the support the doula had from Brilliant Beginnings.
Donna’s role is to support the Surrogate and Client Managers with administration and information to allow them to provide exceptional support to Brilliant Beginnings Surrogates and Intended Parents.
She brings with her experience and knowledge from the work she does outside her Brilliant Beginnings role where she works with families through pregnancy birth and the postnatal period in many capacities; such as doula support, birth trauma support, postnatal recovery massage, babywearing and sling/carrier support, baby massage, and facilitating antenatal and postnatal courses.
Alejandra Rodrigues Ramones
Alejandra joined the team in June 2022 and is a paralegal with the legal team as well as supporting our operations team. She advances cases forward, keeping track of case progress and collaborating with the team overall. Previously a project manager, she has always gravitated towards family, medical, equality and diversity in her study and volunteering work. Alejandra is trilingual, speaking both Spanish and Portuguese, and she loves being a small (yet big) part in one of the many pages of the stories of each family we help.
Jerome is a registered clinical psychologist with a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Royal Holloway, University of London. He seeks to understand why we do the things we do, with the aim of helping others live meaningful and rewarding lives. His warm and understanding nature immediately puts people at ease.
Jerome plays an invaluable role in minimising the risk of any psychological distress as a result of a surrogacy journey. His psychological assessments and recommendations help us make sure all our Brilliant Surrogates are safe and fully supported, so they have a rewarding and life-enriching experience.
Jerome’s experience is in both private practice and the NHS and he has particular interests in perinatal mental health, surrogacy, the interaction of physical and mental health, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS/ME), and sexual health. His expertise lies in particular in working with those struggling with depression and anxiety-related problems.
Miranda Pilchowska is a registered Adult Nurse with a Practice Nurse background. In addition, Miranda is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at a reputable university and currently undertaking a Doctor of Professional Studies (DProf) in Health and Social Care at the University of Chester. Her research focuses on maternity outcomes and accessibility into surrogacy within the United Kingdom.
As a previous surrogate with Brilliant Beginnings in 2021, Miranda has first-hand experience into the surrogate journey which provides her with a holistic and compassionate understanding.
Miranda is involved with the initial medical screening process of surrogates for Brilliant Beginnings and works collaboratively with the multidisciplinary team in the implementation of recommendations to support surrogates through their experience.
Ruth is a fertility counsellor with over 18 years’ experience of supporting people affected by fertility issues. Having worked at various leading fertility clinics, Ruth now provides private counselling services. She is a current board member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, having been appointed to serve for a second term at the beginning of 2019. She has been awarded Honorary Membership of both the British Infertility Counselling Association and the British Fertility Society for her services to each organisation and to the wider fertility community.
Ruth works with our surrogates, providing confidential surrogacy preparation counselling as part of our screening and preparation process, as well as being on hand to offer confidential emotional support to any of our clients and surrogates who need it at any stage of the surrogacy journey.
Vicky is a very experienced specialist fertility counsellor, she has worked for various fertility clinics around the country and privately since 2005. She is an accredited member of BICA (British Infertility Counselling Association) and is also on the BICA executive committee. Vicky realises when you are considering surrogacy time is often of the essence and with this in mind she offers Skype and telephone sessions making counselling much more accessible, flexible and aims to fit round you and your family. Vicky offers early morning and evening sessions to try and accommodate you as much as possible.
We are pleased to have Vicky as part of our team, to work with our surrogates as part of our screening a preparation process and beyond.
Approachable, positive and straightforward, Kelly is a qualified lawyer with the NGA Law legal team.
She manages our paralegal team, advises Brilliant Beginnings clients in legal reviews, provides ongoing support and advice and conducts our day-to-day legal representation in parental order applications after both UK and international surrogacy. She also has a particular interest in managing British nationality and passport applications for children born through surrogacy.
Kelly has a degree in Psychology and has worked with vulnerable children in a children’s home, so has a varied background of experience. She joined the NGA Law team in 2017 and qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive Lawyer in 2024. She cares passionately about surrogacy, non-traditional families and providing exceptional client service.
Nicky is a Client Manager. She joined the team in May 2021, after becoming a surrogate with Brilliant Beginnings. She became interested in surrogacy after looking into egg donation and has now been matched with intended parents.
In her role as a Client Manager, Nicky is key to supporting the intended parents and surrogates who are on a surrogacy journey with Brilliant Beginnings. Nicky will carefully look at the right match before making this a reality for intended parents and surrogates. Once matched she guides, and holds the hands of her surrogacy teams through the initial stages of getting to know each other and bringing together their agreement, all the way to the birth of baby. Nicky works proactively with her teams, and their clinic and hospital, to work through next steps, and help them navigate any hurdles they encounter along the way.
Before joining Brilliant Beginnings, Nicky worked at a large bingo company for many years, and in 2020 joined children’s books publisher, Usborne, as an Independent Usborne Organiser to get more books to children. She has three children of her own.
Particular areas of interest and expertise:
- Attention to detail through previous career as an Auditor
- Personal experience of the surrogate process through being on her own BB surrogate journey
- Loves producing Diamond Art pictures!
What our parents and surrogates say about Nicky:
“Thanks, Nicky, for all your help and support.”
“We are really pleased with the rapport and support we have with you.”
“Thank you for all your encouragement, advice, help and support along the way. It’s been incredible.”
“Thank you as always for all your help and support – it’s been invaluable and is much appreciated.”
“Thanks so much Nicky and honestly your support has been amazing!!!”
“Thanks again for all your support and guidance this year, and getting us to where we are. We are very appreciative and it’s been lovely getting to know you.”
Nicola Scott is a solicitor who specialises exclusively in fertility law. Her passion for creating families began two decades ago during her law degree, after which she became the first lawyer to train in a specialist fertility firm at NGA Law. She has since dedicated her career to surrogacy and non-traditional family building.
Nicola provides independent legal advice to our Brilliant Beginnings surrogates and prepares their Wills.