Screening and background checks for UK surrogacy

Any woman considering being a surrogate must be confident she can carry a pregnancy safely. But it is also crucial that everyone is well prepared for the surrogacy journey, with nothing hidden that could jeopardise an arrangement.

Criminal records and other background checks


The main purpose of criminal records checks is to confirm that no one involved in a planned surrogacy arrangement has any serious criminal convictions which might impact on the welfare of the child (such as violent or child protection offences).  However, more generally, it is important there is openness and transparency about any previous history of anyone involved so there is no potential for unexpected information emerging during a surrogacy process which might unsettle the relationship.


Physical health screening


It is important to confirm that a surrogate pregnancy will be safe for the surrogate, and that the intended parents are not carrying any transmissible diseases which might put the surrogate at risk.  Checks can be done through health screening by a surrogate’s GP or a suitable medical advisor, at an STI clinic or a fertility clinic.  Where conception takes place at a fertility clinic in the UK, the clinic will always conduct its own health screening through histories and blood tests.  


Psychological health screening


It is important to make sure that everyone is emotionally healthy and supported for a surrogacy journey.  As a professional surrogacy agency, Brilliant Beginnings conducts a psychological evaluation with the help of an independent clinical psychologist. We want to explore things fully with our surrogates and verify that there are no historic issues or vulnerabilities which might be triggered by a surrogacy process and leave a surrogate destabilised. The assessment helps our surrogates to confirm that surrogacy is safe for them emotionally and psychologically, and gives us information to help us find the best match and provide the best personal support. Brilliant Beginnings is the only UK surrogacy organisation which offers this.

Read more about the psychological evaluation for surrogates.


Welfare of the child screening


Where conception takes place at a fertility clinic in the UK, the clinic must consider the welfare of the child who will be born before providing treatment.  This is generally a light-touch assessment, which would only stop fertility treatment if there were very serious welfare concerns.


Screening where the surrogate is a friend or family member


If the intended parents and surrogate have a longstanding relationship – for example where the surrogate is a sister of one of the intended parents – it may not be necessary to do the same level of screening.  However, it is important to make sure surrogacy is safe for everyone in respect of health and psychological risks.

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