Should I become a surrogate? Is surrogacy right for me and my family?

Surrogacy can be an incredibly rewarding experience.  You will be changing family lives forever, creating parents as well as grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.  However, surrogacy is also a long and emotional process which requires patience and resilience.  Surrogacy is not right for every woman, so take time to work out if it is right for you and your family.

Is surrogacy safe for me?


You should only become a surrogate if your physical and mental health will not be put at unacceptable risk.  While parents who conceive through surrogacy usually have no other choice, surrogacy is voluntary for surrogates.  There is of course risk in any pregnancy, but no surrogate should open herself to an unacceptable level of risk of physical or mental health complications.  Being in poor health or having a history of significant postnatal depression or pregnancy complications mean that surrogacy may be unsafe for you. 


What do I want to get out of this?


Think carefully about why you want to become a surrogate, and the kind of journey and relationship with your intended parents you want to have.  It is not selfish to be honest about your preferences so that you find the best possible match and manage your journey in a way which works for you.


Should I be a gestational surrogate or a traditional surrogate?


This is a very personal decision.  As a gestational surrogate you will have no biological connection with the child you carry, which some surrogates find important in terms of how they conceptualise the surrogacy process and family dynamics.  As a gestational surrogate you will need to have treatment at a fertility clinic to conceive.

As a traditional surrogate you will be biologically related to the child you carry, so think carefully about whether you feel comfortable with the long term implications for you and your family. However conception may be a less medicalised process if you conceive through home insemination. 


What impact will the surrogacy process have on me and my family?


Surrogacy can be incredibly rewarding for surrogates and their families, creating special bonds between two families and enabling surrogates to show their own children the power of helping someone else.  Surrogacy is also an enormous commitment which will absorb a significant amount of your personal time and energy over a likely two year period.  It is important to make sure that you know what the process involves, that you are prepared for the commitment, and that this is right for you and your family. 


What does the fertility treatment process involve?


If you are not a traditional surrogate conceiving at home, you will need to have an embryo transferred to your uterus at a fertility clinic.  Each cycle of treatment will involve you taking medication to regulate your cycle, and attending a fertility clinic for regular scans and blood tests, leading up to the transfer of the embryo.  It make take 2-3 cycles or more of treatment for you to get pregnant.  Find out more about the fertility treatment process.


What support will I need?


It is important to be honest about what support you will need, both personally (in your relationship, if you have one, and from your friends and family) and from the professionals you are working with in the surrogacy process.  If you choose to be an independent surrogate, you will have more responsibility to navigate the process yourself.  A community support organisation will give you access to a wide range of peer support and guidance through the process, although you will still manage a lot of the process yourself (including finding intended parents you want to match with).  As the UK’s only professional surrogacy agency offering a fully-managed service, Brilliant Beginnings supports surrogates step by step, helping you get prepared and verify that surrogacy is right for you, matching you with like-minded intended parents and making sure you are cared for throughout your journey.  

You may also like to join our closed Facebook group for surrogates, which is for women who have already been surrogates or are thinking about becoming one. Many of them will be happy to share their experiences.


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Still have questions?

Don’t worry, you are not alone.  We are here to help however we can.