Surrogacy after IVF: What to do when it isn’t working

When IVF isn’t working it’s common to feel a sense of loss, sadness, anger or even despair. These emotions are to be expected and are completely normal. Ideally, you will have access to good support through your IVF clinic in the form of counselling, support groups and information about other assisted reproductive technologies that might be available to you, depending on your circumstances. However, if you feel you have reached the end of the options that are available to you, you may be thinking, what’s next?

This is the point that many of our clients begin to consider gestational surrogacy to complete their families either here in the UK, or in other safe and ethical destinations such as the US.


When should I stop IVF and consider surrogacy?

This is a very personal choice and there will be lots of factors that will determine when the right time for you is. Some of these are financial considerations, the advice from your clinician, how emotionally prepared you feel and timings. 

Surrogacy can take a long time, even in the US where surrogacy is generally quicker and more predictable than in the UK, so if you are feeling time pressure due to your age, you may want to consider starting sooner rather than later.


How do I know surrogacy after IVF is right for me?

Surrogacy can offer hope when attempts at own IVF treatments haven’t worked. It’s important that you have resolved your feelings around your own IVF not working before you embark on a surrogacy journey. 

It can help to discuss your feelings with a BICA qualified counsellor who specialises in surrogacy to help you feel confident to take the next step in your family building plans.


How do I find out about what surrogacy options are available to me?

There is a wealth of information about surrogacy options online, however, some information can be conflicting or not quite accurate. Doing thorough research into what options are available to you is important to help you decide if you have the budget and emotional resources to embark on a surrogacy journey. 

It can help to access professional support from organisations that have proven practical and legal experience to help you navigate the road ahead. At Brilliant Beginnings we offer surrogacy consultations that will give you advice tailored to your particular circumstances.


Surrogacy after IVF FAQs

Can I use embryos I have in storage in a surrogacy journey?

There is every chance that you can use embryos that are already in storage for surrogacy. You can even export your embryos to the US if you choose to find a surrogate there. You may need to complete retrospective testing, and fill out numerous forms to get things moving, but this is common practice for US surrogacy. 

There may also be some additional practical and legal considerations to explore, depending on how your embryos were created, but generally using embryos that you have in storage for surrogacy is a viable option. 


Can I continue trying IVF alongside a surrogacy journey?

There may be the option for you to continue trying IVF alongside a surrogacy journey. It is important that everyone who is supporting you along the way (e.g. your surrogacy organisation and of course, your surrogate if you are matched with one) is aware of your intention to do so. 

The reason for this is so that timescales can be carefully considered, especially if you are not yet matched with a surrogate, or if you achieve a pregnancy at around the same time as your surrogate, particularly if she lives in the US. 

There are certainly a few additional logistics to consider, but nothing that can’t be overcome with the right professional support. At Brilliant Beginnings, we have lots of experience in supporting parents who have continued their own IVF alongside a surrogacy journey. 

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