Surrogacy for female same-sex parents

Brilliant Beginnings has been at the forefront of championing same-sex parents for many years, and helped win legal equality for same-sex parents conceiving through donor conception and surrogacy in 2008. We know that if you are just starting out on a surrogacy journey you may have lots of questions. 

Is surrogacy the right way forward for us?


For clarity, it is not surrogacy where one female partner carries a baby created with eggs from the other – this is fertility treatment or co-maternity.  Surrogacy is, however, an option where neither of you is able to carry a pregnancy and you need the help of a third woman to carry your child. 

Whether surrogacy is the right way forward for you is an immensely personal question. You might be considering whether to continue trying to get pregnant if you have been trying unsuccessfully.  You might be considering surrogacy alongside other alternative family-building paths, such as adoption.  It is important to take the time you need, and to access the right information and support, to make a clear and settled decision.


How will our child feel about being born through surrogacy?


This is a question many same-sex parents think about, whether they are conceiving through surrogacy or another route. Research into outcomes for children born into non-traditional families shows that what matters to children is the quality of their parental relationships rather than the number or gender of their parents.  Read more about research on surrogacy and non-traditional families

It is, however, important to think about the long term implications and be prepared to talk to your child about how they came into the world, and if possible to keep a connection with your surrogate and sperm donor for your child in the future. 


How does surrogacy work for lesbian couples?


You may be planning to transfer an embryo created with eggs from one of you (and donor sperm) to a gestational surrogate.  If either of you is transgender you might also be able to provide you own sperm. Alternatively you may need the help of an egg and sperm donor as well as a surrogate to conceive a child through surrogacy.  From a UK legal perspective, if neither of you is able to use your own gametes this will have significant implications in terms of your surrogacy options.  We would recommend seeking early legal advice and our sister organisation NGA Law can help you.


Should we stay in the UK or go overseas for surrogacy?


This is one of the most important early questions to explore.  About half of UK parents through surrogacy conceive with the help of a UK surrogate while the other half choose international surrogacy (usually in the USA).  The right decision for you will depend on your timescale, budget, attitude to risk and the kind of surrogacy journey you are hoping for.


Where do we start?


Surrogacy is a big decision, and something you need to feel prepared for.  Browse our Knowledge Centre or contact us to arrange a personal Surrogacy Consultation.

Want personalised advice?

Explore our services to find out more about the bespoke advice we can offer.

Related articles

How much does surrogacy cost?

How long does surrogacy take?

Talking to your child born through surrogacy

Still have questions?

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