A woman sits choosing the right IVF clinic for surrogacy

Choosing the Right IVF Clinic for Your Surrogacy Journey

25th Sept 2023


Embarking on a surrogacy journey is a life-changing decision, and choosing the right IVF clinic for your surrogacy journey is an essential part of that process. In this blog, we guide you through the key questions to ask and important factors to consider, from costings to clinic requirements for surrogates.

Finding a Clinic in the UK

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) offers a Clinic Search Tool where you can search clinics via location and access valuable information such as services offered, ratings, and success rates. However, be aware that not all clinics offer surrogacy services, as an additional licence is required for this. You may need to phone individual clinics to find out more.

Questions to Ask When Contacting a Clinic

Understanding the Costs

IVF treatments can be costly, so be prepared for significant financial commitment. Be sure to consult the CMA’s guide for patients on consumer rights when purchasing fertility treatment.

Specific Costs to Ask About

  • Consultation
  • Virology screening
  • IVF treatment cycle
  • Embryo freezing
  • IVF medication
  • Frozen embryo transfer
  • Donor egg cycle
  • Genetic testing
  • Counselling
  • Surrogacy Administration
    • What it is: Some clinics charge an administration fee specifically for surrogacy journeys. This fee can vary from clinic to clinic.
    • Why it matters: Hidden or unexpected costs can add financial stress to your surrogacy journey. It’s crucial to clarify if there will be an administration charge, how much it will be, and how often it will be billed.

Clinic Requirements for Surrogates

When choosing a clinic, you should enquire about their requirements for surrogates. Understanding these criteria can inform your choice of clinic. 

Recommended Surrogate BMI
  • Why it matters: The Body Mass Index (BMI) is an important factor that clinics consider for the surrogate’s eligibility. A BMI that is too high or too low can affect the success rates of IVF and the overall health of the surrogate and baby.
Recommended Surrogate Age
  • Why it matters: Age is another key consideration for surrogate eligibility. Clinics usually have a recommended age range for surrogates, as it can impact the success rates of the surrogacy journey.
Disqualifying Obstetric Conditions
  • Why it matters: Conditions related to previous pregnancies, like multiple C-sections or preterm deliveries, could disqualify a potential surrogate. It’s important to clarify these conditions early on.
Disqualifying Medical Conditions
  • Why it matters: Certain medical conditions could make surrogacy riskier and may disqualify a candidate. Understanding what these disqualifying conditions are will help you when looking for a surrogate.
Disqualifying Medications
  • Why it matters: Some medications can interfere with fertility treatments or pose risks during pregnancy. Know what these are to ensure that you can make an informed decision when choosing to work with a surrogate.
Required Vaccinations
  • Why it matters: Vaccinations may be required to protect both the surrogate and the baby during the pregnancy. Each clinic will have its own guidelines about what is required or recommended.

Types of IVF Treatments

Clinics may offer different types of IVF treatments, and the type preferred by your surrogate could influence your choice of clinic. Whether it’s Fully Medicated IVF, Mild IVF, or Natural IVF, knowing what is offered can guide your decisions.

  • Fully Medicated IVF: This is the most common form of IVF and involves using medication to control the surrogate’s cycle.

    • Why it matters: Fully medicated IVF is the usual protocol offered by clinics but some surrogates would prefer not to undertake it.
  • Mild IVF (progesterone only): This involves fewer drugs and is much gentler on the surrogates body. Only progesterone is used in this method.

    • Why it matters: Mild IVF may be less physically taxing on the surrogate but some clinics may not offer it.
  • Natural IVF (no medication): In natural IVF, no drugs are used.

    • Why it matters: Natural IVF is the least invasive but is the rarest type of IVF to be offered by clinics. It may be a better fit for surrogates who prefer to avoid medications.

Act as a Consumer

Choose a clinic as though you are a consumer. Given that you will likely be self-funding, it’s crucial to select a clinic that meets your needs on multiple fronts, from the financial to the emotional. By taking a consumer-focused approach, you can make an informed choice that best suits your surrogacy journey.

Get Personal Recommendations

While all this information is invaluable, sometimes personal stories and recommendations can provide further insight. For personalised recommendations on IVF clinics that are known for excellence in surrogacy, consider joining the SurrogacyUK open Facebook group. This is a supportive community where you can ask questions, share experiences, and get recommendations from those who have walked this path before you.

One of the member benefits of being with SurrogacyUK comes from our collaborative work with clinics.  SurrogacyUK do not partner with clinics, nor do we receive any financial benefit from them so our members can be assured that the clinics we recommend genuinely provide excellent surrogacy services.

In the end, choosing the right IVF clinic for your surrogacy journey is a multifaceted decision that goes beyond mere statistics or costs. It’s about finding a place that aligns with your values, provides emotional support, and is conducive to the needs of your surrogate. With the help of this guide, the personal experiences shared in our Facebook community, and your own due diligence, you’re well-equipped to make an informed choice that could set the tone for one of the most important adventures of your life.