What percentage of your members are same sex couples?

Since 2010 same sex couples have been able to apply for a parental order – our percentage of same sex IPs has been rising  and currently stands at:

Same sex couples 47.7%

To see how this has risen we have included the percentages year on year for comparison:

2011 8.1%

2012 15%

2013 31.6%

2014 22.5%

2015 20%

2016 32.5%

2017 38.6%

Will the Surrogacy UK agreement form help in case of any disputes with the parental order?

Any surrogacy agreement is not binding on the parties because you cannot create contracts for children.  However, they are an excellent starting point for resolving and, ultimately, preventing disputes in the first place.  In my experience, couples who have a thorough agreement and tackle even remote chances in an agreement can ensure that they have a better understanding of each other and foresight about problems.  If you do encounter difficulties, the Surrogacy UK also have a dispute panel to help resolve matters amicably too.

What do surrogate partners feel about surrogacy?

To start with a sense of worry, determination to make it work and scared of what might happen.  After the birth it is a sense of achievement and absolute pride in your partner and your family for what you have achieved.

Why do some clinics charge more for surrogacy?

Some clinics do not have dedicated teams in place with the experience and expertise to work with surrogacy arrangements and surrogacy may also not be normal practice for these clinics and therefore, as the arrangements seem somewhat more complex and involve more administration and facilitation, some clinics may charge extra for surrogacy.  It is often that finance departments that do not understand the process may be involved in putting in place costs and fees for specific services.

Why should we join Surrogacy UK rather than find a surrogate independently?

Surrogacy UK offer many benefits to our members which can be found here.  We can accept membership to those looking for a surrogate, or to those who have already found a surrogate but are looking for guidance and support as a team.  Whether you join Surrogacy UK or decide to go independent, you will be welcome to attend our social events, conference and post on the non-member side of the message forum.

Do a surrogate’s expenses affect her benefits?

It shouldn’t do as surrogate’s expenses are not classed as an income, however there have been some historical cases where a dispute has occurred.  Surrogacy UK have provided legal advice and funding from the Frankland Fund to support surrogates who are experiencing problems, and all disputes have been resolved in favour of the surrogate.  Surrogacy UK can provide surrogates with specific advice re benefits and expenses.

Do IPs wanting a sibling deter surrogates?

No, completing a family can be just as rewarding as creating a family and we have had a large number of sibling journeys happen within Surrogacy UK.

Why do surrogates do it?

For a variety of different reasons.  Sometimes it can be personal experience of infertility or watching someone close to them experiencing infertility, or it can be as simple as enjoying pregnancy but not wanting any more children.

Can embryos already created be used for surrogacy?

Yes, the clinic can just screen the intended parents (if they were the gamete providers) as donors, in retrospect and complete the required consents for this also.  This is standard practice.

Will a low number of embryos put a surrogate off?

It depends on the surrogate but on the whole no – what matters more is the relationship between the IP and the surrogate.

What are the ideal IPs from a surrogates point of view?

It is very subjective as surrogates are looking for different things from their IPs, however  in general all the surrogates at Surrogacy UK want a friendship with their IPs.

Is a surrogate birth covered by the NHS?

Yes.  A surrogates care and the birth of a surrogate baby is covered by the NHS, however private rooms for IPs after birth may be charged for by some NHS Trusts.

Do you have to have embryos ready before meeting a surrogate?

Surrogacy UK advise that you create embryos in advance of meeting your surrogate so that you are prepared and able to get to know your surrogate and start treatment at a clinics soon after agreement stage.

What is the maximum age for a surrogate?

There is no maximum age for a surrogate with Surrogacy UK as we look at each application on an individual basis.  We do ask that older surrogates find a clinic that will be happy to work with them before becoming a member.

Do you support a commercial model for surrogacy?

No, Surrogacy UK believe in altruistic surrogacy only – surrogacy should be a relationship, not a transaction.

How do you remain positive waiting for a surrogate?

Get involved in the organisation, and get to know other IPs.  Peer support from someone who understands where you are is very important, and can provide hope.  For an IPs perspective read Fee’s account on being an IP in waiting.

What are typical surrogacy expenses?

IPs should budget approximately £20k for straight surrogacy and £30k for host surrogacy – this includes all expenses for the surrogate, insurance, wills, and clinic costs (for host).  A surrogates expenses can be from anywhere between £7k and £15k, depending on her personal circumstances eg loss of earnings, rate of childcare, no of children, distance from IPs etc.

Can a surrogate increase her expenses when pregnant?

There may be unforeseen circumstances such as bed rest, or medical issues that might mean a surrogates expense increase during pregnancy.  If a surrogate needs to increase her expenses by over £1k during the pregnancy, then it is referred to the Board of Trustees so that it can be approved.

Does every IP meet their surrogate?

No.  Unfortunately nothing can guarantee that you will meet the right surrogate for you.  Surrogacy UK can provide the environment in which to meet your surrogate, and the more you are involved in the organisation and social events etc the more likely it will be that you will meet the right surrogate for you.

Do surrogates enjoy being pregnant?

On the whole, yes.  There are some uncomfortable times, and some tiring times but generally surrogates know that it is completely worth it.

Is it harder for same sex couples to find a surrogate?

No.  Some surrogates prefer to work with same sex IPs.

At which day is it best to freeze eggs?

Eggs should be frozen on the day that they are collected.  Embryos however can be frozen at any stage until day 6.  However, some studies show that embryos have better survival (thaw and freezing) if they are frozen at the blastocyst stage (day 5/6).

Can a surrogate be from outside the UK?

Yes – a surrogate can be from outside the UK, but it will important to ensure that you also comply with the local domestic laws in the country of her residence.  In some circumstances these are stricter than UK rules, but in others that are clearer and more easily navigated.  It would be prudent to obtain legal advice in that jurisdiction and not make any assumptions about the rights you obtain and your return to the UK with the child after birth.