Surrogacy involves a woman becoming pregnant and giving birth to a baby for a couple who want to have a child but can’t. The surrogate is the woman who carries and gives birth to the child for the intended parent(s).
Examples of medical conditions that might make surrogacy necessary include absence or malformation of the womb, recurrent pregnancy loss, or repeated IVF implantation failures.
Surrogacy is also required for same-sex male couples who need a surrogate to carry their baby.
Different types of surrogacy at The Evewell
The types of surrogacy arrangements available to you and what you choose will depend on your personal circumstances. There are three different types of surrogacy that parent(s)-to-be can choose from, and these are as follows.
In all three cases, there is no genetic connection between the baby and the surrogate
IVF and FET Surrogacy
Where the intended genetic parents will undergo IVF using their own egg and sperm, or donor sperm or donor egg.
This would be suitable for heterosexual couples.
Donor Egg or Sperm IVF and FET Surrogacy
Where the intended genetic parent(s) will undergo IVF using either their own egg and sperm, or donor sperm or donor egg.
This would be suitable for same sex couples, or solo parents to be.
Frozen Embryos and FET Surrogacy
This is where embryos already created from the intended genetic parent(s) egg, or donor egg, and the intended genetic parent(s) sperm, or donor sperm, are transferred into the surrogate in a standard FET process.
Important things to understand
There are a number of important requirements and considerations before you commence your surrogacy treatment.
Discussions with a counsellor are required for you, your surrogate, and you and your surrogate together. There are lots of emotional and practical issues surrounding surrogacy for all parties, and couples have indicated that counselling is very helpful in identifying potential issues that they hadn’t previously considered. The joint session for you and your surrogate will include discussions around the agreement between the surrogate and intended parents.
Surrogacy is legal in the UK. However, it is important to note that if you make a surrogacy agreement, it can’t be enforced by law.
When the child is born through surrogacy, the surrogate will be the child’s legal parent at birth until this right is transferred to the intended parent(s) by parental order or adoption, after the child is born.
Therefore, we strongly advise you seek independent legal advice before seeking a surrogate arrangement. This will be discussed in your initial consultation with your fertility specialist, and we will support you through any required documentation.
All parties have to undergo screening tests. They help to ensure that infection risks are minimised for everyone and that some common genetic risks are identified if they’re present. Overall, these tests are undertaken to protect the welfare of everyone involved in the surrogacy arrangements and importantly in any child that may be born. For details of the tests required for surrogacy arrangements, please contact the clinic. An individualised requirement table will be provided at surrogacy consultation appointments.
Helping you build a family
Your surrogacy journey at The Evewell
You will have one point of contact during your surrogacy journey at The Evewell. Surrogacy is a unique fertility experience and one that requires extra care and attention. There is a lot of information to take on board and legal documentation to complete, but we recognise this, and so we have created a dedicated surrogacy team to help you and your surrogate host through your journey.
As the intended genetic parent(s), your first initial consultation will be with one of our fertility specialists, who will talk you through the implications of IVF Surrogacy and the treatment involved, including; the required screening, the need to freeze/quarantine sperm and/or embryos, the responsibility you have to seek full professional legal advice, and advice where to see additional support from a counsellor and with charities such as Surrogacy UK.
Your next step will be to attend three counselling sessions, before any further appointments are made so that all parties can reflect on all the moral, ethical and legal aspects of the proposed treatment. The first counselling appointment must be attended by the Surrogate Host and Host Partner alone. This second counselling appointment must be attended by the Intended Parent/s alone. The third and final appointment is to include both the Intended Parent/s and Surrogate Couple.
Once you as the intended parent(s) and the Surrogate are ready to start your treatment, you will all attend an appointment with the Surrogacy Nurse Coordinator for an Initial Surrogacy Nurse Consultation, to explain the treatment cycle, how it is coordinated, the estimated timings and procedures, and any legal and HFEA documentation required.
Once we have confirmation that a surrogacy agreement has been drawn up between the Intended Parent(s) and Surrogate Host, and depending on whether you are doing surrogacy with a medicated or natural frozen embryo transfer (FET), or a completely new IVF cycle (with or without PGT-A), the patient pathway will follow exactly the same as any other IVF or FET cycle, with the difference of you as the intended parent(s) attending appointments such as … and …
Your role during treatment
Your role during treatment
How much does surrogacy cost?
It is illegal to pay a surrogate in the UK. The only financial responsibility you have towards the surrogate is reimbursing her for any reasonable expenses that may occur during her pregnancy, such as travel expenses to appointments and any loss of potential earnings.
Although the expenses will vary depending on personal circumstances, click here for an example of surrogacy fertility treatment.
Where do I start?
Finding a surrogate
Couples or individuals are not allowed to advertise for surrogates, nor are surrogates allowed to advertise their services. However, there are introduction agencies that can help with practical advice and support.