Sunday, 7 January 2018

Surrogacy Sunday: What is Surrogacy?


Surrogacy, on paper is pretty simple; it is where a woman carries a child for a couple who will become the child's parents once they are born. 
Whilst this may seem straight forward, there is a lot more to it than this. Finding a surrogate, the type of surrogacy used, treatments, medications, expenses; not to mention the legal aspects depending on where you live. Surrogacy is actually pretty complicated at times but the end result is always the most amazing thing.
Firstly, please be aware that I am no expert - I am only at the beginning of my journey to become a surrogate. I am also based in the UK and therefore will be discussing UK surrogacy; this is very different to surrogacy in the US.
In this first post of the series, I plan on just running through the basics and most common queries that arise when surrogacy is mentioned. In future posts you can expect more detailed posts on the two surrogacy types, legalities, along with other people's experiences.
For privacy I will not be documenting my own journey until if/when I undergo a twelve week scan to confirm that all is okay with surro baby.
At the moment I am at the very beginning of my journey with clinic appointments and making a plan of action, so hopefully it won't be too long.

How much are you paid to be a surrogate?
Unlike the US, in the UK it is illegal to accept payment as a surrogate or for you to pay someone to be your surrogate. The only cash that can legally be exchanged is to cover the surrogates expenses, such as loss of earnings, childcare, maternity clothes etc. It is against the law for a surrogate to make any form of profit from surrogacy.
Why would someone need a surrogate?
A couple may need a surrogate for many different reasons; a male homosexual couple would require a surrogate to carry their child. Other reasons would include medical issues/illnesses; lack of womb, risk to the IM's life should she carry etc. Infertility is one of the biggest reasons that couples may turn to surrogacy and have likely to have been through countless rounds of fertility treatment to get to this point.
Who can't use a surrogate?
Currently UK laws prohibit single people from using a surrogate; this is because Parental Orders can only be provided to couples. However this is set to change as a remedial order was put forward to Parliament in November 2017 which proposed to amend Section 54 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 to allow single parents to apply for a PO in the same way as couples currently do. At this current time it is being considered; provided that all goes well we should be set for a law change at some point later this year.
Also, in order to apply for a PO, at least one of the Intended Parents must be biologically related to the child; so this means that either the egg or the sperm must come from the IPs. Due to this, situations where donor sperm is used in Traditional Surrogacy would not work.
What are the types of surrogacy?
There are two types of surrogacy; Traditional Surrogacy (TS) and Gestational Surrogacy (GS). 
Traditional surrogacy is the more simple, straightforward of the two - the surrogate uses her own eggs and is inseminated with the Intended Father's semen. This is usually done at home or at a hotel but a clinic can be used with IUI treatment. As the surrogates own eggs are being used, she is biologically related to the child.
Gestational surrogacy, or host surrogacy, is when IVF or ICSI is used with the Intended Mother's eggs or donor eggs; the surrogates eggs are not used. Gestational surrogacy is more complicated and a lot more costly than Traditional surrogacy.

This first post of the series is just a brief introduction to surrogacy; in future posts you can expect more detailed posts on the two surrogacy types, legalities, along with other people's experiences.
For privacy I will not be documenting my own journey until if/when I undergo a twelve week scan to confirm that all is okay with surrobaby.
At the moment I am at the very beginning of my journey with clinic appointments and making a plan of action, so hopefully it won't be too long.
Find out a bit more on how I feel about surrogacy in my first ever surrogacy post.

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1 comment

  1. Wow, this is so interesting. And I think you're so noble and brave to be a surrogate and give people who are struggling the opportunity to have a family. Hugs Lucy xxxx

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