Surrogacy in the UK
One of the initial misconceptions with UK Surrogacy is that people often think it’s highly complex, illegal, or anti-family. This isn’t the case at all, Altruistic Surrogacy is perfectly legal in the UK, furthermore the law is currently in the process of a consultation review by the Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission. There is a need to update the current law and this is already underway, and we have assisted the Law Commission in the 2019 consultations throughout the UK.
The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) have also been keen for a Surrogacy Law reform which has already been debated in Parliament in January 2020, a full transcript can be read here. The APPG also met with a vast group of Surrogacy advocates in 2018/2019 including Michael and Wes Johnson-Ellis, Founders of TwoDadsUK, The Modern Family Show and My Surrogacy Journey. In January 2021 the APPG released an update to the original evidence sessions. This can be read via a blog article here.
When exploring Surrogacy in the UK there are a number of not-for-profit organisations that specialise in Surrogacy in the UK, such as My Surrogacy Journey. There is also a vast independent sector of UK Surrogacy which majorly exists online. Meeting Surrogates can either be arranged through social events such as ‘meet ups’ typically coordinated via Facebook groups, or through professional matching. With more millennials no longer turning to Facebook as their primary social media account, or have demanding professional careers which may limit their social media screen time, professional matching and screening provides a perfect solution.
Traditional surrogacy is when the Surrogate will get pregnant using her own eggs, and therefore has a genetic link to the child. Usually, fertilisation is carried out by home insemination. Overall costs for Traditional surrogacy are much lower than the alternative. Host or Gestational surrogacy is when the Surrogate will receive a donor embryo created by using the intended mothers’ eggs or donor eggs via IVF in a fertility clinic. The eggs may either belong to the Intended Mother, or they may also belong to a donor, similar to a same sex intended parent/s. Host or Gestational Surrogacy is more expensive but can give greater flexibility especially if Intended Parents wish to genetically screen them, or wish for a sibling, as embryos can be frozen from the original IVF cycle.
Creating a child with donor eggs and donor sperm is not allowed in the UK. This is referred to as ‘double donation’. At least one of the intended parents needs to be genetically linked to the child, in order to apply for and be granted the parental order (PO) – which gives legal parental responsibility and replaces the Surrogate (and their partner if married). You can then apply for a new Birth certificate once the PO is granted.
There are a number of excellent communities online for families created via children surrogacy, and not for profits such as The Donor Conception Network who offer a great resource for families, donors and children.
Costs of Surrogacy & Financing in UK
Surrogacy is costly both in the UK and internationally. At My Surrogacy Journey, we believe that it is vitally important to be aware of all the potential costs, to have contingencies in place and to budget appropriately. We will work with you so that you understand all the costs and develop a budget that meets your means.
Estimate of surrogacy costs:
Surrogacy costs in UK
UK Surrogacy varies in cost, mainly due to the method of which the intended parent/s conceive their baby.
Traditional/Straight Surrogacy avoids using a clinic in the majority of cases, and costs are mainly attributed to the surrogates expenses. These can be anything from £6,000 to £25,000. However, the average expenses are around £12,000 for a typical pregnancy.
Gestational/Host Surrogacy has a varying number of factors which will ultimately influence the cost such as; Surrogacy IVF treatment cycle costs, donor eggs, blood, egg/semen and genetic analysis and cryopreservation. Note: if same sex couples are fertilising donor eggs with both their gametes (sperm) then there will be extra costs for this. Experienced fertility clinics charge between £10k-£15k for a Surrogacy IVF programme with donor eggs. In addition to this, there will be costs attributed to the care of the surrogate, her blood tests, scans and medication. Budget for around £18k - £25k for the treatment and a further £10k - £18k for surrogates’ expense.
Traditional Surrogacy - Approx £12 - £15k Gestational Surrogacy with Donor Eggs - £28k - £43k
There may also be legal fees to consider, ranging from £350 to £1750, the higher end is for Parental Order process and submission management.
Membership fees for Surrogacy organisations vary, as does their support. if you choose a not-for-profit supported journey, rather than independently. These range from £1,200 to £12,750.