The journey of parenthood is available to everyone. But most of the times it is not as straightforward as we are led to believe, and couples need to open their minds to different ways of achieving that goal.
There are different ways of you experiencing parenthood and only you can choose what is right for you and your partner. You can consider gestational surrogacy, straight surrogacy, adoption, fostering…
It involves using a donor egg, which is fertilised via IVF/ICSI with either your sperm or your partner’s sperm.
The embryo is then transferred into a surrogate who will carry it as in a natural pregnancy. Even though the surrogate carries and delivers the baby, she is not biologically related to the baby. Biologically the baby will be related to the donor egg and the used sperm (yours or your partner’s).
Clinics have access to an egg bank, that has eggs donated by different women. You can choose the donated egg, by specifying the characteristics that matter to you.
Instead of using your sperm or your partner’s sperm, you can also use donor sperm from the sperm bank.
It involves choosing a surrogate who will provide her eggs to be fertilised and also carry the baby.
Sperm from you or from your partner’s is used to fertilise the surrogate’s egg through IUI/IVF/ICSI and the embryo is transferred back to her. The child is biologically related to the surrogated and the used sperm.
You can also use donated sperm if required.
You can find more information about egg donation at EggDonationFriends . They can help you make a good choice on which clinic is best for you and have a wealth of information on the subject.
In order to protect yourself, your partner and the surrogate, there are different stages in the process to guarantee safety. Both egg and sperm donors are screened and subject to rigorous checks before made available in the egg bank or sperm bank.
When using your sperm or your partner’s the process will be similar, you will be screened, sperm frozen and quarantined for at least 2 months. There is a final check before using it with the surrogate.
In the UK it is illegal to advertise for a surrogate, but surrogacy organisations offer support with finding surrogates. Visit Surrogacy.org.uk
You can also find that a family member or a friend might be willing to be your surrogate.
Payment to your surrogate is not allowed in the UK but some expenses may be reimbursed like travel expenses, costs due to loss of earnings, maternity items etc.
In the UK the surrogate is always considered the legal mother of the baby, regardless of whether you have used her eggs or donor eggs. If your surrogate is married, her partner will be considered the baby’s other legal parent.
If your surrogate is not married, you or your partner will usually be considered the legal father.
After birth, you can apply for a Parental Order, where parental rights are transferred from the surrogate and her partner, if she has one, to you and your partner. After the Order is granted, you’ll receive a new birth certificate with you and your partner’s names as the legal parents of your baby.
Whether you are considering adoption or surrogacy, there are a lot of aspects to consider, both legal and emotional. You may feel emotions that are unexpected and that you don’t know how to process. These emotions might be related to yourself, to your partner, to the child, the surrogate or uncertainty about the future.
During coaching, we support you through your surrogacy treatment and adoption process, making sense of those feelings, helping you create perspective, establish a plan and making sure you feel comfortable with your fertility plan.