What to Expect When You're Expecting, Through Surrogacy
The journey to parenthood through surrogacy
2nd – 8th August 2021 marks National Surrogacy Week, a week-long celebration of UK surrogacy. At CARE, we believe that family is for everyone. If you or you and your partner want to start your journey to having a baby, we will advise you on the options available to you.
Surrogacy is a fertility treatment considered by those who cannot conceive on their own; this may be due to physical reasons or a health condition.
When you decide you are ready to become a parent, CARE Fertility will be here to guide you every step of the way. Our comprehensive range of fertility treatments and compassionate, specialised donation and surrogacy teams are on hand to make sure you receive unwavering support.
It can be rather daunting determining what your next steps should be after deciding to start a family - there is an overwhelming amount of information online that can make the coolest of us feel anxious while sifting through a barrage of websites, articles and blogs from a Google search which may only lead to more questions.
Parenthood is different for everybody; it's a unique and incredible journey, but some aspects of conception remain the same.
We begin with an egg.
In some instances, you may be in a position for to use your own eggs for conception, but more commonly, you will need donor eggs. CARE's egg donation team will work with you to ensure you find an egg that meets your requirements; this is something you will discuss in your initial meeting.
When finding an egg donor, we know you will have certain physical characteristics in mind. We are able to share the donor's hair colour, eye colour, height, weight, build and complexion and we also ask our donors to write personal notes about themselves without revealing too much - it's a great way for you to get a little insight into who your donor is. They can also include a sweet message for the parent(s) and any children born from their eggs - it is usually well wishes for the future and their appreciation that they were able to help you start a family.
The process of using donor eggs can be extensive. You may have to wait 2 to 3 months to be matched with a donor, especially if you are looking for a donor with particular characteristics; donors from Black or Asian backgrounds are less common, for example. You can contact the CARE Fertility egg donor team for up-to-date information and guidance.
Once our team has matched you with an egg donor, we can begin IVF treatment to create your embryos. Our clinical teams will assist you during your appointment and answer any questions you may have about the creation of your embryos. If you are still searching for a surrogate or waiting to find one, we will create the embryos and have them ready for insemination once you have chosen a surrogate.
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
IVF treatment includes a number of steps:
- Your donor's/your ovaries are stimulated with fertility drugs to produce multiple mature eggs
- The eggs are then collected
- The eggs are then fertilised with your/donor sperm in the embryology lab
- The resulting embryos are cultured for three to five days
Once you have a surrogate ready the embryos will be transferred into their uterus for incubation
IVF treatment takes approximately 7 weeks from when drugs are first taken to begin ovary stimulation. It usually takes 2-3 weeks from the donor starting stimulation medications to have egg collection.
CARE has been at the forefront of IVF science and has worked tirelessly to help develop effective treatments that help widen the range of people it can help.
In the UK, the law states that no payment can be made to a Surrogate. Surrogacy UK suggests a cost range for expenses from around £7,000 up to £15,000. However, every situation is different, and you may wish to formalise an outline of reasonable expenses with your surrogate before entering into a surrogacy agreement.
A surrogate will be required to carry the embryo and pregnancy to term; CARE clinics will be able to assist and support you with this process, with the help of our specialised surrogacy coordinators.
If you have already found a surrogate, please get in touch with your preferred CARE clinic, and we will begin your journey to parenthood with a consultation before moving on to treatment.
If you have yet to find a surrogate, we will be more than happy to direct you to a non-profit surrogacy agency here in the UK that has helped so many gay couples in the past start a family.
Below you will find a few non-profit agencies that we've worked with in the past who will be able to provide you with practical advice and help you find your surrogate:
If you are using a donor egg and not traditional surrogacy, you can create your embryos with CARE Fertility whilst you look for your surrogate.
At CARE, our dedicated egg donation and surrogacy teams will guide you every step of the way - with 20 years of experience and dedication in helping the LGBTQIA+ community start their families with our tailored treatment plans specific to your personal needs.