When you are trying to start a family or add another child to your family it can be devastating when things don’t go to plan. While some people fall pregnant easily, other struggle with infertility and as a consequence find themselves looking at other options. There are many reasons to turn to surrogacy and surrogacy is one of those options and has many pros as well as cons.
One of the main reasons that surrogacy is considered is that there are often higher success rates than there are with certain fertility treatments and other alternatives. Surrogacy also enables a couple to have their DNA / genetic material implanted so that they would have a genetic connection to the baby. For someone unable to fall pregnant, to carry a pregnancy to full term or for couples with genetic issues surrogacy certainly has its pro points to consider. Surrogacy may also be an option for someone who is single.
In the UK surrogacy contracts are not legally binding which means that the surrogate maintains the parental rights over the child even if genetic material from the couple were used. The husband or partner of the surrogate also maintains legal parental status. In order for the couple using a surrogate to be named legal parents the surrogate would need to agree to adoption or a parental order. This means that regardless of what contract was put in place before the surrogacy would not force the surrogate to hand of the baby to the couple wanting to raise them as their own if she didn’t want to.
Important: It is illegal in the UK to pay someone a fee to carry a child for them via surrogacy. Reasonable expenses may be recompensed however you couldn’t “buy” a surrogacy service.
For the legislation surrounding surrogacy you may find more here.
The Gov.uk site offers and breakdown and links to further information about surrogacy including the legal rights of surrogates, pay and leave rules, how to become the legal parent of a baby born via surrogacy and more.
The decision to use a surrogate to start or add to your family is not an easy one to make and it certainly requires a lot of research and careful consideration. The journey to becoming a parent can be emotional for anyone however with the uncertainty that is attached to some surrogacies, i.e. not having legal rights over the baby (even if your egg etc is used) unless granted them in court can make the pregnancy both an exciting and a worrisome time. Surrogacy UK (a not-for-profit organisation) is an organisation which is ideally placed to offer guidance and support, up to date legal information throughout the process and beyond.
Here at Dream Bear we recognise that families come in all shapes and sizes and may be formed in a number of different ways, including surrogacy. We are here to offer information, support and to open up the DB community so that you are never alone when it comes to making these important decisions and at all stages of your parenting life.