Surrogacy can be a wonderfully rewarding experience for everyone involved. As you will see from Our Stories this is reflected in what we have experienced ourselves. For Surrogates it is a chance to do something truly extraordinary. For those who are unable to have children by any other means surrogacy can be a light at the end of a very long tunnel.
But, a successful surrogacy journey requires a degree of luck, a huge amount of trust and honesty, and an understanding of the emotional, legal and financial implications.
This is where Surrogacy UK comes in:
- We provide social events and an on-line community that allow surrogates and intended parents to get to meet and know each other
- We make available our collective experience, based on having gone through surrogacy journeys ourselves, to help others have as smooth a surrogacy experience as possible
- We provide a network of friendship and peer support that helps you to handle the ups and downs that are an inevitable part of any surrogacy journey
We hope that Surrogacy UK can help and be a part of your new story. We would like to tell you more about what this means, and the key moments in a Surrogacy UK journey.
The boards provide a vibrant online community for Surrogate and Intended Parents to get to know one another and members in the same situation. It is a place of friendship, caring, support, shared joy and some of life’s sadder moments. The boards are also a place to pick our collective brain – want to know others’ experiences of an IVF clinic then the Surrogacy UK members on the boards will be able to help.
Non-Members can access only a small part of the boards, but enough to get a flavour of Surrogacy UK. Once you become a Member, the rest of the boards open up to you, along with private areas suited to your individual situation.
Most IP Members and many Surrogate Members choose to keep an online diary, like a blog. The diaries allow Members to share their personalities, and talk about what they’ve been up to. Intended Parent’s diaries help Surrogates choose who to get to know and who to help.
Access to the boards is free – click here and then click on ‘register’ in the top right-hand corner. You’ll be able to access all the non-member parts of the online community, and you’ll immediately benefit from the enormous experience and understanding of our members.
Intended Parents (IP) profiles
Intended Parent members write a ‘profile’ of themselves that only active Member Surrogates can access. The IPs’ profile explains what has brought them to Surrogacy UK, and why they want to have a child through surrogacy. It lets them show their personalities and interests, and gives the Surrogate an idea of which IPs she may click with. We ask that IPs write a profile that reflects themselves as a couple: in many cases it’s the first way that a surrogate learns about the IPs in the organisation.
Surrogacy UK is distinctive in that we hold social events throughout the year – big and small, throughout the UK, and always child-friendly. These are always well attended and really good fun – the most telling thing is that time after time even people who have completed their surrogacy journeys return to the socials. They are a great opportunity to form lasting friendships, to be reminded that Surrogacy UK really works, and to put faces to names on the boards!
Our two big events are the Spring Conference and the Autumn Conference. Again, these are an opportunity to make new friends and have some fun, but we also make sure that they provide another way for sharing information and providing support. You’ll find workshops, expert talks, games, raffles and above all the chance to meet others and have.
You may already have taken the first step and joined the organisation as a Non-Member. This gives limited access to the Boards, and allows you to attend our social events. We have a buddy system in place for new members going to their first social event – we have all been there and remember only too well just how nerve-wracking those first few steps into the world of surrogacy were. It is nice to have a chance to chat to someone beforehand and know that there will be someone there waiting for you when you arrive to help introduce you to others.
Contact being made – the phone call!
Once a Surrogacy UK Surrogate has decided that she would like to get to know a particular couple in more depth then she will contact her support worker. Someone from Surrogacy UK will then approach the couple on her behalf – this has become known to Surrogacy UK Intended Parents as ‘getting the phone call’. If the Intended Parents agree then contact details will be exchanged and the ‘getting to know you’ stage will begin. As you can imagine this is a wonderful period in the surrogacy journey for both parties – full of joy, excitement and hope.
The ‘getting to know you’ stage
Surrogacy is very much about personalities, and you will be spending a lot of time together before and probably after the baby is born. From our experience it is very important that a Surrogate and her Intended Parents get to know one another well before they go ahead with any arrangements, which is why we ask our members to spend three months getting to know each other before making any arrangements.
In the getting to know you stage take some time to talk through the details of surrogacy. There may be certain things you want or expect from one another. Would you be happy to have extra tests for abnormalities? Are there circumstances in which you would consider terminating the pregnancy? These topics can be difficult to talk about, but it is important to address them.
The agreement session
Surrogacy UK does not negotiate or initiate surrogacy arrangements; however we expect our members to make a formal surrogacy agreement, in the presence of a Surrogacy UK representative. The purpose of the agreement is to make sure that every relevant point relating to the journey ahead has been discussed and understood.
After the agreement session, and once all the details have been formally agreed, then the IPs and the surrogate are ready for the next step:trying to have a baby!
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