Making the decision to go down the surrogacy route is never an easy one.
For most intended parents it takes years to become emotionally ready to venture into the great unknown of the surrogacy world.
Before surrogacy is considered intended parents should have exhausted every opportunity to carry themselves.
Although using surrogacy for non medical reasons is perfectly legal, it can be harder to find a surrogate who will work with you, knowing that you could get pregnant yourself.
Before turning to surrogacy think about these questions:
Have you had investigations into your own fertility?
Some conditions may not necessarily stop you from carrying yourself and expert advice from a fertility clinic should be sought.
Have you seen a fertility doctor to confirm you are medically unable to carry a pregnancy yourself?
Being infertile and being unable to carry a pregnancy may be very different things. A fertility clinic may recommend you try IVF first yourself before pursuing surrogacy.
Is your egg quality or sperm quality is the reason for infertility?
If so, you should consider trying IVF yourself with donor sperm/eggs first.
Have you emotionally come to terms with being unable to carry yourself?
It can be difficult to decide 100% that your own fertility journey is finished. Take time to grieve for your own lost journey.
Are you prepared to trust someone else to carry your child and be willing to compromise with her?
Its your baby but her body, and neither party should be in control, but should work together.
Are you financially ready to undertake surrogacy?
Surrogacy can cost £30k – £40k and is not funded by the NHS (although a few Scottish and Welsh cases have been funded).
I am over the age of 40, can I use a surrogate?
Your age may not necessarily stop you from carrying a pregnancy. You should explore your own IVF first, possible with donor gametes. Lots of surrogates are over the age of 40 and approved by fertility clinics to try IVF.
I am in a female, same sex relationship, can I use a surrogate?
Surrogacy is an option if both intended parents are unable to carry a pregnancy.
We have been trying naturally to get pregnant for a few years. Can we use a surrogate?
You should ensure that you have been to see a fertility doctor to see why you have been unable to get pregnant. If it is an issue with embryos, then a surrogate will also struggle to get pregnant.
We are struggling to afford surrogacy. Are there any surrogates that do it for free?
All surrogates do it for free – they can not make a profit by being a surrogate. She will however need expenses to cover normal, pregnancy related costs.