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UK Surrogacy - Agencies and Independent

13 replies

Edbr1 · 15/06/2021 16:43

Hi everyone

I have just created my profile on Mumsnet. I have been waiting for 7 years to fall pregnant before joining but as life would have it it's not meant to be for me to carry my own child. Embryos are ready to be transferred though Smile.

I have been reading a lot about Surrogacy in the UK as this is potentially the next step for us. If you have had experience with surrogacy (either as an intended parent or a surrogate) would you please be so kind to help me with the following:

  • agency or independent: from my understanding you can do everything yourself (except that I am not certain I fully know what I am doing), but how can you find a surrogate independently? It's not really allowed to just get the word out there "hey this is my story, would you come and help me please?" Also... that probably wouldn't be too nice for the surrogate!!!, at the end of the day this is not a selling service/product.
  • if going with an agency, how do you choose the agency? I have read that Surrogacy UK is the leading one but what makes them different from COTS or Brilliant Beginnings? A comparison table is not necessarily available on their websites Grin.
  • is there a way to know the approximate amount of active surrogates on these agencies? What if I sign up for one (it's a significant amount of money at the end of the day) and there really isn't enough people to interact with, have a chat with and find a match. Obviously they can't ensure you will find a match but I think you can see what my point is there.

Thank you for your views
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ApolloandDaphne · 15/06/2021 16:50

I am sorry you have had trouble carrying a child. I do understand why you are looking at other options. However Mumsnet is not a place where surrogacy is viewed as a positive thing so please be braced for some robust comments.

Nightmanagerfan · 15/06/2021 16:54

I agree you might not have come to the most supportive space, due to surrogacy being seen largely as exploitative on mumsnet.

I hope you find the support you need but bear in mind it might not be here Flowers

Edbr1 · 15/06/2021 17:19

Thank you both, I did read prior posts and have seen the backlash these have received. It actually made me reconsider whether I should post this or not, it feels it defeats the purpose of support. As it happens with infertility, unless someone experiences it, not a lot of people can really/fully sympathise with you.

I am struggling to find how to make an informed decision on what each agency offers so I can choose one.

If people would rather send this to me privately, please do so.

Also, please if you don't have anything useful to say that relate to my question which is towards surrogates or intended parents please scroll down. You don't know how much your comments can hurt other people who are already having a though time (such as other comments I have seen in this forum).


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iminthegarden · 16/06/2021 21:43

Really feeling for you. I hope you get some answers. I don't know why it is views so negatively when it can create such joy!

Edbr1 · 16/06/2021 22:03

@iminthegarden thank you so much for your sympathy. It has been a pill hard to swallow, but I want to believe if life has thrown my partner and myself in this challenge is because we will be able to overcome it Halo.

Night night

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Anon992 · 20/06/2021 16:03

I would highly recommend joining an agency. All surrogates and intended parents are health and DBS checked before they join, and there is a great support network as well as clear guidance and expectations to help through the whole process. It will prompt you to think about things you might not have considered yet - would you courier your embryos to a clinic closer to your surrogate and if so what company will you use, pros and cons of medicated vs non medicated transfer cycles, all the “what ifs” to consider when entering into a surrogacy arrangement. How to support your surrogate and build a healthy trusted relationship. It’s also very helpful to build a network of other surrogates and intended parents, as you’re unlikely to know many through your day to day life.

The ethos of the agencies are very different. Surrogacy U.K. has a “friendship first” ethos, surrogates choose to offer to get to know intended parents based on their profiles/having met them at social events, then there is a minimum 3 month getting to know period (although many teams spend longer getting to know each other) before moving on to trying to get pregnant. Other agencies operate I believe on more of a “matching” basis where the agency introduces intended parents and surrogates who they think might work well together. So depending which ethos you prefer might guide your thinking.

Surrogacy U.K. maintain a minimum surrogate to intended parent ratio so for intended parents there’s a waiting list to join to keep the numbers in some sort of balance, there are more IPs than surrogates and obviously there are no guarantees that intended parents will ever be chosen by a surrogate - but there is good support from other IPs who are going through the same experience and ‘get it’. (Many teams don’t make it past the get to know period also for a whole host of reasons.)

I think surrogacy U.K. do open days for people considering joining and there’s also a Facebook page so perhaps look into those and check if the other agencies do anything similar?

Best of luck whatever you decide.

Edbr1 · 20/06/2021 16:32

@Anon992 thank you! Very useful information. I have been reading about Surrogacy UK and COTS lately. Taking my time to decide what to do. I believe at the moment it takes 1 year to become a full member of Surrogacy UK due to what you're saying. COTS isn't accepting new applications for Intended Parents at the moment due to low ratio of surrogates. Will have to keep thinking about all this to make sure we go with the best agency according to our circumstances and how we are.


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gazi4u · 13/07/2021 18:04

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bagmybargain · 18/07/2021 02:07

Ok, so I have been doing my research for over a year now. I would highly recommend Nappy Endings. Rachel, the founder is so supportive and warm. It is a smaller agency but she is often interviewed on shows like This Morning. A couple of months ago she was featured in Grazia. She is great to deal with as she has been a surrogate herself. A lot more boutique than the other agencies.

Good luck on your journey x

Edbr1 · 22/07/2021 18:13

Thank you @bagmybargain... unsure why I didn't receive a notification on your message. I did check that agency but the membership fees are quite high so feel discouraged by it Confused...

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bagmybargain · 22/07/2021 18:56

Ahh ok. Well, I’m f you need any more info, do let me know as I have a wealth of info. I found their fees low compared to others xx

gel3642 · 22/10/2023 08:14

Hi aaedbr1 I know this is an old thread but just wondering if you decided on a agency and how you have got on?
bagmybargain I’m just starting to research so anything you could help me with id be most grateful
best wishes

Edbr1 · 22/10/2023 11:24

Hi gel, hope you're well.

Let me start by saying I am sorry you feel in the situation where you have to research for surrogacy. I am sure it hasn't been easy.

We decided to join COTS where we felt way less pressured to attend socials. Whilst I understand the principle of Surrogacy UK (friendship first) and we wholeheartedly agree with it, having to attend socials (online or f2f) just wasn't our vibe.

There are many FB groups and COTS tends to be badly worded on the independent groups, however, neither my surrogate or I have anything bad to say about them. I took those posts with a pinch of salt because they tend to refer to something that happened like a decade ago with money (apparently misappropriation of funds) or 1-2 people who say that had a bad experience with the person who organises everything at COTS but actually never provide details.

My best advice to you is research all agencies, their ethos, how they operate and how much they cost. And take your time to make a decision.

Not sure if PM is a thing here but if possible you can do so.

Love to you!!!

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