A surrogate is someone who has a baby for someone else. This could be a person they know, or someone they've been matched with through a surrogacy organisation.
Surrogacy organisations, like Surrogacy UK, provide information and support for surrogates and intended parents.
It's illegal to pay a surrogate for anything other than 'reasonable expenses'. This covers things like:
- travel costs
- treatment costs
- maternity clothes
- childcare costs if you have children
- any loss of earnings
As a surrogate, you'll be the legal parent of the child when they're born. If they consent to it, the other legal parent could be:
- your civil partner
- your spouse
- one of the 'intended parents'
The intended parent, or parents, is the person or couple who you are having a baby for.
Intended parents can apply for a 'parental order' from a court to become the child's legal parents 6 weeks after they're born.
Types of surrogacy
There are 2 types of surrogacy:
- straight surrogacy - also known as 'traditional surrogacy'
- host surrogacy - also known as 'gestational surrogacy'
This is when sperm or an embryo is inserted into your body. The sperm comes from either a donor or an intended parent.
You can do this at a pregnancy clinic or at home with an insemination kit.
Host (or 'gestational') surrogacy
This is when an embryo is inserted into your body. It could be an egg from:
- an intended parent
- a donor
The sperm comes from either a donor or an intended parent.
This type of surrogacy must be done in a clinic that's registered with the HFEA