My friend has offered to be a surrogate for us we are happy about this and we are going to do traditional as using my husbands sperm and her egg. I was just wondering if you can give me any details on what I need to do before all happens or whether I can go straight ahead we are in the United Kingdom.

Thanks for the message Janet,

The first and most important task is to get a written agreement with your surrogate. This is especially true if you are planning a traditional surrogacy procedure. The fact that your friend is both the genetic and birth mother may add difficulty when it comes time for her to give the child over to you and your husband.

In a traditional surrogacy journey, your friend will have all the parental rights and you will not be the mother in either a legal or biological sense when the baby is born. In the United Kingdom, the Parental Order will transfer parental rights to you, but the birth mother must agree to this. There is nothing in UK law that requires her to waive her parental rights or submit to the Parental Order process. She could decide to remain the legal mother, and there is not much you can do about that.

A written agreement is evidence of the understanding and intention of both you and the birth mother as you enter the agreement. The agreement is not enforceable, but if the case ever ends up in court, such evidence would be very useful.

An agreement also forces you and your friend to explore all of your expectations during the pregnancy… what is she permitted to do and not do? Some of my Intended Parents have astonishing restrictions on their surrogates. Will she be allowed to work, travel, eat shellfish? What are your obligations to her financially and otherwise? What will be her relationship to the baby after the birth?

You may think you know the answer to these questions… but are you certain your friend is in 100% agreement? Small disagreements can quickly be overblown into major issues. These are all important questions that have torn apart the best of friendships in many cases.

Traditional programs are very dangerous, which is why we don’t recommend or handle them. But make sure you and your family are protected before anything begins.

I hope this is helpful,

Good luck.
— Bill