#11

Removing my genetic link to the child that I plan to carry

Microscopic image of an egg being fertilised through IVF
Microscopic image of an egg being fertilised through IVF
Image by Elena Έλενα Kontogianni Κοντογιάννη from Pixabay

When I first started researching surrogacy I was overwhelmed by all the new vocabulary I had to learn. The most important terms that I had to understand were those for the two types of surrogacy that are available: gestational surrogacy (or GS), also known as host or full surrogacy; and traditional surrogacy (or TS), also known as straight or partial surrogacy. Not only did I need to understand what these meant but I also had to decide which of them was right for me.

Traditional surrogacy

Traditional surrogacy is similar to the conventional method of becoming pregnant. The surrogate monitors their ovulation…


#10

A surrogate’s ponderings on childbirth before my first pregnancy

A new-born child’s hand grips an adult’s finger.
A new-born child’s hand grips an adult’s finger.
© Jason Pratt (cc-by/2.0)

So far in my surrogacy journey, I haven’t allowed myself to look ahead too far. Although I’m really excited about being pregnant (I often turn to my partner and exclaim, “Won’t it be weird when I’m pregnant!” while overexaggerating my stomach with my arms), there’s part of me that refuses to accept that it will ever happen.

I’ve never been pregnant; I don’t know that I can physically become pregnant. (This fear is compounded by the number of infertile women I’ve met through the surrogacy community. Telling people that I plan to carry a baby for someone else also encourages…


#9

The importance of life insurance and wills for surrogacy

Image for post
Image for post
Image from pxhere

When I joined Surrogacy UK as a surrogate in the summer of 2020, I didn’t expect to meet my intended parents, Louise and Brian(*), so quickly — and they didn’t expect to meet a surrogate so quickly either! But before we could sign a surrogacy agreement together, as well as having a lot to discuss, there were also some things we needed to organise.

Life insurance

Every pregnancy carries some risk to life so the UK government advises surrogates to take out life insurance. …


#8

When I had my hormonal implant fitted 3 years ago, I didn’t expect to be having it removed in the middle of a pandemic.

Stylised drawing of various methods of contraception with the words “safe”, “family”, “planning” and “contraception”.
Stylised drawing of various methods of contraception with the words “safe”, “family”, “planning” and “contraception”.
Image from Pixy

I have had a Nexplanon implant, a form of long-acting reversible contraception, since 2018. A lot has changed in that time, including the start of a global pandemic. To everyone’s surprise, I also have some plans in the near future to become pregnant (albeit as a surrogate rather than for my own child). As the hormonal implant only lasts for 3 years, I now need it removed.

My original intention was to replace my implant when it ran out but, because of my plans to be a surrogate, I would now prefer a more temporary form of contraception.

I really…


#7

Looking forward to 2021: the excitement and the trepidations

Two people hold a present wrapped with a bow
Two people hold a present wrapped with a bow
Image by Bob Dmyt from Pixabay

This year I plan to do something very special. A couple who are unable to carry their own child will try to create a life, borrowing a body part that I would otherwise have no use for.

In the new year, I will officially form a surrogacy team with Louise & Brian(*), the intended parents that I want to help. We will begin the process of transferring one of their embryos into my uterus, which will hopefully cause me to become pregnant.

It feels weird to be excited about something I’ve carefully avoided for many years but I know this…


#6

How do you get to know someone well enough to have a baby for them under COVID-19 restrictions?

Image for post
Image for post
Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

The last thing I did before the UK was ordered to stay at home in March was attend a surrogacy information day. Shortly afterwards, I sent off my application form and, in June, I was accepted as a full member of the surrogacy organisation, Surrogacy UK. This means the early days of my surrogacy journey have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

I met Louise & Brian(*), the couple that I’d like to be a surrogate for, at one of the virtual socials that Surrogacy UK is running to replace their usual in-person ones. I hadn’t met them in…


I miss the feeling of the breeze on my face, the sun on my skin.

A woman sits on a bench with her back to the camera, she is surrounded by green grass strewn with fallen leaves.
A woman sits on a bench with her back to the camera, she is surrounded by green grass strewn with fallen leaves.
Image from pxfuel

The sun is shining through the trees. The leaves are blowing in the wind and casting an ever-changing shadow on the muddy grass below. I can see it through the window from the harshly-lit office. My cursor blinks angrily from the bright white screen in front of me. The fluorescent lights buzz overhead. I’m squashed between the pressure of what’s expected of me and my desperate desire to dance in the dappled sunlight.

I watch a brown leaf gently flutter to the ground. I wished to be that leaf, just let go to float on the breeze to whatever came…


#5

What if the intended parents I like don’t like me back?

Woman with long brown hair looks pensively into the distance
Woman with long brown hair looks pensively into the distance
Image from pxfuel

It was a sunny Monday morning. My partner, Thomas, and I were sitting on a picnic rug in the garden with our laptops. I was supposed to be doing some work but, instead, I was drafting and redrafting an email. It was important — but I knew that the wording itself didn’t matter.

“You think I should just send it?” I asked Thomas, not for the first time, and he nodded enthusiastically. I finally clicked ‘send’ and pushed my laptop aside. I knew that it could take until the following day to get an answer to my offer.

To an…


#4

Finding the right people to help as a surrogate

Image for post
Image for post
Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

It took a long time to get to this point. I spent many years deciding that I wanted to be a surrogate, then a few months going through the application process. After being accepted into the surrogacy organisation Surrogacy UK, I was given access to the profiles of intended parents (“IPs”), people who want to have a child through surrogacy.

Thomas (my partner) & I began reading these profiles and trying to choose someone. Every evening for a couple of weeks, I read a few out to him as he cooked us dinner. …


#3

The things I considered when looking for intended parents

Woman stands in front of a grey ocean with her back to the camera
Woman stands in front of a grey ocean with her back to the camera
Photo from PxHere

Meeting someone who wants to be a surrogate is an important first step to having a child through surrogacy, but that person might not be the right surrogate for you. There needs to be a trusting friendship between the surrogate and the intended parents, but even the closest friendship might not make a good surrogacy team. There are lots of practical and principle aspects of surrogacy that need to be considered first.

Reasons that IPs wouldn’t be right for me

From a utilitarian position, I want my IPs to live reasonably close to me. This doesn’t matter to all surrogates but it’s important to me. I think that…

Kim Barrett

Freelancer writer and software developer based in Oxford, UK. https://kbarrett.github.io/

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