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What is Surrogacy

What is surrogacy?

What are the unborn baby’s normal movements in pregnancy?

Surrogacy is when the couple who are unable to conceive, can have a baby from another woman. The intended parents are the ones who become the legal parent of a child who is born through surrogacy. There are two types of surrogacy:

  • Traditional Surrogacy: Traditional surrogacy is where the surrogate is genetically related and becomes pregnant through artificial insemination.
  • Host surrogacy: It is when IVF is used, either with the eggs of the intended mother or with donor eggs. The surrogate mother is not genetically related to the baby and does not use her eggs. The three stages of this type of surrogacy are
    • Egg Donation
      • The female egg donor undergoes some special procedures to extract many eggs.
    • • Fertilization
      • The eggs are fertilized with sperm in the laboratory, resulting in embryos.
    • • Embryo Transfer
      • The embryo is transferred into the womb of the surrogate mother. The Embryo Transfer can be transferred to the surrogate either fresh or after have been de-frosted from storage. For a fresh embryo transfer, the cycles of the surrogate and the egg donor must be synchronized, and this is done using hormone medications. In cases where embryos have been frozen already and the de-frosted embryos are being transferred, the surrogate mother is provided with hormone medications to ‘ready’ her womb lining.

The birth mother

Now, according to the law, the woman who gives birth to the child can be treated as a legal mother and have parental responsibility.

The intended mother

The woman cannot be treated as the mother of the child even her eggs are used in the treatment. She has no legal rights concerning the child by her eggs being used or under any surrogacy agreement.

The father

The child’s legal father will be the surrogate’s husband unless

  • The surrogate’s husband didn’t give their permission for their wife to carry the pregnancy.
  • If your surrogate has no partner, or they are unmarried, the child will have no legal father or second parent.


From 1st October 2013, it is possible for one of the intended parents commissioning a surrogacy arrangement to be recognized as the legal parent when the child is born if the surrogate is not married and the relevant consents are in place. These consents will be completed with the couple at the hospital with a doctor’s appointment.


Before the treatment, screening of all those involved in surrogacy arrangements will be undertaken in line with HFEA’s current guidelines can be provided.


The clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) do not currently provide surrogacy on the NHS.

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