So You Want To Be A Surrogate Mother...


Why Would You Become A Surrogate?

Being a surrogate has got to be one of the most wonderful, selfless things a woman can do BUT it is hard work, it isn't for the faint hearted and requires commitment and patience. Becoming a surrogate is not a quick process, there is much research required and knowledge to gain before going ahead. There are risks on both a surrogate's part and for the intended parents. For example fertility treatment (for a gestational surrogate) and pregnancy carries risks like hysterectomy and infertility, ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage, still birth, loss of tubes, multiples, retained placenta, cesarean section and worse case death. Unlikely but possible and everyone needs to be aware of and accept the risks before going forwards. 

On the plus side you will have achieved the most amazing thing, you have made a family, not just by making a couple parents but by creating grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, your achievement is creating a new generation, a life! You just can't beat that feeling!

Criteria To Become A Surrogate 

The criteria to be a surrogate is a complex subject. It is not written in law what boxes you need to tick to complete a journey but it is a widely held view by independent surrogacy and via agencies that a potential surrogate should be -

  • Over 21 
  • In good health
  • Have had at least one successful pregnancy and birth with minimal complications 
  • Be satisfied that your family is complete
  • Be cleared by your GP as fit and able to carry and birth again
  • Be financially stable
  • Have a good network of support
  • Be prepared to have an enhanced DBS check
  • Be clear of all sexually transmitted infections and diseases
  • Be prepared to undergo a psychiatric evaluation 

For gestational surrogacy, clinics will rarely work with a potential surrogate under 21 and not meeting the above statements. They have to put together a file and take it to an ethics committee to gain approval and have to follow strict HFEA guidance. Clinics abroad can be more flexible.  


A surrogate can legally claim reasonable expenses to be paid by the intended parents. Before the matching process begins, a surrogate needs to have her agreement in place which includes her position on various issues i.e. termination, reduction, multiples, loss of organs, miscarriage, still birth, bed rest/sickness, religious or cultural elements, guardians, how where and when the pregnancy will be achieved, how many attempts will take place and her pre, during and post birth expenses (this list in not exhaustive).

Do not attempt to do surrogacy for financial gain. Only altruistic surrogacy is legal in the UK.

The main things to consider when working out what your pregnancy expenses will be are -

  • Loss of wages
  • Travel
  • Maternity and post birth clothing
  • Childcare
  • Cleaner 
  • Gardener
  • Physical aids
  • Health aids
  • Alternative therapies
  • Medicine
  • Food
  • Sanitary wear

This list is very basic and not exhaustive and not everyone will claim for the same things. 

Pre pregnancy expenses are separate to pregnancy expenses and intended parents are to cover any costs incurred by the surrogate while attempting to achieve the intended parents pregnancy including -

  • Wills
  • Life insurance
  • All IVF costs
  • Health checks
  • Dbs check
  • Ovulation and pregnancy testing
  • Travel to appointments
  • Childcare for appointments
  • Vitamins
  • Any special dietary requirements imposed by the intended parents 

This list is not exhaustive as every journey is different. 

In addition there will be complications expenses to consider which can be for things like the following -

  • Caesarean section
  • Hysterectomy
  • Loss of tubes
  • Retained placenta
  • Still birth
  • Miscarriage
  • Multiples
  • Bed rest

Again the list is not exhaustive.