Surrogacy is an arrangement where a women (the surrogate) carries and gives birth to a baby for another woman / couple.
The surrogate mother may be the child’s genetic mother (called traditional surrogacy) or she may be genetically unrelated to the child (called gestational surrogacy).
Normally she gives up all her parental rights and agrees to give the baby to the intended parents immediately upon delivery.
Who surrogacy is for
This is an option for anyone who cannot carry a baby themselves. The most common reasons for choosing surrogacy are:
- a missing or abnormal uterus
- multiple unexplained pregnancy miscarriages
- multiple failed in vitro fertilization attempts
- a health condition of the Intended Mother that would make pregnancy a health risk
- same sex couples
If you’re thinking of using a surrogate, you should talk with your GP. They can refer you to our
Assisted Reproduction Unit (ARU) who can advise you on the steps you need to take.
It's important to note that our staff cannot legally find a surrogate for you and any treatment of the surrogate, which involves replacing embryos, will take place in the UK.
If the surrogate is a Jersey resident we can provide a ‘shared care’ service where they’ll receive the scans and blood tests required before and after the embryo transfer, but they will still need to travel out of the Island for the embryo transfer, and they will be managed by the unit that holds the embryos.
The Maternity Unit here in Jersey are experienced in these arrangements and have delivered local surrogate babies.
Surrogacy is not eligible for funding so you need to pay for it yourself. Costs that you may need to consider can include:
- fertility clinic costs
- court fees
- payment of reasonable expenses only to surrogate
The women who gives birth to the baby will be the legal mother and if she is married, her husband automatically becomes the legal father even when the baby is not genetically related to the surrogate and husband.
Couples are therefore advised to apply for a ‘Parental Order’ through the courts so that when the baby is born, the commissioning couple become the legal parents.
You should seek advice from a lawyer specialising in family law here in Jersey as the law can be different than in the UK.
Surrogacy: legal rights of parents and surrogates on the GOV.UK website
Further information about surrogacy
There are three agency websites in the UK that have lots of useful information:
Surrogacy UK website
COTS (Childlessness Overcome Through Surrogacy) website
Brilliant Beginnings website