In host surrogacy an embryo is placed inside the surrogate's womb. The surrogate is not genetically related to your baby because you are using an egg from another donor. The donor eggs are fertilised with your sperm at the fertility clinic after numerous tests. Host surrogacy is also known as gestational surrogacy.
The FERTILITY CLINC
You will need to find a clinic that works with surrogates. Oftentimes these clinics have special surrogacy programmes with bespoke pricing that are run by surrogacy coordinators. When choosing a clinic consider ease of travel from your home or work and/or distance from your surrogate. If you have not found a surrogate before you choose your clinic consider looking in locations with good transport links. Your team mate will need to travel to the clinic several times for scans, bloods, embryo transfer and check ups. Many clinics have open evenings where you can attend to ask questions and get a feel for the place. When choosing a clinic you may decide that you prefer a clinic with its own egg bank, or you may wish to use an egg donation agency. Click here for details on egg donation. Find further information on choosing a clinic here.
Making an embryo
There are varying processes by which embryos can be created but the two most common are IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) and ICSI (Intra Cytoplasmic Injection). During IVF your sperm is mixed with an egg and left for fertilisation and cell division to occur. During ICSI the embryologist will select an individual sperm cell and inject it into the egg. ICSI is used more often for male factor infertility to increase fertilisation rates or when the eggs have been thawed from frozen (a process which can leave a hard shell around the egg that sperm find difficult to penetrate). Eggs can be fresh from collection or frozen and defrosted for fertilisation.
The fertilised eggs will be left for between 1 to 6 days to develop (depending on the clinics practices).. The goal for many clinics is a healthy 5 or 6 day old embryo which is called a blastocyst, - although the longer eggs are left to develop the greater the chance of some of them not making it. Some clinics will freeze at Day 1 or Day 3 to increase the number of developing embryos which can they develop in the womb after implantation. Other clinics prefer to implant with more mature Day 5 or Day 6 embryos. These decisions will also depend on the fertility history of you and the egg donor.
"Every kick, somersault and big old jab, reminds me that we are closer to getting him home to his parent in just a few months time. It's been an absolute pleasure babysitting you, 'bob the bump'"
Faye, Host surrogate to Bob
The surrogate is not genetically related to your baby. You will need to find an egg donor, and create embryos via ICSI or IVF. Double donation (when parents are not genetically related to their embryos) is illegal in the UK so you will have to be able to use your sperm.
A cycle takes 4 weeks of preparation. You may achieve pregnancy on the first cycle or need many cycles. During this time you need to be able to pay your surrogates expenses, cover child care and their time of work and organise time off your own work for appointments.
Surrogacy programme fees can vary between £8K to £15K. Drugs per cycles for your surrogate can cost between £1K -3K. Clinics also charge additional costs for blood, semen and genetic analysis. Host journeys can run from between £19K-£47K