New Research Reveals Current Mindset Amongst British Women
Often misunderstood and stigmatised, surrogacy has recently hit the headlines following well-known celebrities choosing it to help create their families. Perhaps once deemed as controversial, new research by Emma’s Diary finds a staggering 81% of British women would consider surrogacy if unable to carry a baby of their own.
Gestational surrogacy, where the baby is not biologically related to the surrogate, is regarded over traditional surrogacy, however nearly half (49%) state they would only consider gestational surrogacy if the egg was theirs and not a donor’s.
Emma’s Diary, the UK’s essential support resource for mums to be and new parents, conducted the research to better understand the perception around the subject of surrogacy.
When contemplating adoption over surrogacy options, 49% admit they’d explore surrogacy first with 46% choosing to investigate adoption as their preference. Only 5% reveal they’d decide not to have children if they were unable to carry a baby.
Under current UK law, commercial surrogacy is illegal. Instead, women volunteer to be surrogates for altruistic reasons and can only be reimbursed for medical and other reasonable expenses. When Emma’s Diary asked its members whether they would consider being a surrogate once their own family was complete, perhaps surprisingly a third (33%) said yes, they would consider it and 26% revealed that it was something they would ‘possibly’ consider.
It is also illegal for any woman to advertise herself as a surrogate mother. Instead, couples can consult non-profit organisations who can help the process. Interestingly nearly two thirds (61%) of those questioned said if using a surrogate, they would prefer someone they didn’t know with 23% choosing a family member as their preferred choice and 16% a close friend.
Although babies being born via surrogacy is on the increase, there are still a number of concerns British women have when considering it as a fertility option:
Whilst the recent press around celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Tom Daley choosing surrogacy has helped awareness, 81% are still not sure of the legalities surrounding surrogacy although nearly one in five (19%) do claim they now have a better understanding about what surrogacy is. Hopefully with the government having now published a guide to surrogacy for England and Wales, this will provide some much-needed clarity.
Today it was also announced that Sarah Spencer, a midwife from the University Hospital of Wales, has been awarded the Emma’s Diary Mums’ Midwife of the Year 2018 for the amazing support she provided mum, Elouise King, during her surrogacy journey. The Emma’s Diary Mums’ Midwife of the Year Awards is one of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Annual Midwifery Awards, recognising the incredible work done by exceptional midwives across the country.
Faye Mingo, Emma’s Diary’s marketing director, comments: “Surrogacy is a topic that is increasingly being discussed by our members and it’s encouraging to see such a positive response to it as revealed in this new research. More and more are considering it as a legitimate option to helping create that family they so wish for and with greater awareness will come better understanding for both those exploring surrogacy and those wishing to be surrogates. Our Mums’ Midwife of the Year story is an excellent example of how positive the surrogacy experience can be for all parties involved.”
Commenting on the results, Sarah Jones chair of Surrogacy UK adds: "It's wonderful to see the results of the survey undertaken by Emma's Diary with regards to surrogacy. It backs up our own experiences of surrogacy becoming a more normal pathway to parenthood. Surrogacy in the UK is a wonderful experience for surrogates and intended parents alike, and part of that experience includes the amazing treatment they have from midwives. We offer our congratulations to the Midwife of the Year and offer our thanks to all the midwives who care for all of our surrogates and families."
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