Surrogacy is where a woman carries a baby for someone else (the intended mother). The baby can be conceived in one of several ways:

  • The baby can be conceived by IUI (intrauterine insemination), using the surrogate's eggs and the intended father’s sperm. 
  • The surrogate can have IVF treatment, with embryos created from the intended mother’s eggs and intended father’s sperm, or from eggs donated by another woman (not the surrogate) and the intended father’s sperm.

 Surrogacy is a very complicated legal area, and legal advice should be sought before going ahead.  However, surrogacy can be the only real option for women who have a medical condition that means it would be dangerous or impossible for them to undergo a pregnancy or give birth. Some women also choose this option if they have been unsuccessful with IVF. 

Page last updated: 13 April 2009