Over the years I have handled a fair number of surrogacy cases. Clients tell me that they can find the process quite stressful and no wonder- they are embarking on a wonderful, life enhancing event and I feel privileged in assisting them bring new life in to their homes.
In a nutshell, surrogacy is where parties who want to be parents (the prospective parents) need the help of a mother to carry a child. A surrogacy arrangement must be in place before the mother begins to carry the child, and is made with a view to the child being handed over to the prospective parents after the birth.
Many prospective parents and surrogates are matched by an agency. Unlike in many other countries, the setting up of surrogacy arrangements for profit are illegal in the U.K. Accordingly all agencies here in the U.K. are voluntary and are unregulated. It is for that reason that many prospective parents engage with agencies abroad. The costs of surrogacy can vary significantly depending on which country you choose.
If cost is going to be a factor, countries such as India tend to be cheaper and the USA is at the higher end (mainly due to the cost of healthcare in the US) Irrespective of cost, the one thing you must ensure is that the agency is regulated and you must also give thought to the legal requirements of bringing the child back to the U.K. after birth.