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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear all,

We are new to the message boards to please bear with us.
My husband and I are unable to have children of our own because treatment for breast cancer has left me infertile. I cannot carry a pregnancy because of the medication I have to take to prevent the cancer coming back.
My sister donated eggs last year and we got three embryos. A wonderful friend offered to be a surrogate and we had 3 attempts at implantation which sadly all failed.
My sister is going to donate more eggs next month and now we need to find a surrogate as our friend is not in a position to try again.
We have looked at the COTS and SUK websites but we are finding it hard to decide which to join. Has anyone got any advice please?
Also does anyone know which organisation has the highest ratio of surrogates to intended parents?
Thank you very much,
Viola

 

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Hi there and Welcome!

I would say that if you asked a variety of people, then you would get a variety of answers.  COTS works for some people, whereas others will swear by SUK.

Alternatively, some other people prefer not to use either organisation, and go with smaller ones such as Miracles Do Happen and ALW for example (there are others). 

Other people prefer to go down the classified ad route (SMO, OPTS etc).

There really is no right or wrong way of finding a surrogate.  What works for one may not work for another.

COTS and SUK both offer IPs the opportunity to meet surrogates.  I cannot tell you which one offers the most range and opportunities.  As a (dormant) member of COTS, they send me out IP details and then contact you if you are chosen from my list.  I am unsure whether SUK work in the same way, but I am sure someone on here can tell you.  Both organisations do make a charge to cover membership each year you are a member as an IP.

Smaller organisations such as MDH and ALW will offer you free membership, although I think you can upgrade for a fee (certainly MDH offer this for the premier membership).  This is smaller than COTS or SUK, but do not have as wide a range of surrogates.  They offer support and friendship, as well as some surrogates, but work in a more informal way through get togethers, on line forums and chats.

SMO and OPTS offer a free way of contacting surrogates (and vice versa), however, you must be careful as no vetting has taken place and you are approaching unknown people.  This method has, and does, work, however, a certain amount of common sense and caution is strongly recommended.

I work the last way and have a beautiful set of IPs and surro twin boys!

I hope this goes some way to answering your queries.  Please PM or post again.

I'd also like to say what an angel your sister is for doing this TWICE for you.  As an egg donor in a previous life (the one before you get to 35!), a big handshake to her for doing this for you.  Its not easy.

Take care and good luck, whichever route you take.


Amanda
 

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Hi Viola,

I'm so sorry that your IVF attempts haven't worked so far - it sounds like you've been through the mill (as have so many of the ladies on here).

I'm an IP with SUK, and am a big advocate - which is not altogether surprising, given that we met our surrogate there and we're now 19 weeks pregnant at the first attempt!  SUK works slightly differently from COTS, because no-one sends IP's details to the surrogates, as Amanda describes at COTS - it's a bit more organic. Basically, there are regular social events, and the message boards, and people go along and chat about anything from gardening to self-insemination and decide whether to work together based on whether they get on.  It worked really well for me, because it's enabled me to build up a lot of trust and affection with our surrogate because we both felt that we chose each other as friends first - there's no sense in which ours is a transactional relationship and that's important to both of us. 

I don't think you'll find that anyone gives you a straight answer about how many "available" surrogates there are in either organisation - the powers that be seem to like to keep that information to themselves!! 

I'd recommend that you try to meet people from both organisations, join both message boards and just take your time to decide which works best for you.  Some people end up joining both organisations (though they tend not to talk about it too much!!) and that's allowed until you're actually working with a surrogate, at which stage you'd have to give up one of hte memberships.  I know that you must be keen as mustard to get started - I know we were - but the more time you take getting to know people, the less potential trouble you'll encounter later on, so I'd recommend taking your time to decide so you make the right choice for you.

Good luck!

Fx

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi,
Thank you all for your replies which were very helpful and interesting. I wasn't aware that organisations such as ALW/SMO/OPTS even existed. Great to hear that some of you have been successful.
We are still agonising over what to do but we are going to try and decide in the next week or so and then go for it.
love, Viola
 

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Hi Viola,
I can only speak from myself, but we had our gorgous daughter through surrogacy, and met our surrogate through SUK in the way that OD2 describes.

We were also members of COTS initially, but didn't have such a good time with them, and they were unhappy about us being in SUK.
My advice to you is try them both and see which one feels more comfy, before you committ yourself financially.
EJJB
  x :)
 
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