Set against the backdrops of London and Thailand, Surrogacy: Our Family’s Journey is my first book and centres on our family’s intense, at times frustrating, and eternally-cherished adventure that led to the birth of our twins and the wonderful expansion of our family. It will serve as a portal through time for our twins when they are older, and hopefully, our journey will also help others considering the surrogacy path.

James Phillip and his family

James Phillip and his family

I learned so much about love and patience on my journey though surrogacy but here are my top things I had to consider before and as we started out:

Learn about the 4 main types of surrogacy

Traditional Surrogacy: When the surrogate mother will be the biological parent to the child. This can be complicated both for legal reasons and also emotionally.

Gestational Surrogacy: Using IVF, a donors fertilised eggs are transferred to the surrogate mother. This means that the surrogate will not be biologically linked to the baby.

Altruistic Surrogacy: Where the arrangement between the surrogate and the intended parents has no financial compensation. This can be both traditional surrogacy or gestational, and is the only form of surrogacy legal in some countries.

Independent Surrogacy: When the surrogacy arrangement is independent of help from any agency or clinic.

We chose Gestational Surrogacy once we were lucky enough to sign with our clinic as we believed this would help the process for us run as smoothly as could be expected.

How will I meet my surrogate and choose our egg donor

We opted to meet our egg donor and surrogate mother though the same agency in Thailand that would also oversee the IVF and also monitor our surrogate’s pregnancy. This meant that everything was arranged for us with one point of contact and as our surrogacy was overseas we took great comfort in knowing that everyone was working together. Meeting both these women was magical and highly emotional and that was even before a pregnancy!

How much involvement can we have in the pregnancy?

Our agency at the clinic listened to us and understood our need for communication with our surrogate with as little barriers as possible. Once our surrogate had agreed to try for us our bond became strong and we spent time discussing how we would like to be involved for instance with attending pregnancy clinics and scans and also pregnancy supplements we would like our surrogate mother to take though out the pregnancy. Soon we became friends and discussions about how we envisaged everyone to be in each others lives was talked about and looked forward to by all of us when our children would finally arrive.

Can we be at the birth?

Our doctors both at the hospital and the clinic were amazing about our request. Legally we needed to provide the hospital with power of attorney as new parents to be but once the legalities were ironed out it was agreed we could all take part in the birth after discussing this with our surrogate mother. Not everything went to plan as in so many cases but having our birth plan laid out gave us the confidence to take our very first few steps in our children’s lives and we are blessed to have two healthy children.

How would we all fit into each others lives after the children would be born?

This was the biggest part for me by far. I was worried about how this would feel after our kids were born. How would life be afterwards with our surrogate and indeed our egg donor? As male same sex parents how did the two women feel about spending time with the children in the future? Our request was ‘a big ask; to say the least but has worked out for us all wonderfully. We enjoy spending time together and most recently the childrens’ ‘tummy mummy’ as they know her is helping them learn some Thai language alongside their English and Polish. It is wonderful to see our children understand how they came into our lives surrounded by a loving family group around them.

Told with the addition of photographs and excerpts, including correspondence and birth plans, Surrogacy: Our Family’s Journey is a heart-warming insight in to the lengths I have gone to make my dreams a reality. More individuals and couples are choosing surrogacy every day and, in reading this book, I hope that others considering a similar journey will find help by way of a kindred spirit.