Whilst I’m writing this, Wes is on his 5th Zoom call of the day, I’m also busy finalising our Newsletter (which you’re reading – so thank you!) and I’ve just come off the phone with our website developers discussing changes we’re implementing this month.
It’s half term so the kids are fighting one minute and building dens the next, to say today is driving me to wine is an understatement. I’m also hosting an event tonight all about Canadian Surrogacy featuring Rachel West from Carbett Waite LLP and Michelle Avery from JA Surrogacy Consulting. Kelly (who works in our Directory Account Management team) has just been on the phone too, she’s scheduling a number of video interviews for me and is also inputting the Directory Members into the portal. Whilst talking to Kelly I’m replying to a WhatsApp message to Anna who is preparing for a call with a US client. Needless to say, it’s a busy Wednesday. But more importantly, who said men can’t multitask – Pah!
Since February we have not stopped. We’ve never worked so hard, nor have we ever worked together (we has its moments too!). But it’s working, and it’s giving me a real buzz. We’re now a team of thirteen here at My Surrogacy Journey® and every single one of us is so passionate to making this organisation something to proud of. This doesn’t feel like work, which is why we’re loving it.
Almost three years ago Wes had the vision to create a new Surrogacy organisation. Something bold, something that wouldn’t replace TwoDadsUK, but would complement it and be a brand within it. We’ve worked hard establishing it, so what we created next needed to fit. We wanted to position the TwoDadsUK brand as a go to organisation for anyone wanting more information on Surrogacy, whether that’s in the UK, US or Canada, wether you were gay, straight. We wanted to offer a service that could help, no matter what stage you were at in your journey. The Modern Family Show was created by us in 2019 to aid information gathering for the LGBTQ community that wanted to family build, and if that included Surrogacy we could support that pathway. The show takes place this September and has exhibitors from all over the globe.
For My Surrogacy Journey though we wanted to offer unrivalled levels of service. Impressive benefits and a unique membership, this has always been the objective. We wanted to change the landscape of how everyone is supported on a surrogacy journey. Use all of our lived experience as Intended Parents, Surrogates, Known Egg Donors, Fertility Nurses and Counsellors. Raising the bar I guess you could say. In-turn perhaps others would increase their service levels to Intended Parents, Surrogates and Known Egg Donors too? Strangely enough, that’s exactly what we’ve seen. Everyone certainly seems far more active on social media since we launched! 😉
Fertility Advice as standard
We knew we couldn’t create this on our own, which is why we spoke to a good friend of ours, Francesca Steyn. Fran is very well known in the Fertility clinic world when it comes to Surrogacy. Fran has also helped us personally with our own family, she donated her eggs to us – so she’s been an amazing friend. Utilising Fran’s Fertility Nursing experience meant that we could consult with our members completely differently than any other UK organisation does. We could provide clinical fertility advice related to someones fertility journey, providing factual medical advice. Not hear-say, not facebook opinions. Facts.
Fran would help build our Quality Management System and also oversea our Known Egg Donor recruitment programme too. She has experience in this field as her time as Head of Nursing for a CRGH in London. Fran also understands where clinics need more support. What is it that make’s their lives easier too? So we created an innovative support package and help manage HFEA consents for clinics. We’ve also highlighted over 20 benefits of working with us.
Facebook isn’t for everyone, and that’s OK
As previous Intended Parents ourselves we’ve seen where support lacks. Or how intimidating or daunting some of the Facebook groups can be. Or how international surrogacy intended parents are often left unsupported too, or at worse – exploited. The surrogacy community has a number of different routes for people, and each is different. What we’re not is militant, or controlling. We all have views and opinions on what we believe surrogacy is or isn’t. If someone wants to get to know someone through facebook groups, good for them – let’s wish them luck . If an IP wants to ask a surrogate if she’d carry their baby, after several conversations, why not? This has to feel balanced for each member on the journey, whilst still being safe for everyone involved.
Back in September 2020 we engaged with other IP’s, Surrogates and Known Egg Donors to understand what they would love to see change. We asked (and listened) what benefits would be really useful to them. This slowly became our Roadmap featured in our e-brochures, each one completely tailored to the member.
We began networking with organisations that could also provide the high touch levels of service we wanted. We spoke to the likes of Igenomix, ExSeed, The Mindful Birth Group, EngagedMD, Hertility Health, Mini First Aid and The Doula Association to name a few. In fact we now have twelve unique partners supporting all our members. The latest being Born Human – more about them next month. We were overwhelmed by how everyone reacted to our early plans and presentations. Everyone agreed with the vision and the objectives.
We spend eight months designing and planning the website and the brand. The Jade Studio helped us create the brand. Jade manage all our other projects too, and we’re so pleased with how My Surrogacy Journey evolved. It’s clean, modern look sets the scene of what people can expect when they work with us. We’re different and I think it shows in the work we turn out on our social channels.
Fast forward to where we are now. In two months of launching we’ve received and processed over 3700 emails, hosted 18 educational webinars, brought on 12 partners to support our members, appointed 18 Advisory Board members, 74 consultations, held over 32 hours of fertility counselling sessions with members, grown our social media following by 1400 across Instagram and Facebook and have onboarded 25 members, with a further 15 pending for May. Have I mentioned we’re also recording 20 Episodes of Season 1 of our new Podcast, with an incredible guest and topic line up? My Surrogacy Journey – The Podcast – launching next month, produced by StoryHunter
It’s been quite the journey. But safe to say it makes us smile each morning knowing we’re all bringing hope and are providing a service previously unavailable to a community desperate for more support.
If you’d like information you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or book an appointment via our website. We look forward to helping you.