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Financing solutions for Surrogacy!

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Thinking about starting a family through surrogacy is an exciting and life changing decision. For many families and parents-to-be, a looming question at the start of the journey is often ‘How much is this going to cost?’

Having a baby through surrogacy is expensive – from paying for lawyers, to membership fees, clinics, consultants, and travel – the list goes on. This list feels extensive and with no two surrogacy journeys being the same it can feel daunting to think about what the total cost will be, how you will cover that cost and what additional fees may arise that you didn’t budget for. We all know even the most careful financial planning can be thrown a curveball extra unforeseen cost.

The cost of surrogacy alone is a deterrent for many, with limited options for anyone who does not already have savings to fulfil their journey. Some might be lucky enough to have health insurance or employment schemes that include fertility treatment. It might be possible to sell assets or draw from savings or investments. Family and friends can be hugely supportive, and there are sometimes local grants and NHS funding to apply for. But these options are often inaccessible, insubstantial or take too long to obtain. The only option left for many new families is to borrow.

We wanted to address the reality of borrowing for surrogacy, not to worry anyone considering the journey of surrogacy, but instead to inspire a new way of thinking about financial support and change the landscape for the future.

Very few financial products have been specifically designed to support fertility in the UK. Lending for surrogacy is usually provided in the form of a loan from a well-known lender or bank, but mainstream credit isn’t available to everyone. Lending decisions are made by assessing risk, and applications that look ‘different’ are considered riskier.

  • Conventional processes check identity, affordability and previous credit performance using data from the UK’s three main credit reference agencies – Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.
  • People with a bad credit history due to missing payments in the past, or anyone without a credit file – that’s those who are new to the UK or who haven’t used many credit products before – are disadvantaged.
  • Affordability can be tricky to demonstrate for people who are self-employed or have irregular income, and proving identity via documentation such as driving licences, passports or residency statuses can be impossible.
  • Some groups may self-select out of the UK’s credit system for religious or cultural reasons, or simply because they believe systemic bias means they are less likely to get a fairly priced loan, which unfortunately may be true.

Products and services then get built with the ‘average’ borrower in mind, with the unique needs and circumstances of under-represented groups with specialised loan purposes sadly ignored.

The solution is easy – lenders simply need to know their customers better. By understanding the community an individual belongs to and their reason for borrowing, lending products can be tailored to support individual circumstance, which reduces risk and allows increased accessibility.

My Surrogacy Journey are proud to be partnered with a solution to this problem. We began working alongside Radish last year to explore a new solution to financial borrowing for surrogacy. Radish is reimagining financial credit for moments of transformation in people’s lives. Radish is building financial products that help underserved communities meet their important life needs.

Radish’s approach will change the landscape of lending by demonstrating how inclusive design delivers better outcomes for creditworthy borrowers, whoever they may be. One size fits all only works for the privileged few; anyone not fitting the model of ‘normality’ is left behind.

Radish is currently conducting research in collaboration with My Surrogacy Journey to better understand the needs of intended parents, with the aim of offering a bespoke lending product to My Surrogacy Journey members sometime in 2024. If you’d like to take part in this research and join our mission to revolutionise lending, we’d love to hear from you.

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Hi everyone, So I’m Mike, guess I’m the crazy one who had the idea to sell our souls to Social Media and open up our world for everyone to comment on and observe our lives. I spend most nights (when not with Talulah and Duke obviously) with my phone glued to my hand, posting, sharing, liking and filming - all in readiness for Facebook, Insta and now YouTube. It’s getting to be a full time job, which is tricky - as I have one of those! For the last 18 years I have worked within Medical Recruitment and have worked in a variety of high pressured Operational and Business Development roles in London and the Midlands. More recently I am working for myself as it gives me greater flexibility with our new family via my Consultancy firm MJE Consultancy Ltd, where I attract and recruit Fertility Nurses, Embryologists and IVF Consultants and other specialist Doctors, as the Fertility Industry is my passion. I’m obviously one half of TwoDads.U.K and very proud of that fact too, and without doubt being a father is and has been the best job I’ve ever had. Nothing prepares you for the impact these little humans have on us, I know if you’re anything like me, the joy of being a parent just keeps on giving (whilst equally testing me too!). Don’t get me wrong, there’s days where I want to sit on the garage floor and drown myself in Gin but on the whole, life is better than it ever has been...

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