Since launching My Surrogacy Journey in February 2021 it’s co-founders Michael and Wes Johnson-Ellis continue to work hard to educate more people about UK surrogacy. A year on and the first MSJ baby was born in April to Joanne and Matt. In addition to this wonderful news there were five pregnancies announced in the second quarter of 2022. Exciting times for the team and obviously an anxious wait for the intended parents and surrogates.
One of the issues Michael and Wes realised within UK surrogacy was there were pockets of isolation amongst professionals. Family lawyers, fertility nurses and doctors, policy experts, NHS staff inc midwives or anyone else with an interest in surrogacy for that matter, just never got together to share ideas and best practice. It was time to make that change.
“We wanted to connect the passion of all of these professionals to create purpose and shift the dial – let’s share more ideas and improved ways of working for the greater cause”Michael Johnson-Ellis
Wes adds ‘The Surrogacy Network is designed to support any professional or organisation that is connected to or has an interest in surrogacy. It’s a space to discuss policy improvements, case law examples and healthcare policy, to help educate and to share best practice’.
Allowing for cross sector networking will make The Surrogacy Network totally unique, bringing the industry together to positively promote surrogacy in a way never tackled before.
Who is eligible to join?
- Healthcare professionals inc. fertility nurses, midwives and consultants
- Surrogacy and family law experts
- Fertility counsellors
- Fertility and surrogacy advocates
- NHS Trusts (Heads of Midwifery)
- Law Firms
- Fertility clinics
- Fertility organisations and charities
The Surrogacy Network launched in November 2021 with attendance at a modest 34, and for those directory partners of My Surrogacy Journey already they were enrolled for free and took advantages of the benefits of the network. Our first speakers were Professor Nick Hopkins and Spencer Clarke from The Law Commission who gave the audience an insight to the imminent draft proposal due in the Autumn of 2022. Membership was then sold to those outside of the MSJ Directory that perhaps wanted to learn more about surrogacy in the first instance, with a view to growing their services.
March 2022 event saw a 73% increase in attendance, with 60 guests from a variety of sectors and backgrounds. Joanne Anton, Head of Policy from the UK fertility regulator the HFEA gave attendees an insight to future regulation of registered surrogacy organisations and Dr Kirsty Horsey and Zaina Mahmood from London Womens Clinic, Research Department who presented some fascinating trend data from LWC as well as Zaina’s PhD research data which compared UK and Californian surrogate experiences with some surprising similarities.
Creating a space where everyone can network, build new relationships, hopefully learn a thing or two and even create new opportunities for their organisation is the aim of The Surrogacy Network. The most recent event took place on May 26th where we are joined by Freddy McConnell, journalist and star of Seahorse. We had over 70 guests attend this particular session, making it our most popular networking event since launching in The Surrogacy Network. Freddy gave an incredible talk about his fertility journey and life as trans Dad to his two children. Check out this blog covering topics related to his talk.
What to join the club?
If you’d like more information how you can be apart of The Surrogacy Network contact the team today on; firstname.lastname@example.org