People who want to start a family already know that even when everything goes according to plan, this is far from an easy wish to bring to life. Conceiving a child can take time, and ensuring a safe pregnancy means taking much care, reducing risks, and living a healthy lifestyle for the mother. And even after all that, the great road to becoming a parent is a challenging but fulfilling learning experience.
Unfortunately, for some couples out there, even the very beginning of this dream, conceiving a child and safely bringing to term, to give birth to a brand new baby, is fraught with medical risk, or may even be biologically impossible. Women with medical issues such as a heart condition, or advanced age put both themselves and an unborn child in danger by risking a pregnancy. Other women may have had medical treatments to fight disease, such as cancer, that may have resulted in the removal of the uterus, making them biologically incapable of carrying a child and giving birth.
For these, and other challenges, there’s still hope of bringing a newborn child into the world, and it’s even still possible for that child to carry the genetic characteristics of one or both parents, as with a traditional pregnancy and childbirth. Going to a surrogacy agency is the way that couples can still make this dream come true, but how do these hopeful families go about finding the best surrogacy agency for what they need?
For some hopeful families, one of the bigger issues will be finding a surrogacy agency that accepts the situation a couple finds themselves in. For example, finding a trustworthy surrogacy agency can be very important for a male same-sex couple that wants to bring a newborn into the world. Because the couple consists of two males, it’s biologically impossible for either man to give birth as neither has a uterus for the embryo to grow in safely.
However, a same-sex couple can face some legal hurdles as not every country will recognize the legal claim of the partnership, or the wish for that couple to have a child of their own. Georgia, as one example, has a very extensive legal and medical infrastructure in place for surrogacy, but it only offers these services to a male and female couple. Same-sex couples will not be able to engage these services in Georgia, and therefore the best surrogacy agency in these instances would be one that recognizes their legal status and claim.
For some hopeful families, the question of which is the best surrogacy agency must be answered by going abroad because their country of residence does not allow any kind of surrogacy whatsoever. For residents of countries like France and Germany, surrogacy is banned, and this means that any child born is automatically recognized as the child of the birth mother, while the intended parents have no rights or custody to that child whatsoever.
Other countries may allow altruistic, or compassionate surrogacy, but not compensated, or for-profit surrogacy. This means that in these countries, the only available pool of candidates are those that are willing to become surrogate mothers for “free.” In this case, this means only receiving money for the medical costs required to nurture and give birth to the baby safely. This often means that hopeful families must resort to finding people they know, such as family members or friends willing to make this sacrifice, or go to agencies with a much smaller pool of available, medically approved candidates.
Compensated surrogacy, on the other hand, means that a surrogate mother is herself receiving some kind of financial recognition for her contribution, in addition to having the costs of medical support covered. Not every country has legally approved of this. Moreover, even within a country, not every area of that country recognizes this. Different states and provinces in the USA and Canada, for example, have different laws regarding compensated surrogacy. California allows for compensated surrogacy, but a state like Arizona has no such laws in place to protect hopeful parents.
Another concern finding the best surrogacy agency may hinge on parental concerns about the citizenship status of the child. If hopeful parents are required to leave their country to find a surrogacy agency, then, depending on which country they are citizens of, the fact that their child wasn’t born biologically to the mother, and was born in another country may render that child effectively “stateless.” Thus the child is unable to return to the parent’s country of origin without proper legal preparation.
The best surrogacy agency, in this case, would be an agency that provides a comprehensive “legal package” to help a hopeful family make sure that all legal concerns are addressed. That way, when it’s time to go home the proper legal documentation and requirements have been met, and a child can return to his or her proper country of origin.