Surrogacy is the solution for hopeful couples who would like to start a family together but have medical concerns that prevent traditional pregnancy. Surrogacy typically involves another woman agreeing to become pregnant on behalf of the hopeful family, and when the child is born, unites that newborn with the couple so they can go off to start a new life together as a family.
However, the act of finding a suitable surrogate mother is one that always involves a lot of preparation. When it comes to entrusting someone else with the life of a growing baby, being of a sound medical condition and having other characteristics is invaluable. Agreeing to become a surrogate mother is not something any random woman should be allowed to do; minimum standards and qualifications should be at play.
For example, a woman who has already had at least one child successfully is the baseline for qualifying as a surrogate mother. This means that she already has a proven “track record” for safe pregnancy and childbirth. Perhaps more importantly, it also means that emotionally and psychologically, she is already experienced with pregnancy, knows what to expect, and is prepared to deal with it, versus someone becoming pregnant for the first time, where almost everything is an unknown variable and therefore a risk.
The Fertilization Options
This is where the prospect of undertaking surrogacy in another country may become a more viable decision, especially if the decision is to go with a surrogate mother who will be using her own egg for the pregnancy. In some cases, going abroad may be a better option if a hopeful couple desires to use the in vitro fertilization technique but with a donor other than the surrogate mother or member of the hopeful couple.
Traditional surrogacy involves the surrogate mother’s egg, while in vitro fertilization requires fertilizing an egg in a lab setting and then implanting it in the surrogate mother. Typically, IVF is a popular choice for hopeful couples that would like a “traditional baby” because the newborn uses the sperm of the hopeful father and the egg of the hopeful mother. In some cases, however, if a woman has had her uterus removed, there may be no egg to use. In other instances, a genetic disorder that may be passed down to a child means the couple would rather use someone else’s donor egg for a safer, “clean slate.”
Taking Things Overseas
Using an overseas egg donor becomes a more pragmatic choice when considering a few factors. The first is choice. It’s not unusual for a hopeful couple to want to have as many choices as possible for a surrogate mother and egg donor. The options narrow considerably in countries where only “altruistic surrogacies” are legally permitted. With an altruistic surrogacy, the surrogate mother agrees to become pregnant on an entirely voluntary basis. She may receive financial coverage only for living expenses and medical treatment as the pregnancy progresses. Compensated surrogacy, however, is where a surrogate mother receives significant financial recognition for the important role she plays in the process.
Altruistic surrogacies tend to draw from a much more limited pool of available surrogate mother candidates because many women are, for understandable reasons, unwilling to give up their time, effort, and biological resources purely for the sake of helping another couple. Of course, some women are, but they are in the minority. However, compensated surrogacies, where a surrogate mother receives the appropriate financial recognition for her important role, bring out many more available and qualified surrogate mothers, who now find the contribution worth their while.
In other words, countries that offer compensated surrogacies have a much larger pool of available, suitable candidates, which may be an important factor for a hopeful couple. This is especially true if they are looking for a surrogate mother who will also be an egg donor, and thus her genetics will play an important role in the physical health and development of the child.
The Cost Factor
Another potential consideration for going overseas is the cost-effectiveness of finding an egg donor abroad, and going to other countries, like Georgia, can mean lower pricing because the same premium attached to countries like the United States doesn’t apply here, even though the surrogate candidates—and the medical facilities—are still at the first world level.
Another financial incentive with going abroad is this brings currency exchange rate advantages, especially when converting American dollars to Georgian lari. This can open up far more options for people who don’t want to pay exorbitant prices and don’t want to compromise on quality.
Finding The Right Partners
Finding suitable egg donors abroad is not as difficult as it might appear. Countries like Georgia are well-versed in dealing with foreign clients. It’s just a matter of finding a reputable surrogacy agency that already has the experience and protocols to help hopeful families from any part of the world get started.