Deciding to move forward with a surrogate pregnancy means that a couple has already acknowledged that certain obstacles on the road to starting a family must be overcome. The first and biggest is not having the option of natural childbirth due to medical or surgical concerns. Surrogate pregnancy solves this issue, bringing in another medically suitable woman who volunteers her time and body to become pregnant on behalf of a hopeful couple.
However, while going the surrogate pregnancy route is a solution, it definitely has its challenges and considerations that must be addressed for a successful resolution. Working with the right surrogacy clinic can take care of much of this, but how do you find that clinic? Here’s the checklist for making that choice.
Choosing A Surrogate Type
The type of clinic you work with can be easily sorted out by one of the first questions you need to answer: the type of surrogacy you want to employ. Altruistic surrogacy is one where the surrogate mother’s efforts are voluntary, and she receives no payment for her efforts, aside from expected support for living expenses as the pregnancy progresses and costs of medical care.
The other surrogacy type, compensated surrogacy, provides significant financial recognition to the woman that takes on this role. As a result, there are many more and different considerations for women interested in payment and compensation versus women who are extremely generous and simply want to help a couple start a family.
Compensated surrogacies usually offer much more choice and a higher level of financial management. So the first box you’ll need to check off is whether you want to work with an altruistic or compensated surrogacy clinic.
Choosing A Surrogacy Procedure
Beyond the style of finding a suitable surrogate mother, the next choice that needs to be made is the specific type of surrogacy that a couple wants to have. Traditional surrogacy is the simplest and most straightforward. In this type, the surrogate mother’s egg is used, and the sperm is usually donated by the hopeful father in the couple.
However, there is another type of surrogacy that uses a technique known as “In Vitro Fertilization” or IVF. The IVF technique is extremely popular in the modern day because it takes the egg of the hopeful mother and sperm from the hopeful father and induces fertilization under lab supervision. Once the fertilization is confirmed successful, the egg is implanted in a surrogate mother. As with traditional childbirth, the baby will have 50% of the genetic characteristics of the hopeful mother and father, but within another woman’s womb.
The IVF procedure is extremely specialized and requires experienced medical personnel and appropriate facilities to be carried out. Compared to traditional surrogacy, which only requires a clinic or agency to find a suitable surrogate mother candidate, IVF surrogacies require that either the couple track down the appropriate facilities and staff to carry out the service for them or else fall back on a clinic that either is in contact with these facilities or has their own facilities to carry these procedures out. This again requires a clear vision of surrogacy and categorizes which clinics are more appropriate for a couple’s needs.
In some cases, especially if you are thinking of working with a clinic abroad, the cost factor can also play a role in decision-making. At the same time, there’s no question that the United States has some of the best medical facilities and personnel in the world, which comes at one of the highest costs for medical care in the world as well.
Other agencies in different countries can still offer the same level of world-class medical care and staff, but at lower costs, even for intricate procedures like IVF. For example, in Eastern Europe, Georgia has clinics that can also accommodate IVF needs at premium levels but at significantly lower costs than the equivalent treatment in the United States.
This may be the most important qualifier when picking a surrogacy clinic. As with any organization or business in a field or industry, surrogacy clinics run the gamut from excellent to substandard. The best surrogacy clinics stand the test of time and have a long list of satisfied families to endorse them.
Experienced clinics are also familiar with handling a range of different surrogacy needs that might not always be obvious, such as handling international clientele. While it’s not a technical or medical aspect of surrogacy, being able to communicate in a client’s preferred language or having the legal experience to ensure a newborn can safely and legally return to the chosen country of residence and receive citizenship are all important aspects of the surrogacy process that ensure a successful experience. It’s crucial to pick a clinic with a proven track record so you know that any contingencies are already prepared for, and the chances of success are maximized for starting a new life as a family.