While many couples dream of starting a family, some have serious medical obstacles in the conventional, traditional route. For these couples, surrogacy is the alternative if adoption isn’t desirable, where another woman becomes pregnant. Then once the baby is delivered, the newborn is united with the hopeful parents to begin their new life together as a family.
A popular choice for couples considering surrogacy is to work with clinics, agencies, and other organizations in other countries. This often has big advantages, such as better pricing without compromising quality medical care. However, this only happens when couples choose the right surrogacy agency, clinic, or organization to work with.
For anyone considering working with an agency or clinic abroad, here’s how to prepare to approach and work with a foreign surrogacy organization.
Fix Your Needs & Goals
Before anything else can occur, you need to know exactly what kind of surrogacy experience you want. Do you want an altruistic surrogacy where the surrogate mother is essentially a volunteer, and you only cover her living and medical expenses? Do you want more choices and a compensated surrogacy where the surrogate mother gets significant compensation, and thus more candidates are available? Do you want an In Vitro Fertilization surrogacy where a donated egg and sperm are used instead of the surrogate mother’s egg? Your goals will narrow where you start looking.
Before looking at specific surrogacy organizations, consider which countries are suitable. Thailand, for example, no longer accepts surrogate petitions from foreigners after a controversial incident with an Australian couple. And Georgia, while an ideal destination for many couples, only caters to conventional man/woman couples and legally cannot serve the needs of same sex couples.
So ensuring that the nation has laws that align with your needs is the first research task you should undertake. Once you’ve found a country compatible with your needs, move to the next step.
Now is the time to carefully look at the potential candidates for surrogacy organizations. This should be a multi-stage process where one of your first requirements should be familiarity with working with foreigners. If a surrogacy organization can’t communicate with you in a language you can understand, your odds of a successful experience are much lower.
You should also carefully check the organization’s background and look for reviews and testimonials from past couples. Recent experiences are especially important, as any organization that has been around for years but only has reviews available from a long time ago should raise red flags.
If things are still looking good, you should contact the organization and get a feel for them with some preliminary inquiries. How are the responses? Can you communicate easily? Are they willing to share over the phone or online in video meetings, or do they insist on only email?
If, after researching and interacting with an organization, they could be a good fit, it is time to look into schedules and financing. You may also want more in-depth explanations of how the organization operates and its partners. Stork Service, for example, has valuable partnerships in Georgia with facilities like:
Chachava Medical Center
Chachava Medical Center is also located in Tbilisi, but this is a legacy facility, having operated for over 100 years. It opened to local patients in 1875 and today accepts patients from all over the world. It has an array of services for many surrogacy needs, like obstetric and gynecological-related medical assessments and treatment.
They are best known for its all-encompassing surrogacy support, including all stages starting at the early stages, such as helping couples find and negotiate with a surrogate mother. This clinic is good for couples wanting start-to-finish service. It can also help with legal considerations after birth, such as ensuring babies get citizenship in their chosen country of residence.
Zhordania IVF Center
This clinic is located in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. It’s a more specialized facility, offering services like In Vitro Fertilization with world-class labs and experienced personnel. The center, if required, can also use donor eggs stored in another country in cryogenic storage. They can safely bring them to their labs and use them for implantation.
Inova IVF Center
The Inova IVF center is a new facility, having just opened in 2015, but it complements that with cutting-edge facilities and staff familiar with the latest techniques. This is also an IVF-focused center with services like Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis. PGD can be important for couples with a medical history of congenital conditions in the family, such as cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia. This advanced technique can screen fertilized eggs and detect the markers for these conditions, allowing hopeful families to implant eggs without those conditions, giving the baby its best possible medical start in life.
If you have developed a respectful and professional rapport with a surrogacy organization in another country, and you feel that the communication is solid and will be maintained throughout the experience, you should consider working with them.