Surrogacy is not a new concept, although much of the medical technology behind surrounding has made incredible advances in recent years. The basic idea, however, remains the same. When a hopeful family finds that they are unable—either for medical or other reasons—to naturally give birth to a child, surrogacy is an alternative to adoption.
Surrogacy is a technique where another woman outside, the hopeful family, agrees to become pregnant on behalf of a hopeful family. When the baby is born, that surrogate mother then unites the child with the hopeful family to begin a new life together. In the past, this usually meant that a surrogate mother volunteered to artificial insemination from a selected donor—normally the father in the hopeful family—and it was often confined to the same city or country as the hopeful family itself.
Surrogacy today is far more advanced and has many more options. One of those options is to go to an international surrogacy center to find a surrogate mother. But why would a hopeful family want to do this? There are a few reasons, but first, let’s go over the basics.
What’s An International Surrogacy Center?
An international surrogacy center is, as the name implies, an organization, clinic or another medical group that specializes in facilitating surrogate mother pregnancies, but also accepts families from other countries that are looking for these services. This may mean, in the case of Georgia, for example, a surrogacy center that accepts American, German, and Chinese families from all over the world. The nationality of the family is not an issue in accepting their need for help in surrogacy.
Because of this receptiveness to foreign visitors, it also means these international surrogacy centers will have more experience in dealing with the culture, languages, and sometimes citizenship considerations of families coming from these other countries. This can be very important for several reasons, including securing safe citizenship for a newborn child.
Who Are International Surrogacy Centers For?
If there are international surrogacy centers in other countries that agree to help foreign families with their surrogacy dreams, then there must be reasons why hopeful families would leave their country of origin to undertake surrogacy elsewhere. So what are the reasons that international surrogacy centers receive these families?
For some visitors, there isn’t a choice; the country they are from has made surrogacy of any kind illegal. France and Germany, for example, do not allow any kind of surrogacy, compassionate, or otherwise. Even in some countries where surrogacy is legal, in other parts of the country, it isn’t. The province of Quebec, in Canada, has banned all types of surrogacy, even though other parts of the country, such as the neighboring province of Ontario, allow for compassionate surrogacy.
In these instances, if a couple don’t want to adopt, but still would like to have a newborn of their own, leaving their local region or country is the only way to conduct a safe, medically supervised surrogacy with the legal mechanisms in place to recognize that child as their own, and not that of the birth mother’s.
Having More Options
In other instances, surrogacy may be legal, but it may not be the type of surrogacy that a hopeful family wants. In many countries, states and provinces, “compassionate surrogacy” is legal, but that is the only type of surrogacy that can be practiced within those borders. Compassionate surrogacy, also known as “altruistic surrogacy,” is where a surrogate mother agrees to take on the role with no financial compensation. Of course, her living and medical expenses will be covered by the hopeful family, but aside from her financial requirements for her survival, health, and that of the baby, no other reward or recognition of her considerable effort is given.
With a compensated surrogacy, that recognition is financially rewarded. In other words, in addition to the expenses of living and medical care, the surrogate mother herself also receives a financial reward for her contribution in allowing a new family to be born. Because the financial recognition of a compensated surrogacy can be considerable, this means that many more eligible women are willing to take up the role, providing many more choices for families that want many options.
Doing It Right
Deciding to go to an international surrogacy center will take more financial commitment and preparation. Depending on your time availability and preferences, you may want to either undertake the entire surrogate pregnancy in the country of visitation, or periodically visit during the pregnancy, and come in towards the end, just before, or shortly after the birth occurs.
Depending on what type of surrogacy you want, such as gestational surrogacy, you may also need to consider the transport of donor samples like egg and sperm if they were in cryogenic storage and need to be retrieved for the surrogacy. With the right international surrogacy center, all of this can be addressed by experienced staff.