For couples that face significant medical barriers to safely having a traditional pregnancy and childbirth, surrogacy is the alternative that allows them to start their own families still. Surrogacy is where another woman agrees to become pregnant on behalf of a hopeful couple. Once the baby is born, the child is united with the new parents, and a new life together as a family can begin.
However, unlike a traditional pregnancy, there are many additional costs to consider with surrogacy. If there is surrogacy is compensated, that is an additional investment. If there’s a desire for gestational surrogacy, where the hopeful couple uses a donated egg and sperm that is implanted in the surrogate mother, this brings up additional costs as well.
While there is no way to avoid spending additional money for safe, successful surrogacy, there are ways to lower costs. One of the most effective is to consider surrogacy options abroad.
Why It’s Lower
One common misconception about surrogacy abroad is that the cost of travel automatically makes the total expenditure much higher than it would be if surrogacy occurred within the country of residence. However, when looking at the totals, factoring travel costs in is just a small addition to the total cost of a comprehensive surrogacy experience once additional considerations are factored in. This is especially true if surrogacy aims to have access to modern facilities and not compromise on medical support.
The United States, for example, is one of the most advanced—and expensive—nations on Earth, and as a result, the cost of medical care for people with no insurance can be financially crippling. Adding to this is the additional cost of a compensated surrogacy, where the surrogate mother receives sizable financial recognition for her efforts, adjusted for American living costs. A surrogacy can potentially run hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Different Currencies, Lower Economic Demands
This is one of the reasons why Georgia is a popular destination for surrogacy, even for American couples. As with most of Europe, Georgia is a free, open, and accessible nation that is up to date in several areas, including legal custodial recognition of surrogate parent rights and, perhaps more importantly, medical technology and facilities. The capital city of Tbilisi is home to many modern medical centers with staff trained at some of the most advanced hospitals and fertility centers worldwide.
However, Georgia also has a lower currency value than the US dollar. It is not a member of the European Union, so while it accepts the Euro, it still has its own national currency, the Lari. This combination of advanced medical access without any direct ties to the American dollar or Euro means that couples interested in surrogacy can “stretch their dollar” much further in Georgia, even when factoring in travel costs.
Compensated surrogacies are lower in cost in Georgia because there is no need to stay on top of American living costs. For example, including rent, the price of living month to month in the United States is 95% higher than it is in Georgia. The average cost of restaurant dining in Georgia is about 90% lower than in the USA. This translates to much lower costs, and when the currency differences are factored in, it becomes even more significant. There will always be fluctuations in currency value, but on average, the Georgian Lair is worth close to 40 American cents, often trending on the lower side of that figure.
The Price Differential
At a practical level, this means that accommodation, food, and, most important of all, compensation figures and modern medical facilities, and trained staff are available at lower prices. Even the more advanced techniques, such as surrogacy using In Vitro Fertilization, put these advanced processes within reach of couples who are not necessarily wealthy. It may even make it possible for some couples to invest in extra services, such as Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis or PGD. Some families may have hereditary illnesses, such as Down’s Syndrome or cystic fibrosis, where there is always a chance of passing these conditions down to the next generation. PGD is a technique where multiple eggs are fertilized for the couple, and all of them are screened for these hereditary disorders. Only the fertilized eggs screened and clear of any hereditary conditions are used for the IVF procedure, ensuring that hopeful parents give their child the very best start, free of any potential legacy diseases that run in the family’s bloodline.
What this means for visiting couples is that even with the addition of travel expenses and accommodation, the combination of lower living costs and medical expenses in tandem with modern medical facilities in and around the capital of Georgia provides a cost-effective solution. There’s no compromise on medical treatment and support, and the many experienced surrogacy agencies in Georgia know how to communicate with foreign visitors and handle crucial legal issues, like ensuring the citizenship of the newborn baby goes through for return to the intended country of residence.