While many people around the world decide to start a family, and a new kind of life together, the old fashioned way may not always be possible. There are some situations where medical considerations make it either very risky or medically impossible for a couple to naturally conceive and give birth to a child.
Women with medical considerations, such as a heart condition, as one example, are in danger of putting both themselves and a growing baby at risk because they may not be able to keep up with harsh biological demands of pregnancy. And women who have had their uterus surgically removed for medical reasons are in the same situation as same-sex male couples. There’s no uterus present in which a baby can be brought to term and naturally delivered amongst the couple.
For these situations, surrogacy is the answer. By getting into an agreement and legally binding contract with a surrogate mother, that woman allows herself to become pregnant, carry the growing baby, give birth to it, but then unite that child with the hopeful parents. It’s a good option for couples that still want a newborn that even shares their genetic characteristics.
However, some couples are considering going abroad to surrogacy agencies outside their country of residence. But why would they do this? And are there any disadvantages to such a choice? We’ll take a closer look.
Pro: More Legality
Depending on the country you live in, you may not even be able to engage in surrogate motherhood at all. Some nations, such as France and Germany, have completely banned any type surrogacy. Even some portions of the same country may have stricter laws on surrogacy. The province of Quebec, in Canada, for example, has also banned all forms of surrogacy.
This means that in countries where surrogacy is illegal, the rights of hopeful parents, such as custody and guardianship, are far from guaranteed. In fact, the surrogate mother is always cited as a biological parent in such situations, and thus automatically retains some legal custody and guardianship duties over a child, even if she doesn’t want the child, while the hopeful mother has no rights whatsoever.
Of course, in countries where surrogacy is legal, using a surrogacy agency abroad, such as in Georgia, means that when the birth certificate is issued, only the hopeful parents are reflected in that certificate. The surrogate mother does not appear and legally is not considered a parent.
Con: Status Uncertainty
As with different countries and their view of surrogacy, different nations also have different laws regarding the citizenship of children born outside of the country of the parents. Depending on the country a couple comes from, there may be issues with returning to the country of origin with a new baby. The baby, depending on the citizenship laws of a country, may not be recognized as a citizen, and is thus “stateless.”
This is why it’s important for people who are considering going to surrogacy agencies abroad to look into the exact legal mechanisms in place in their country of origin about returning with surrogate children. In most cases, with a little bit of legal help from the surrogacy country of birth, citizenship can be assured for the newborn, provided the correct legal precautions are taken.
Pro: More Cost Effectiveness
While the first world nations, such as the USA, as usually regarded as stable, with the most modern medical technology, they are also the most expensive. However, some countries enjoy the same level of sophisticated medical technology and political/social stability, but without the same high cost of living or equivalent pricing in American dollars.
This means that going to surrogacy agencies abroad, especially if you choose nations like Georgia, can actually make your dollar go longer. When the cost of an IVF surrogacy averages $50,000 in the USA, there are ways to reduce that cost by going abroad.
Con: More Expenses
Of course, if you’re going to a surrogacy agency abroad, this also means that there may be additional expenses involved that you’ll need to cover. Travel and accommodations are one major expense, especially when it comes to going to the country when the time of birth is near, and then returning with the newborn.
However, there may be additional expenses to consider, such as transporting cryogenically preserved sperm/egg specimens if an IVF pregnancy is being sought from preserved materials stored in another facility. There may also be additional legal expenses to ensure the smooth transition of the newborn into citizenship to the returning country.
Depending on what your legal situation is, and what type of surrogacy you desire, surrogacy agencies abroad may make more financial sense, or simply be the ideal, legal option. For the best chance at success, look at an agency that offers the services and support that you’re looking for and reach out for a consultation.