While it’s not unusual for couples that decide to spend their lives together to start a family, sometimes this decision can’t follow the traditional route. Most couples will, upon choosing to have a family, conceive a child, with the mother carrying that child to term in her uterus, until childbirth occurs, and the major task of raising a newborn into the world begins. However, for some hopeful couples, there are serious medical obstacles that prevent this route.
Some women may have conditions that put themselves, the unborn baby, or both, at serious medical risk if they attempt a pregnancy. Other people, such as women that have had surgery resulting in the removal of the uterus, or same-sex male couples, are medically incapable of natural childbirth since that requires the presence of a uterus.
So surrogacy, the process of finding a woman that agrees to have her uterus implanted with a baby, so she can carry it to term and deliver it, is the solution in these cases. It’s not unusual for some hopeful families to pursue this option but do it overseas, in another country. But why would you choose this option? Why not have it done in your own country? There may be several reasons why this decision is taken.
A Question Of Legality
One of the big reasons why a couple may consider surrogacy overseas is because they’re not allowed to use that option in their area of residence. People who live in France or Germany, for example, can’t engage the services of a surrogate mother at all, because surrogacy of any kind is banned in those countries. Similarly, residents of the French-Canadian province of Quebec have no surrogacy options within that province as the provincial government has banned all surrogacy.
Of course, other states, provinces, and countries have very different laws and perceptions regarding surrogacy. The country of Georgia has taken many comprehensive steps to ensure that surrogacy is legal and that the rights of the hopeful parents are recognized by law. As long as a legally verified and confirmed contract is in place, everything favors the hopeful parents. In areas where surrogacy is banned, this usually means that should hopeful parents take the risk of having a child through surrogacy, their custody of that child is not legally recognized, and the birth mother has full custody and rights to raise the baby.
Another issue that can sometimes be a major factor in the decision to go overseas is the cost of surrogacy. There’s no such thing as a “free” surrogacy, and even factoring in the lowest possible method, with a traditional, altruistic surrogacy, and no artificial insemination, but a hopeful husband actually having sexual intercourse with a surrogate mother, there is still the cost of medical supervision for the surrogate mother and her living expenses. Surrogate motherhood, on average, costs tens of thousands of dollars on the low end, a price point that is often made possible by going to other countries, such as Georgia.
On the high end, if a hopeful family decides to go with a compensated surrogacy in California, and uses more demanding surrogacy processes, the final cost of surrogacy can be hundreds of thousands of dollars. In Vitro Fertilization, for example, adds considerably to the cost of surrogacy, especially if the couple is retrieving their sperm and egg from a cryobank and having it transferred to California labs for IVF. If the couple also wants to ensure that no genetic disorders are passed on, pre-implantation genetic screening may also be required.
Add on to this the higher living expenses for a surrogate mother in California, as well as some of the highest medical costs in the world for medical treatment and facilities, as well as the compensation to the surrogate mother herself, and the final cost can easily grow out of control. Choosing another country, like Georgia, with similar medical standards, but much lower costs due to currency and economic differences can make a big difference.
More Choice & Control
Some countries may allow surrogacy, but only altruistic, or compassionate surrogacy. This means that the available pool of surrogate mother candidates may be much smaller. In some cases, it may even mean a hopeful family is restricted to finding another family member or friend of the family that is willing to take this role. However, if a family has a wish for a specific type of surrogacy, such as wanting a gestational surrogacy using an egg donor that is Asian in origin, because the hopeful mother has no eggs available, but there is a wish for a child with Asian DNA from both the mother and the father, then compensated surrogacy may be the better solution.
Compensated surrogacy is not available in all countries, however, so a hopeful family may have better luck pursuing surrogacy overseas, such as in Georgia, with a surrogacy agency that has access to a full-spectrum of different services.