Many people around the world are fortunate enough to find the love of their life and want to spend the rest of their lives together. It’s pretty normal after that the establishment of a life-long relationship to want to take things to the next level and start a family together. However, for some, there are unexpected obstacles that may make natural childbirth a serious medical risk for the mother, or the child, or even impossible.
Older women, or women with heart conditions, may endanger their own lives by attempting to bear a child. Women with pre-existing disease, such as AIDS, put a growing baby in enormous medical danger by transmitting that illness to the child, so he or she will be born already sick. In other instances, a woman might have had life-saving surgery that resulted in the removal of a uterus, meaning she can no longer carry a child, or a same-sex male couple may want a natural-born child, but since neither partner has a uterus, neither of them can carry the child.
This doesn’t mean that natural childbirth is impossible in these situations, but it does mean more planning, investment and effort is required. Surrogacy is a process by which a hopeful family seeks out a surrogate mother, a woman who agrees to allow a fertilized egg to be implanted in her uterus. She then carries the baby to term, and, nine months later, that baby is born is united with his or her intended family.
For some hopeful families, the best way to have a successful surrogacy experience is to go with a surrogacy service abroad. But what is it about this choice that makes it attractive to some?
The Legal Question
For some hopeful families, the question of a surrogacy service abroad is a simple one to make; in their actual place of residence, surrogacy is illegal. Residents of Germany, or France, for example, live in countries where surrogacy is banned. The same is true for residents of the Canadian province of Quebec.
What this means is that in these regions, the law does not recognize the hopeful family as having any legal claim of parenthood on a baby born to a surrogate mother. Only the birth mother will be deemed a legal parent, and only the surrogate mother will be legally allowed to raise that child.
Other countries, however, such as Georgia, have extensive laws in place that support the legal right of hopeful parents to raise a child born of a surrogate mother. In these cases, once a surrogate motherhood contract has been signed and verified, it is the hopeful parents that have full legal custody.
While many countries—and states or provinces within countries—have legally allowed for surrogacy in some capacity, the most common form of legalized surrogacy is known as altruistic or compassionate surrogacy. This means that the surrogate mother agrees to undertake her role for “free,” in that there is no financial compensation for her efforts. Of course, medical support and other expenses required to bring the baby to term safely are expected from the hopeful family, but in most cases like this, finding a willing surrogate mother—especially if she doesn’t already know the couple—can be very difficult under these circumstances.
On the other hand, compensated, or for-profit, surrogacy means that surrogate mother is receiving additional financial recognition for her efforts as if she were providing a service. While some states, like California, allow for this type of surrogacy, many other places, such as the United Kingdom, Canada, and many states within the USA, do not. Compensated surrogacy often means that there is a much larger “pool” of available surrogate mother candidates because the added financial incentive creates more willingness for able, willing and medically qualified surrogate mothers to participate in this very significant effort.
While a state like California may allow for compensated surrogacy, undertaking that surrogacy in one of the most expensive regions of the planet is going to come with a similarly high price tag. Surrogacy in California can, due to the higher costs of everything in the state, potentially run hundreds of thousands of dollars for a couple. Part of that is due to the strength of the American dollar in the global market, while the other is for the additional costs that come due to licensing and legal requirements that are part of the process in that state.
Meanwhile, other countries, such as Georgia, offer a similar level of medical quality, safety, convenience, but do not command the same high pricing. A baby delivered through a surrogacy service abroad may cost $50000 or less depending on the surrogacy required.
There are plenty of good reasons to consider surrogacy service abroad. Always make sure to research your options, and pick the one that offers the services and support that you’re looking for to ensure a safe, successful experience.