When couples begin a new life together, one of the most common decisions to make is to start a family as well, bring a new life into the world, to share memories, experiences, and values. For most, beginning this new phase just requires the woman in the relationship to allow herself to become pregnant, with a newborn coming into the world nine months later.
Unfortunately, while this is the most common route to starting a family, it’s not always the most viable one for every couple. Some women no longer have a womb to become pregnant with, having had it surgically removed for medical reasons, such as the hysterectomies that prevent the spread of uterine cancer. Other women have been diagnosed with medical disorders that would threaten either their life, the life of a baby, or both during pregnancy, such as having a heart condition.
For these situations, surrogacy-a solution. Surrogacy is when another woman agrees to become pregnant on behalf of a hopeful family. Once a surrogate mother has become pregnant, she carries the baby to term, and nine months later, the child is born and united with the hopeful couple so they can start a new life together. In some instances, however, surrogacy is occasionally a procedure best handled in another country, such as Tbilisi, the capital city of Georgia in Europe.
Where Is Georgia?
Georgia is a country located in the southeastern span of Europe, bordered on the west by the Black Sea, by Russia in the north, and Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Turkey in the south. The official language spoken in Georgia is Georgian, which has many dialects and not one, but three different alphabets.
The country is situated on the “silk road,” a nickname for the land route that was eventually established in the first century between Europe and Asia, and it is because of this location that the capital city, Tbilisi, became an important port of call for trade going in both directions. While not a part of the “Asia Minor” region that comprised mostly Turkey, Georgia remained an important country and today maintains a productive and stable role in the European continent.
While surrogacy is now a well-established technique that is understood globally, that does not mean it is practiced the same way around the world, or even at all. For example, some countries in Europe, such as France and Germany, have banned the practice of surrogacy entirely. Even in countries where surrogacy is legal, not every portion of a country may follow this precedent. Quebec, a province within Canada, has also banned surrogacy, even though citizens in all other parts of the country are free to engage in it should they need to.
Some forms of surrogacy are more limited in their choices. “Altruistic surrogacy,” for example, is one of the most commonly accepted forms worldwide. However, it means that the surrogate mother is acting on a voluntary basis, with only coverage of her living and medical expenses as required for the pregnancy. “Compensated surrogacy,” on the other hand, provides full financial recognition for the crucial role a surrogate mother plays. As a result, countries like Georgia that allow for compensated surrogacies offer far more potential surrogate mother candidates who are willing to work for a hopeful family.
Another reason many hopeful families prefer to go to Tbilisi, Georgia, for surrogacy needs is the safety and certainty of legal precedent. Even in countries such as the United States, where surrogacy is generally permitted, the custody of a child is not always clear-cut, depending on the state a surrogacy took place in. The United States played host to a controversial case where a surrogate mother changed her mind about the pregnancy and decided to retain custody of the newborn.
In Georgia, recent amendments to the constitution enshrine the rights of a hopeful family to a surrogate child. Provided that all correct legal procedures are observed, a hopeful family is always awarded custody of a child born to a surrogate mother and are legally recognized as the parents.
Cost-Effectiveness Without Compromise
A final, important reason that many hopeful families consider Tbilisi, Georgia, as the city to go for surrogacy is a way to make a dollar stretch further without sacrificing quality. Georgia is a stable, advanced country with world-class medical facilities and personnel. The healthcare access in the country is on par with any first-world nation. However, the price tag, especially compared to the United States for people paying without help from health insurance, is nowhere near as crippling, thanks to generally lower pricing and the difference in currencies.
This means that hopeful families coming to Georgia have access to many potential surrogate mothers. Still, the currency differences can mean that compensation is much more affordable. At the same time, however, they still have access to the medical facilities and logistics that may be needed for more complex procedures like in vitro fertilization.