For many people worldwide, when the conversation moves to the topic of high-quality medical care and expertise, the focus invariably falls on the United States. There’s a good reason for that, as the USA sports some of the world’s best medical and educational facilities and some of the top medical research and treatment facilities by any global standard.
However, with that high level of medical quality and treatment also comes an attendant cost that is often wildly out of proportion to the actual cost-benefit of the treatments. This is especially true for people trying to use medical services in the United States without the benefit of any kind of medical insurance, sometimes commanding costs equivalent to buying real estate.
This high cost for medical treatment and access to medical facilities covers every major portion of the medical health spectrum, and surrogacy is no exception. In some instances, the costs may be even higher.
The Surrogacy Problem
Surrogacy is, unlike traditional pregnancy, “pre-loaded” with some significant financial commitment right from the outset. With traditional pregnancy, the actual fertilization process is “free” since it requires only that the woman in the hopeful family allow herself to become pregnant. Surrogacy is an alternative for hopeful families to have a newborn baby when it is not medically advisable to become pregnant due to a medical condition. It may be medically impossible in other cases, such as when a woman has had a hysterectomy that required surgical removal of the uterus to fight the spread of ovarian or uterine cancer. With surrogacy, another woman agrees to become pregnant, and, after the birth of the baby, the newborn is then united with the hopeful parents to start a life together as a family.
Depending on the preferred method, surrogacy can require a considerable upfront investment of both time and finances for a successful resolution. It can also require more intensive medical procedures, which need to be conducted at quality medical facilities to ensure the best chance of success for a healthy baby.
For example, In Vitro Fertilization is a procedure where a donor egg is fertilized in a laboratory with donor sperm, then, if there’s a need, evaluated before implantation for the presence of hereditary diseases such as Down’s Syndrome or cystic fibrosis that family members may pass down. Once everything has been confirmed and approved, the fertilized egg is then implanted in the surrogate mother. This requires highly trained, experienced lab and medical staff and quality medical facilities and infrastructure to succeed.
There’s No Monopoly On Quality
While it’s a fact that the United States does have top-quality medical facilities, this doesn’t mean every facility in the United States is at this same level. A rural hospital in the American mid-west will not have the quality of staff or equipment as a top-flight clinic in Manhattan, New York City. By the same token, the United States having this level of quality in their medical facilities is not restricted to this country alone. Other nations such as the United Kingdom in the Atlantic, Singapore in Southeast Asia, or Georgia in Europe are capable of hosting quality medical facilities with the appropriate equipment and level of medical care. Just as importantly, the medical expertise in these countries is of a similar, often equal quality to that found in the United States.
This can offer new possibilities for surrogacy agencies, especially for clients who would like to work with more potential surrogate candidates or would like an IVF procedure but not necessarily at the same price point as what would be paid in a typical top-quality American medical facility. Even with travel expenses factored in, sometimes the decision for a surrogacy agency to work with other groups overseas can have the net effect of providing a much higher level of medical expertise and facilities care for clients than what would be economically feasible with the same budget by American medical coverage standards.
Hopeful families now have many more options for surrogacy. Even deciding to work with a local surrogacy agency can lead to international options if those surrogacy agencies decide to collaborate with other organizations abroad. Whether it is finding more potential surrogate mother candidates through a compensated surrogacy system or deciding to use top-class facilities in another country where the American dollar has more value, these solutions are now more accessible.
In today’s global village, it’s now much easier for organizations to reach out to each other and establish strategic alliances to meet certain needs and circumstances. For surrogacy agencies that work with other international groups, this provides more options and services and helps more hopeful families to experience the kind of surrogacy process they hope for while still managing to stay within the budgets they want to allocate for themselves and still be able to save for the future to grow their new family.