Not every couple has the option to go the traditional route of starting a family. While many people beginning a new life together can simply allow the woman in the relationship to become pregnant and give birth, other people have serious obstacles. Some women have medical factors, like a heart condition, that would put both lives in peril during a pregnancy. Other women may have had surgery that saved their lives, like hysterectomies to fight cancer, resulting in the surgical removal of the uterus and, thus inability to conceive a child.
Surrogacy, whether another woman deemed medically suitable agrees to become pregnant on behalf of a couple, is a popular alternative. This method allows couples to have a newborn baby of their own. If the IVF procedure is used, the baby can even be a “true” genetic descendant of the hopeful parents, as they donate their sperm and egg for implantation.
Surrogacy is growing in popularity, and many couples are now choosing to undergo the surrogacy journey in another country. There are many reasons to do this, from differences in currency exchange providing more value to easier access to world-class medical facilities.
However, choosing surrogacy in another country requires much more thought, planning, and coordination. Here are some of the initial steps you should be taking if you’re thinking of going the route of surrogacy abroad.
Before anything else, your financial resources and research this with your possible destinations should be the first thing you check with surrogacy clinics and agencies in other countries. One chief reason people go abroad is that even with the additional investment required for travel, there are often significant financial savings for hopeful families due to factors like differences in currency value/conversion and lower pricing in nations other than the United States and the United Kingdom.
Your available budget for surrogacy will vary a lot with the country you choose, the clinic or agency you choose to work with, and especially the type of surrogacy you aim for.
Compatibility With Your Surrogacy Goals
This is another critical factor when looking at other countries and other agencies or clinics within that country. Hopeful couples will have different goals for what they want to achieve in a surrogacy. For example, while Georgia is an excellent country for traditional couples with surrogacy needs, the laws of Georgia do not allow surrogacy clinics or agencies to serve same-sex couples looking for a child. Unfortunately, those couples must look at other countries with different legal environments to achieve their goals.
The type of surrogacy a couple is interested in also plays a major role in viable destinations. For example, more expensive, compensated surrogacies, where the surrogate mother gets financial recognition for her contribution, give hopeful families far more choices. However, while surrogacies are legal in most countries, not all permit compensated surrogacies. Canada is an example of a country where only altruistic surrogacies—that is, only on a volunteer basis—are permitted. In contrast, countries like Georgia are open to compensated surrogacies, even from foreigners. Other countries, such as Thailand, no longer accept surrogacy offers from foreign couples after a controversial case of a surrogate mother abused by an Australian couple.
In Georgia, there are many clinics partnered with surrogacy agencies that offer various services, such as:
The GGRC clinic is a good choice for complete surrogacy support, at the early stages, such as helping couples find and negotiate with a surrogate mother. This clinic is good for start-to-finish service, even for legal considerations like citizenship issues after birth.
Zhordania IVF Center
Located in the capital city of Tbilisi, the Zhordania center is an In Vitro Fertilization facility with modern lab facilities and staff. This facility can collect donor eggs, but if viable eggs are already in cryogenic storage in another location, they can safely transport them to their labs and use them for implantation.
Chachava Medical Center
Chachava Medical Center, also in Tbilisi, is a much older facility that has been in operation for over 100 years. It began serving local patients in 1875 but now accepts patients from all over the world. It has extensive services for surrogacy needs, like obstetric and gynecological-related medical assessments and treatment.
Inova IVF Center
The Inova IVF center is a younger facility, only opening in 2015. This center also offers IVF services, including important additional options like Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis. This service is excellent for couples with a family history of congenital disorders such as sickle cell anemia or cystic fibrosis that can be passed on to the next generation. This technique ensures multiple eggs are screened, and those detected with the disorders are not used for implantation.
A final important thing to check for is communication. Working with a surrogacy agency abroad means the destination country may not be fluent in your native language. Always research your agency options and ensure they can easily communicate with you in your preferred language. An inability to communicate severely impairs your chances of a surrogacy experience with ideal results.