Couples who have decided to start families have always had the common path of following traditional methods. The woman in the relationship becomes pregnant. Once confirmed, the pregnancy is carefully monitored, and nine months later, a baby is born, and life together as a new family begins. Unfortunately, not everyone has this path laid out as their first and best option.
For some, medical considerations, such as a heart disorder, means becoming pregnant puts both the mother and the growing baby at risk of injury or even death. For others, surgery to save a life, such as a hysterectomy to remove the uterus and prevent uterine cancer from spreading, means naturally conceiving a child is no longer possible. Adoption has always been one of the alternatives to this, but today, there are others.
Surrogacy is a more time and finance-intensive option to adoption. A woman agrees to become pregnant on behalf of a hopeful couple. Once fertilization and pregnancy have been confirmed, she and the medical care provided to monitor her health and the baby. When the baby is born, the child is united with the hopeful couple, and life as a family begins.
In some circumstances, surrogacy can be an entirely local activity. A couple in a larger urban center can find a surrogacy agency to work with. That surrogacy agency can then search for a suitable surrogate mother candidate from the local population of women or women in proximity. However, it may be necessary for a surrogacy agency or other organization to collaborate with surrogacy agencies abroad in different circumstances. But what conditions would require this kind of cooperative venture
Depending on the situation surrounding a surrogate pregnancy, the types of preferences, and even the financial conditions, there is a case for local groups to reach out to other surrogacy agencies in different countries to help out a hopeful family. Here are a few conditions that might require it.
While surrogacy is practiced throughout the world, that doesn’t mean that it’s legal everywhere. In many instances, it doesn’t even mean that the same type of surrogacy is considered legal versus another country.
Some nations are very straightforward in that they don’t allow any type of surrogacy at all. In the European Union, both Germany and France have a strict No-Surrogacy legal environment. Even within a specific country, legality can vary depending on how much jurisdiction regions have. Surrogacy is generally permitted in Canada, for example, except in the province of Quebec, the one area where it is considered illegal.
Then are situations where the type of surrogacy that is legal in a country may not be the style that is preferred by a hopeful couple. For example, “altruistic surrogacy” is one of the most commonly accepted forms of surrogacy where a surrogate candidate agrees to participate on a voluntary basis. She receives some financial support to cover her living expenses as the pregnancy develops and the medical costs when it is time to give birth, but otherwise receives no monetary compensation.
“Compensated surrogacies,” on the other hand, do reward the surrogate mother’s crucial role with significant financial recognition. As a result, countries where compensated surrogacy is legalized, tend to have a higher availability of medically viable surrogate mother candidates than countries where it is not legal. Hopeful families living in a country where compensated surrogacies are not permitted may need to work with a local surrogacy agency or other organization to pursue this option in a different nation.
There may also be more technical and medical factors to address that a local organization or agency may need global assistance. For example, In Vitro Fertilization surrogate pregnancies are much more complex than a typical surrogate pregnancy that only requires artificial insemination. “IVF pregnancies” require an egg—sometimes one cryogenically stored and requiring retrieval and transport—to be fertilized in a lab.
There may even be a need for additional procedures such as preimplantation genetic diagnosis to ensure that a hereditary disease, such as cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia, is not present in the fertilized egg to ensure the unborn baby the best possible start in life.
Additional services, such as retrieval of either sperm or egg samples from cryogenic storage and safe transport to an appropriate laboratory for the IVF procedure, may also be required if a man, woman, or both within the couple have had reproductive organs surgically altered, requiring the preservation of samples in an appropriate facility for use at a later date.
These and many other factors, such as legal consultation, may require organizations without local expertise to work with agencies and other groups outside the country to ensure a smooth, successful surrogate pregnancy. In today’s globally connected world, there is much more collaboration between companies, agencies, and other organizations to work together toward a single, successful outcome.