Coordinating with surrogacy agencies abroad may seem unfamiliar or unnecessary for many people and businesses. After all, a surrogate pregnancy is a very personal thing between a couple and whatever agency they choose to work with if any. Why should others be a part of this process?
The reality, however, is that sometimes the choice to work with a surrogate agency, especially an international one, requires a higher level of coordination and effort. Sometimes, more people can need to get involved to ensure the best results, and here’s why.
The Surrogate Question
Surrogacy is a modern solution for couples that might otherwise face a childless life together. While some hopeful parents choose the route of adoption, some hopeful parents have a wish for a newborn child of their own, and in some cases, want that child to have the same DNA as they do so that genetically the child is very much a biological descendant of the two parents. In these situations, surrogacy is the only alternative.
Surrogacy is when another woman who has been medically diagnosed as healthy agrees to become pregnant on behalf of the hopeful parents. Once she carries the child to term, the newborn is then united with its hopeful parents, and a new life as a family begins. This is the only way to have a newborn child safely for those with medical conditions that put natural childbirth at risk or make it physically impossible due to surgical consequences.
Taking Surrogacy Abroad
Sometimes, however, surrogacy, while a common enough technique in the 21st century, does not always get its best results when practiced in the country of residence for the hopeful family. There may be situations where more optimal results occur when the couple decides to work with a surrogacy agency abroad in another country.
Several situations might make this a more viable alternative, such as:
While the medical techniques behind surrogate pregnancies are now widely established and well known, there are still different legal interpretations about its validity. For example, in France and Germany, surrogacy is still illegal. In countries like the United Kingdom and Canada, a specific type of surrogacy called “altruistic” or “compassionate” surrogacy is legally permitted. Altruistic surrogacy is when the surrogate mother receives no financial recognition for her important role. She may receive compensation for her living expenses and medical treatment as the pregnancy progresses and affects her lifestyle, but otherwise, her role is voluntary. This has the effect of dramatically reducing the available pool of suitable surrogate candidates. In other countries, “compensated surrogacy,” where the surrogate mother receives full financial recognition for her role, means more women are willing to become surrogate mothers, so more choices are available.
Because of the varying legal status of surrogacy, it sometimes makes more sense for a hopeful family to look outside their country of residence and choose to work with a surrogacy agency in another nation. However, this brings a new set of considerations and an extra level of planning.
The Need For Coordination
Hopeful families that decide to work with surrogacy agencies abroad will need more help and coordination from different groups, depending on how comprehensive their surrogacy goals are.
On the most complicated end, for example, a couple may want to have a compensated surrogate pregnancy in another country, but they may also want to use cryogenically preserved eggs from the hopeful mother. This scenario alone requires coordinating with many separate organizations, including:
A hopeful couple will need to travel regularly to and from the destination country for the surrogate pregnancy. This will require scheduling transport, accommodations, and other amenities. It’s not feasible to expect a hopeful family to move to the country of the surrogate pregnancy and live there for nine months, so instead, regular trips are required until it’s time to return with the new child.
If the example couple had the hopeful mother’s eggs removed prior to surgery and cryogenically stored so they could be used later in an in vitro fertilization procedure, this requires a highly specialized form of transport. The eggs must arrive physically intact and must also be preserved at a specific temperature until it is time for implantation. This requires logistics companies with specific experience in biological and medical transportation. Standard shipping would not be sufficient here, so a minimum level of logistics expertise is required.
There may also be a need to consult with lawyers to safely determine the legal status of the newborn with regards to citizenship. A child born in another country is not automatically conferred citizenship upon returning home with parents, especially if there was no biological birth with the hopeful mother. Depending on the country’s residence, a child can be declared “stateless” and not allowed entry into a country unless specific legal measures are taken beforehand.
For a successful surrogacy abroad, different businesses must work together from law to travel to logistics and medical laboratories.