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Let's talk about surrogacy!

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Amanda250156 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04 December 2019 at 5:48pm
Hi girls! I would like to discuss with you the topic of surrogacy. Often advertised as a more efficient pathway to surrogacy (and realising your dream of having a family), going overseas can seem an attractive option for intended parents. There are many destinations offering surrogacy services, but not all will be secure, well-established or available to you as a foreign citizen.

The biggest issue to be aware of is new or emerging destinations. Often such countries offer surrogacy services in the absence of a supportive legal framework – meaning that you (and your surrogate and child) will be vulnerable to potentially catastrophic legislative change throughout the process.

In addition, agencies can disappear as quickly as they appeared, before having fulfilled their promise to set up an arrangement; often leaving intended parents high and dry.

Beware also of agencies and clinics that claim to work around the legal restrictions in places such as Thailand and India (until recently very popular surrogacy destinations) by outsourcing surrogates and/or fertility treatment.

However, in countries with a robust surrogacy history, it is possible to join a professional agency that will match with you a surrogate, an egg donor (if necessary), facilitate your treatment and arrangement as a whole and hold your hand until you have your longed-for child. These destinations are now few and far between.

What are the best surrogate destinations in your opinion?
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Tiana250157 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tiana250157 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 December 2019 at 6:09pm
Hi Amanda! Glad to see you again on this forum! I agree with you, this topic needs to be discussed. The number of infertile couples is growing every year, so this topic does not lose relevance.

In my opinion the USA and Ukraine are among the top overseas surrogacy destinations. Each has its own particularities (not least because not all States in the US are surrogacy friendly) and a large choice of agencies and clinics that will handle each aspect of the process.

Although these are amongst the most secure and well-established countries, it is still crucial to do your research before selecting an agency and signing up to an arrangement. It is also vital to seek legal advice, to ensure that your proposed arrangement does not breach any legislation and to set up for the process ahead. But there are still other details of this process, let's discuss them too.
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luha226083 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote luha226083 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 December 2019 at 6:33pm
Hi girls, yes, surrogacy is allowed in the USA. However, in my opinion, the cost of this service in the USA is extremely high. It seems to me that it is more expedient to consider other areas. Because typical surrogacy procedures in the United States range from $95,000 to $150,000 or more, plus the cost of any emergency medical care for the surrogate or child. For this reason the US has been a popular surrogacy option for wealthy couples in Europe and China, but not often an option for “average” couples. Independent programs can cost $70,000 USD. Adding a consultant to find your surrogate and support your journey can cost about $13,000 additional. What do you think of Thailand and Russia?
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Amanda250156 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Amanda250156 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 December 2019 at 6:42pm
Hi, thanks for your reply! Indeed, you asked an interesting question. But Thailand is no longer an option. In recent years Thailand had taken center stage as the destination for gestational surrogacy worldwide. But, a few popularized scandals involving surrogacy in Thailand have resulted in new oversights, restrictions, and a complete government ban on surrogacy for any foreign nationals. New legislation now enforces a total ban on commercial surrogacy, including any business that support surrogacy for foreigners. Altruistic surrogacy is legal, but is strongly restricted only to couples where there is a direct blood relationship between the commissioning parents and the surrogate mother. This effectively eliminates the possibility of legal surrogacy for all foreign couples.
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Tiana250157 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tiana250157 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 December 2019 at 6:54pm
Yes, I know about Thailand, indeed, there were a lot of scandals related to surrogacy of foreign couples. But I think that joining the program of surrogacy in Russia is also accompanied by risk. I will explain to you why I think so.
Russia offers legal surrogacy for heterosexual couples with diagnosed infertility. Couples considering surrogacy in Russia will need to show they are medically incapable of carrying a pregnancy themselves. Although Intended Parents need to be in a heterosexual relationship, Russia is unique in that couples do not need to be married. This opens the door to single men pursuing surrogacy in Russia with a “female friend” who is willing to sign the surrogacy contract and be named the baby’s legal mother. Note that in Russia, there is a 30-day window following the birth where the surrogate is legally allowed to change her mind and request parental rights. This makes Russia a somewhat risky option even for heterosexual couples, but much more so for single men seeking illicit surrogacy programs.
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luha226083 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote luha226083 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 December 2019 at 7:06pm
Yes, girls, in many countries surrogacy is associated with greater risk. But many childless couples have to look for any options. And all because in many in most Western European countries a surrogacy arrangement that is either commercial or altruistic is unlawful and is not sanctioned by the government. In France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy the governments have been quite vocal about not supporting surrogacy agreements. In the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands, altruistic surrogacy is legal while commercial surrogacy is illegal. In these countries there is a legal framework for the transfer pf parental rights from the surrogate to the Intended Parents. But the parental transfer must be approved by the local courts, and there are restrictions that must be met.
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Tiana250157 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tiana250157 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 December 2019 at 7:21pm
Yes, this is a very big nuisance for childless couples in Western Europe. Do you know that in the UK for example, there is a limit to the amount of compensation that can be paid to the surrogate in order for the Parental Transfer to be considered. And in Sweden, surrogacy is not clearly regulated too. And this is a very big problem. Surrogacy is treated similarly to adoption of a child from a living parent. Thus a court process is required, and the surrogate mother has the right to keep the child if she changes her mind before the adoption, while the biological father may also claim right to the child. But here progress is already visible. Because the Swedish government has been helpful to parents bringing surrogacy babies home from overseas. I also know that surrogacy was allowed in India and in Nepal, is that so?
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Amanda250156 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Amanda250156 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 December 2019 at 7:32pm
No, girls, unfortunately these directions are closed...Surrogacy in India is restricted, final laws regulating the treatment have not yet been passed by the full government. Many agencies that had been operating in India announced new services in Nepal when Mumbai closed its doors to foreign couples. This was a short opportunity, as the Nepali Supreme Court quickly ordered a stay on surrogacy services until the government provides comprehensive legislation to regulate the practice. In 2016 a meeting of government ministers decided not to contest the Court’s ban, and thus leave the prohibition against surrogacy in place. As a result, surrogacy is no longer possible in Nepal. Every year, the number of directions for surrogacy is decreasing.
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Tiana250157 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tiana250157 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 December 2019 at 7:51pm
Indeed, I support your point of view. It is also worth mentioning that earlier surrogacy was allowed in Mexico. But the options have changed dramatically since the laws changed in 2016. The new options range from creative solutions to navigate the lack of regulation, to downright dangerous programs to be avoided. A new option in Mexico has circumvented the risk of “unregulated” surrogacy by promising a Court Order upholding the terms of the surrogacy contract before the surrogate is even pregnant. The court order adds much needed security, but the downside is that it adds 4 months or more to the surrogacy journey, and there are significant legal costs added to the total budget. Some childless couples take risks and go to Kenya to enter the surrogacy program. Yes, there are really low prices. But this service there is associated with incredibly high risks.
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luha226083 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote luha226083 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 December 2019 at 8:02pm
Unfortunately this is true, Kenya is not the best option, I think many people understand why. I can say the same about Cambodia. But as of 2016, Surrogacy in Cambodia is banned by the Ministries of Health and of Justice. Changes in the regulations in that country have outlawed surrogacy and local actions by the authorities have made it clear that the prohibition will be treated seriously. By the way, did you know surrogacy allowed in Laos? But still, this is a very difficult topic. Surrogacy in Laos is possible due to a lack of official regulation on the topic. But it would be difficult to imagine more unfriendly destination for Western couples for surrogacy than Laos.
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Amanda250156 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Amanda250156 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 December 2019 at 9:59am
Oh yes, indeed, you are right, Laos is not the best option for Western Europeans. But I am very upset by the ban on surrogacy in the UK. I know that surrogacy in the UK is legal on an altruistic basis. But it is uniquely difficult to find a surrogate mother in the UK. Which is why many of the UK couples struggling with infertility have surrogacy procedures overseas. Would-be parents in the UK are not allowed to advertise their need for a surrogate, and surrogates are not allowed to advertise their availability. UK law also prohibits any profit from surrogacy services, so there are no professional agencies to connect would-be parents and surrogates. To make matters worse, UK law does not recognize surrogacy agreements as binding, so the surrogate mother and her husband automatically will be the legal parents of the new-born.
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luha226083 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote luha226083 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 December 2019 at 10:10am
I understand you, at one time we considered surrogacy in Canada and Greece, but were forced to refuse. I will tell you why we decided so. Like the United Kingdom, surrogacy in Canada is only permitted on an altruistic basis. However government restrictions are loosely enforced, and many clinics and “consultancies” sidestep the laws. On occasion, Canadian consultancies have overstepped the line and have been shutdown and fined for violating surrogacy restrictions. We decided that we did not want to participate in dubious programs. Besides, in 2019, the Canadian government announced important changes to the way surrogates are paid. Starting in 2020, a surrogate will only receive payment for expenses for which she can show a receipt. This is a drastic change in the way surrogacy functions in Canada, and will reduce the financial incentive for potential surrogates. Under the new rules, finding a surrogate may become nearly impossible for many clinics. Canadian law does not support pre-birth orders, so the surrogate will be named as the legal mother upon the birth of the child.
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Tiana250157 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tiana250157 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 December 2019 at 10:26am
Yes, unfortunately this is so, in Greece also surrogacy is allowed on an altruistic basis. I also know that surrogacy is allowed in Georgia. Both commercial and altruistic agreements are supported, as are known egg and sperm donation. However, there is also a somewhat lower quality of medical services in the country (as rated by the WHO and the CIA Factbook) in comparison with neighboring Ukraine and other countries. In my opinion, Ukraine has the most supportive legal framework of any jurisdiction worldwide (more than so-called “surrogacy friendly” destinations like California or Nevada). Surrogacy in Kiev has been a popular option for European couples. Clinics are well practiced and offer a variety of program surrogacy options.
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Amanda250156 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Amanda250156 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 December 2019 at 10:43am
Yes, I fully agree with you! Since such fertility treatment became legal, Ukraine has become an increasingly popular destination for foreign couples desperate to find a surrogate mother. Demand surged dramatically after India, Thailand and Nepal outlawed commercial surrogacy recently. What makes surrogacy in this country in the eyes of the childless couples so attractive is its comparative affordability (prices ranging from € 30.000 to € 50.000, compared to $ 80.000 – $ 120.000 in the USA), paired with fairly high services quality and lenient legislation. The cost of IVF, egg donation services in the Ukraine is significantly lower. They offering services at prices 50-70% cheaper than in other countries. Compared to other international destinations, the Ukraine has a comparable or lower cost profile even with all travel and lodging expenses included.
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luha226083 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote luha226083 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 December 2019 at 10:49am
Yes, but surrogacy in Ukraine is legal for married heterosexual couples ONLY. According to Ukrainian law, IP’s will need to supply a letter from their fertility doctor that explains the medical reason why they cannot conceive naturally and why they wish to pursue a surrogacy journey in Ukraine. After the birth of baby it is nessesary required to apply for a ‘citizenship by descent’ and then subsequently a passport from the country you hold citizenship in. This process generally takes 4-6 weeks post birth. So IP’s need to plan in advance and know they will be required to stay in Ukraine until the passport has been issued. But overall, these are minor difficulties. Especially in comparison with so many advantages. But it is important to discuss legal requirements.
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Tiana250157 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tiana250157 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 December 2019 at 10:57am
Indeed, when choosing a clinic for joining the surrogacy program, it is very important to discuss the legal aspects. Ukraine is one of few nations in the world where altruistic and commercial and gestational (where a surrogate has no biological link to a baby) – are fully legal for locals and foreigners and regulated by legislation. In case of gestational surrogacy it suffices that one of the intended parents is a donor of the biological material. That is, either the intended mother donates her egg, or the intended father provides his semen. At any rate there should be a genetic link to one of the intended parents. Homosexual couples, unmarried couples and singles are not legally eligible to become parents through surrogacy programs in Ukraine. Apart from these, no restrictions on the part of the intended parents apply. As to the surrogate, she must be full of age (18 years and more, in practice up to 35 years), have at least one natural healthy child, and be mentally and physically fit to become a surrogate mother. Her marital status or any other factors are of no relevance.
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Amanda250156 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Amanda250156 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 December 2019 at 11:05am
In Ukraine, it is commonplace that the first and only contact of foreign intended parents is a selected fertility clinic. Fertility clinic assumes all of the job – organizational, medical and legal – for an advertised “package” bulk price. While for the intended parents it might seem extremely convenient and appealing from the practical point of view. It should be noted, that the Ukrainian legislation does not provide any special requirements for the content of surrogacy contracts. Therefore the parties are free to shape it according to their interests and bargaining power. But the clinic in Ukraine must be chosen carefully. It is better to give preference to those clinics that have been working for a long time.
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luha226083 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote luha226083 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 December 2019 at 5:34pm
One of the biggest fears of the intended parents is that after the birth of a child the surrogate mother changes her mind and refuses to give it away. But under Ukrainian legislation the surrogate mother who voluntarily agreed to participate in a surrogacy program, has no whatsoever rights for the baby she carried and delivered. Moreover, the birth certificate is issued at the request of the intended parents. And only their names are displayed on the certificate, without any reference to the surrogate mother or the way the baby was born. That is why many childless couples travel to Ukraine. However, you are right, it is very important to choose a good clinic. Today, among Ukrainian clinics, I can leave positive feedback only about Biotexcom. This clinic has high ratings, in addition, they provide their customers with apartments and meals for the entire period of residence in the country. Recently, my friend was interested in them about joining the surrogacy program. It turned out that any client can call the clinic manager on Skype. This is a great option, as far as I know, this is not anywhere else.
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Tiana250157 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tiana250157 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 December 2019 at 10:03am
Really? It's cool! I also did not see such an option in other clinics. Of course, this is very convenient, because a person can ask any question that interests him. Also, in this way a person can get to know the clinic more closely. Also, after talking with the clinic manager on Skype, you can create a first impression of the clinic. This will make it possible to understand whether to go there or not. As far as I know, this clinic has its own YouTube channel, right? Recently I watched one of their videos.
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Amanda250156 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Amanda250156 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 December 2019 at 11:29am
Yes, this new option is really very useful. After all, a Skype call will provide an opportunity for a childless couple to get answers to all their questions. It's cool, you no longer need to live with doubts and fears, you can find out everything with one call. But I would like to discuss with you the possible risks of surrogacy, regardless of country. What difficulties do you think potential parents face most often? What should potential parents pay special attention to when choosing a surrogate and clinic? I would like to hear your point of view, and I will share my thoughts.
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