There are certain stages in the journey of life that many people look forward to and even take for granted as happening. Meeting someone you want to spend the rest of your life with is one of those givens, and it’s not unusual for starting a family with that person to be another.
However, that next step of starting a family can, for some couples, present tremendous obstacles right from the start. While most would-be families will go the usual route of having the woman become pregnant and give birth to a child nine months later, others have huge medical obstacles. A woman with a viable uterus who has a heart condition, for example, can easily become pregnant. Still, if she does so, her heart condition puts her life at risk, as well as that of the baby.
Surrogacy is one solution to this. It’s where a healthy, medically-evaluated-as-suitable woman agrees to allow her uterus to be implanted with a fertilized egg—either her own or another donor—and undertakes the pregnancy on behalf of the couple. Once the baby is born, she unites the newborn infant with the would-be family, and a new life starts.
Some people choose to go the surrogacy route locally, within their region. In contrast, others prefer to go abroad and do it in a different country. But why? There are a few significant reasons why choosing a surrogacy experience abroad brings various benefits.
Depending on where in the world you live, the medical facilities and surrogacy mechanisms in place may not be at the same quality as other countries. Russia, for example, has extensive medical facilities as well as years of experience in shepherding couples through the surrogacy experience. Less developed nations may not offer this same level of expertise or care.
There’s also the question of medical quality. It’s not just the United States that is the only country in the world with advanced, world-class medical care. Many countries in other continents, like Russia in Europe, and Singapore in Southeast Asia, offer similar levels of medical technology. However, the cost may be lower in these countries due to the differences in currency value. This can often mean that world-class medical technology and treatment can be had by those willing to travel, without paying exorbitant US medical care costs.
Overcoming Legal Hurdles
For some couples, tragically, the consideration to go with surrogacy abroad is for the most basic of reasons; it’s legal to do so elsewhere. Some nations, such as France and Germany, have stringent laws about surrogacy of all types and do not legally allow it.
For couples that take the risk of dealing with a surrogate mother in these countries, they flirt with the possibility that, if found out, they will not be considered parents to the child. In countries where surrogacy is illegal, only the birth mother is granted legal guardianship and jurisdiction of the child. The couple that wants the child, in other words, may not have any legal right to raise that child or be recognized as parents.
Going abroad to another country where surrogacy is legal means that there’s no need to hide, and no need to risk. Everything is strictly above-board, both medically and financially, and couples enjoy all the legal and financial protections of working with an organization that’s answerable to the laws of that country for failing to uphold their responsibility to a couple.
More Choices For Surrogates
Even in countries where surrogacy is legal for citizens, there may sometimes be a wish to expand the available options. This is especially true in countries where only altruistic or compassionate surrogacies are allowed. Altruistic surrogacy, as suggested by the name, is an act of charity. A woman agrees to become a surrogate because she wishes to help the couple, but is expecting nothing in return for herself. She gets some financial support, of course, such as having her medical expenses covered, and her living expenses as the pregnancy progresses. She’s unable to support herself financially. Aside from that, however, she gets no appreciable contribution made to her finances.
Other countries, however, legally allow “compensated surrogacies” to take place. With this surrogacy, a surrogate mother still wishes to help a couple. Now she receives major financial recognition for the role she plays in the surrogate process. Because of this financial incentive, this often opens up the available pool of suitable candidates by orders of magnitude.
For couples that want as much choice as possible, from a large pool of candidates, being willing to invest in a compensated surrogacy abroad is often the best choice. This does require extra planning, especially to coordinate both schedules and legalities with the other country. Issues like ensuring proper citizenship of the newborn must be taken into account when going abroad; otherwise, the child could be “stateless” when attempting to return to the intended country of residence.