Couples that have chosen to go the route of surrogacy already know that the road ahead is neither as simple, straightforward, or “cheap” compared to the traditional route of starting a family through pregnancy and childbirth. But a couple wanting to start a family through surrogacy is already facing medical challenges that make surrogacy the more viable alternative for a newborn baby.
One way to make this process go more smoothly, with fewer unpleasant surprises is to make it a team effort, and not try to do this alone. Choosing to work with a surrogacy agency can be one of the most important decisions a couple makes on the road to having a surrogate child. In some cases, it may not even be a local agency, and the better decision would be to travel to another country and work with a surrogacy agency abroad. But why?
What Is A Surrogacy Agency?
A surrogacy agency is an organization that specializes in facilitating successful surrogacies, working on behalf of both the intended parents and the woman that will eventually agree to become a surrogate mother. This means that, depending on how comprehensive the services are, a surrogacy agency will be involved in helping a couple hoping to start a family to meet with possible surrogate mother candidates, help both parties to understand the process, and eventually facilitate a successful selection and commitment of a surrogate mother to the process. For some agencies, the participation ends there.
Other agencies follow through on the initial “matchmaking” process and continue to help and monitor the surrogate mother until safe, successful delivery has occurred, and a baby has been united with the intended parents. In these instances, the role of the surrogacy agency is more involved and acts as a liaison between surrogate mother and the intended family to ensure that everyone is informed, up to date, and has their concerns, questions, and administrative needs addressed.
Why Go Abroad?
There are a few reasons why a couple hoping to start a family through surrogacy might choose to go with a surrogacy agency abroad. Some of the most compelling reasons include:
Despite surrogacy being a technique that dates back to biblical times, not every country legally recognizes the validity of surrogacy. France and Germany, for example, have a ban on surrogacy, which means that risking surrogacy in these countries means the government recognizing the surrogate mother as the biological mother, and thus having legal custody of the newborn, while the intended parents may have none.
The same is sometimes true even within the same country, but a different region. Canada, as one example, leaves the legality of surrogacy up to individual provincial governments, so while most provinces allow it, the province of Quebec doesn’t.
Choosing to deal with a surrogacy agency abroad to bypass these legal considerations can work but requires an extra measure of legal consultation. When choosing a surrogacy agency abroad, make sure that they have experience when it comes to dealing with the legal status of a surrogate baby. Without proper advance legal preparation, a new family can return, only to find the newborn declared stateless, with no citizenship, or the rights accorded to citizenship.
In some countries, surrogacy may be legal, but the type of surrogacy a couple would like to use may not be legal. In financial terms, there are two types of surrogacy, “altruistic” and “compensated.”
Altruistic surrogacy is one of the most common, and generally legal in most parts of the world. With this form of surrogacy, a surrogate mother only receives financial support for medical and perhaps living expenses. In all other ways, this is strictly an act of enormous voluntary generosity.
A compensated surrogacy is more of a financial transaction. In addition to living and medical expenses, a surrogate mother will receive significant financial recognition as a result of “services rendered” for the important role she plays as the surrogate mother. This kind of financial incentive tends to attract many more suitable candidates for surrogate motherhood. However, a compensated surrogacy is not always legal in a country. Canada, once again, has only legally allowed altruistic surrogacies, and compensated surrogacies are illegal.
For a couple wishing to invest more in having more options, a compensated surrogacy is usually the better choice. However, for couples living in a country where compensated surrogacies aren’t legal, achieving this goal means going to a surrogacy agency abroad.
In other cases, there may be a simple wish to deal with surrogate motherhood in a country with better, more comprehensive medical facilities. Surrogate motherhood in the United States, for example, means the surrogate mother has access to the best medical support in the world if the money is there.
In other cases, facilities may offer more value depending on differences in currencies. Georgia, as another example, has very good medical facilities and extensive surrogacy laws that include compensated surrogacy, but the prices in this country are lower than American pricing structures.
Ultimately, a couple will have to look at their wishes and finances to see whether a surrogacy agency abroad might better suit their needs.