Monthly Archives: January 2017
Choosing surrogacy destinations for LGBT couples might seem complicated at first sight as they are getting fewer. Lately we have witnessed how India shut its doors to LGBT couples. Cambodia, Nepal and Thailand followed shortly after.
Good news are that a lot of agencies and clinics are doing their best to offer new surrogacy destinations and help LGBT people to become parents. As a result there are several countries where professional surrogacy agencies are welcoming customers independent of their sexual orientation. Currently our list of destinations consists of the following countries : Mexico, Southeast Asia, Kenya, United States and Canada. Let’s shortly discuss backgrounds and regulations in each of them.
Surrogacy in Mexico
Similar to the United States, Mexico consists of several states and each has it’s own legislation. After Mexican state of Tabasco banned surrogacy, it was commonly believed that similarly happened in the entire country. However, on the contrary, a number agencies in Mexico are leading surrogacy programs successfully. Mostly, they are operating in Cancun and Mexico City. What needs to be taken into consideration, is that like South East Asia and Kenya, surrogacy is not controlled by the law – it’s neither banned, nor legal. Accordingly, there is a theoretical risk that surrogate mother refuses to give a child to parents. But don’t worry, as practically these scenarios do not happen merely due to surrogates’ monetary interests.
Mexico is even more attractive option for future parents as it’s a popular tourist destination. Cancun is definitely a dreamy destination for vacation and for investors accordingly. Due to the increasing number of clinics and foreign investments, compared to the past 3 years the success rate of In Vitro Clinics has grown significantly.
Surrogacy in Southeast Asia
Recent surrogacy bans in Asia (Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia) have been tough and sad because the prices are much affordable in this region. However there are more countries in Southeast Asia that are still good and affordable options for parents.
Surrogacy in Kenya
Surrogacy in Kenya is not regulated by the law either. Despite that, a lot of surrogacy agencies are working successfully in this country. Nairobi , the capital city of Kenya, is quite developed and even closer to many European cities than some cities in Southeast Asia. Additionally, Indian doctors, who used to be successful when surrogacy was legal in India, are now owners of clinics in Nairobi. Thanks to professionalism of these doctors, parents do not have to worry about success rate and the quality. Same applies to maternity hospitals.
Surrogacy in the United States
Surrogacy in the United States is legalised in several states. In those states, unlike Mexico, Southeast Asia and Kenya, future parents have more legal assurances. However , taking into account that prices rise up to 100 – 200 000 USD, United States is not an affordable option for most of the couples.
Surrogacy in Canada
In Canada it is illegal to pay a surrogate mother for the service of carrying a child. This is called “commercial surrogacy” and is prohibited unlike “Altruistic surrogacy”, which means reimbursing a surrogate for all of the expenses that are caused by pregnancy . Parents cover only the realistic costs (such as medical examinations and traveling). A lot of agencies promote altruistic surrogacy programs in Canada, however the prices that are still payable by intended parents are so high that the eventual amount is nearly the same as in the US.
Do not be afraid of going to the countries where surrogacy is not regulated by the law. Despite the sudden and strict ban in Cambodia, Nepal and Thailand all of the parents left countries with their newborns without problems. Just for the information – if you suddenly face the similar surrogacy ban yourself, you will probably exit the country a bit later than it was promised by your agency (for example 2 or 3 months instead of 1).
The word infertility, at first glance, may sound like something terrifying. Couples become stressed after several unsuccessful efforts and start to give up their hope. Rule number one is to never overreact and don’t get depressed about the situation that has many solutions. Parents might not even have a serious problem and their negative attitude will only intensify the tension. So let’s discuss what infertility is and what are the factors that cause it.
Couple might consider visiting specialist – reproductive endocrinologist, after unsuccessfully trying to conceive after a year of unprotected interourse. So where is the problem hiding?
Steps leading to pregnancy
- Release of eggs from female’s ovary, known as ovulation.
- Male’s sperm joining and fertilizing the egg.
- Fertilized egg going towards the womb and attaching to the inside.
Problem is hiding and occurring in one of these processes. Normally we can not say in advance which parent is having a fertility issue as both genders are likely to have one. Sometimes it can happen that both parents are completely fertile, but they simply can not make it together. Specialists will do all of the necessary tests to spot the source of a problem. According to the results and prescription, parents will then know how to continue their way to parenthood.
In today’s world, infertility is quite common. People tend to discuss it more, as the means of solution, including the existence of surrogacy agencies, have changed the attitude of society towards the issue a lot.
Today we will be focusing on female infertility.
What are the risk factors to be aware of?
- Age *
As women get older, their chances of getting pregnant decrease. This happens due to several reasons :
- Ovaries are less capable of releasing eggs.
- The number of eggs left are small in number or are not healthy enough.
- With age, female is more likely to have a health condition that causes fertility problems.
- Chances of miscarriage are increasing.
- Menopause – age specific condition when female period is becoming irregular. Ovarian function is declining and so are decreasing the chances of pregnancy.
In order to avoid issues connected with age, women are advised to have a child until the age of 35.
- Extreme change in weight
- Physical and mental exhaustion
- Frequent alcohol consume
- Drug use
As you can see, leading healthy lifestyle and taking care of your mental state can contribute a lot to overcoming/ not experiencing fertility problems. However there exist several health conditions that result in infertility.
Common medical reasons of female infertility
- Pelvic inflammatory disease – infection of female reproductive organs
- Polyps in the uterus
- Endometriosis – tissue that normally lies inside of uterus, grows outside of it.
- Fibroids – tumors in female reproductive system
- Chronic illness
- Hormonal problems
- Irregular and painful periods – females with irregular periods are likely not ovulating.
When one of the above mentioned issues are present, then women have to act exactly according to doctor’s treatment. It may vary from taking medicines to medical procedures.
What we can say without doubt is that all of the above mentioned problems have a solution and with the right treatment and attitude all of the couples are just one step away from becoming parents. Please don’t forget to take care of your health on regular basis and you will make the best contribution ever !
Should we choose surrogate mothers ourselves or should we give the freedom of choice to our surrogacy agencies? For the sake of transparency and reliability there is a tendency in many parents to gather information and choose the surrogate mother themselves. However, we would recommend that you give the flexibility to your trusted agency and let them help you with the choice. Reasons behind that decision are several and vary from possible complications to the need of changing the surrogate.
Some processes during surrogacy happen independent from our efforts and expectations. Fresh embryo transfer may need to be cancelled due to the unexpected start of surrogate’s period or vice versa, a long delay in cycle may cause uncertainty and the need to plan a new sequence of procedures. Lining of the uterus, also known as endometrium, might not reach the essential thickness for pregnancy or even more, surrogate may need to withdraw from the program due to personal reasons. This kind of disturbances are not always the case and are not large in number but why should parents experience inconveniences? If there is even a slight chance of complication and delay, we should always have the plan B. Professional agencies have a pretty logical solution to these problems – they have backup surrogates. Experiences show that agencies that have thought about backup choices of surrogates in advance, have much higher success rate in comparison to ones that stick to only one and the same surrogate mother. They have the ability and resources to fix unforeseen obstacles on time.
On the other hand, some unpleasant surprises may emerge if we do not have enough information about the surrogate mother. Agencies and partnered clinics should already have collected and revised the following data but parents should also show interest in them :
Surrogate mother MUST NOT :
- Have miscarriages and stillbirths in her medical history
- Be a smoker or alcohol consumer
Surrogate mother MUST :
- Be healthy, medically and mentally
Surrogate mother is recommended :
- To already be a biological mother to a child
Opinions about the surrogate already being a biological mother are controversial. It is considered that once a mother, she will have higher chances to conceive the second time. Moreover, already being familiar with the process of pregnancy and the labour itself, it is less likely that the surrogate experiences any kind of attachment towards the child.
Opposite to the above mentioned beliefs, we can bring the examples of Cambodia, Nepal and Thailand. When law didn’t use to regulate surrogacy in these countries, the main requirement from the agencies was that surrogate mothers were single. For that reason, most of those women didn’t have families and accordingly, neither did they have biological children. However, this fact has not caused any kind of complications neither from medical , nor from mental point of view.
To sum up, assuring that surrogate has already experienced parenthood is not a must. Moreover, having one child doesn’t guarantee the 100% chance of getting pregnant twice(take the example of secondary infertility pathology) and court cases in USA and UK prove, that neither does it guarantee that surrogate is not going to get attached to a newborn.
What parents should learn from examples and experiences of others, is that if they trust the agency, they should trust it completely and do it for the sake of making right choices and avoiding irreparable situations. Also parents should read our blog to know what to expect and which information to request from their agencies. 🙂
Parenthood is no doubt one of the most life changing experiences . People tend to plan and prepare for it years in advance. While realizing that one has faced fertility issues that can not be solved without the inclusion of the surrogacy agency, then the first job is to find the reliable one. The aim is to find the service provider that will make this exciting and significant process as light, joyful and effective as possible.
Of course there are several ways that will help to identify in advance whether the agency is going to be trustworthy, proficient and how much effort they tend to put in your advantage.
The agency has to provide prompt qualified responses to any of the customer’s requirements. Customer service should be always at your disposal and manage to earn trust and positive attitude from the very beginning of the collaboration. You should never feel that service provider simultaneously deals with multiple cases and you are just the part of their daily working routine.
Ability to listen
Of course every agency has its own plan. They provide you with terms and conditions, legal and financial information, follow the system that will manage all the formal parts of the agreement. However, when we put the formal routine aside,if you don’t feel the individual approach to you as a customer, then you should consider further alternatives. As we always mention, our cases and concerns are different. Agency should patiently listen to each customer to share their very individual worries, points of view and express readiness to find the most appropriate approach.
Transparent financial policy
One should know what one pays for. Some of the agencies tell their customers the fixed price that they have to transfer straight to the agency’s account. The best of agencies provide parents with the detailed description of all costs clearly defined in relevant sheet with payment system and timing. The paper has to differentiate the medical and the surrogate mother’s service fees and should be tailored in a way to make it possible the surrogate mother’s commissions to be paid directly to her. Transparently disclosed financial policy protects the customers from undesirable and unforeseen financial surprises.
Proper medical screening
Surrogate is going to have one of the most important roles for the next several months. The agency has to ensure that her mental and physical health are fully corresponding to the requirements and she is completely ready to proceed with the agreement.Parents should never feel uncomfortable to request all kinds of information about the state of their entrusted person.
During the pregnancy female body is undergoing a number of changes, both physical and mental. Surrogate mother needs to be monitored on regular basis to ensure that the process is going on without any complications. For that reason, it is of greatest importance that the agency provides the service of individually assigned pregnancy care coordinator. This person has to be in charge of controlling surrogate mother’s systematic visits to the clinic and delivering results and up to date information to the parents. Pregnancy care coordinator is supposed to be eyes and ears of clinic, surrogate and parents throughout the whole process.
After birth care
After the delivery of the baby, it may be required to travel to the foreign country. Journey to a completely strange country might have some complications. Agency must be helpful after birth as well and provide the service until needed.
The common behaviour before purchasing any product is to ask for reviews from other customers. Same works in the field of fertility.The agency should be ready to connect you with the previous customers who would like to share their positive or negative experiences, happy or sad stories regarding the whole process.
If the agency you were considering corresponds to all of the requirements listed above, then you are more likely to get positive experience and desired results.
Choosing an egg donor is somewhat a complex process that includes a lot of details to be aware of. Before we dive deep into the matter, we should discuss two ways of choosing a donor- anonymous and known. After reading the post you will be able to distinguish between both methods and choose your preferred one.
Whether the donation happens anonymously depends on the country itself. In some countries donation is only legal when it is anonymous. It might be even your priority to keep the donor unknown for several reasons – you are not going to tell your child about her and in seek of privacy you do not want the donor to know about you either. Your only concern is that the child won’t experience hereditary mental or physical issues. Of course you will collect all important data about your anonymous egg donor to assure that her health and genetics allow her to be a suitable candidate. However your knowledge or “relationship” is not going further than the description lines.
You might like to choose the country that offers known egg donation in terms of flexibility. In these countries you can ask the agency to arrange meeting with the egg donor and discuss whatever you like with her. She may know exactly who she is donating to and you may even want to show your child her photos someday. However choosing a known egg donor does not necessarily mean that you have to meet her or keep the relationship of any kind. Some customers like to keep in touch with their egg donors. Some do not even want the donor to know their identity which is completely normal. Parents can regulate relationship with donors based on their views, concerns, plans and control which details they need to be getting about them.
However, parents should take into consideration that choosing a known egg donor certainly has its privileges in terms of clarity. First of all, people are commonly mistaken by photos or mere descriptions. Donor might look completely different in person and may display manners and traits you would completely dislike your child to inherit. Additionally it is still more complicated to control the process that includes anonymous person in it. The agency might be highly qualified and professional but keep in mind that it is possible to slightly alter the data of a strange person. This kind of manipulation may not be the case at all, but a lot of parents prefer to dig into as much details as possible.
On the other hand, a lot of customers fear of developing emotional bond with their egg donors and prefer to protect their privacy. They have the solid reason to completely trust the information provided by the agency and have no interest to surround themselves with extra details.
It a matter of personal choice whether parents prefer anonymous or known egg donation. Either way works and finally has the perspective to lead to the desirable results. Now that you have hopefully understood ways to choose an egg donor, you can make decision upon your personal preferences.
In the field of fertility, egg donation is the process when a female donates her eggs to help other women conceive and provide help in reproduction. Not to confuse our readers, we will explain the procedure in the simplest way. The collection of eggs from the donor takes place in clinics and is done through the short surgical procedure. The collected “product” then can be fertilized in the laboratory, using the “in vitro fertilization”(IVF) technique or can be frozen and stored until the later use.
Egg donor ⇒ Eggs X Father’s sperm ⇒ Surrogate mother
Egg donor ⇒ Eggs X Father’s sperm ⇒ Mother
Egg donor ⇒ Eggs ⇒ Freezing and keeping until one of processes above needs to occur
Parents may consider finding an egg donor for a number of reasons including :
- Eggs of the female partner can not lead to pregnancy (This can happen due to number of fertility issues)
- Parent is a single male
- Both parents are males
In case of traditional couples, as you have seen in the second scheme, the absence of ability to become a genetic mother does not necessarily mean that a female can not carry a child. There are a lot of cases when a couple uses egg donation for fertilization but embryo is developed in mother’s uterus.
As you may have already noticed, children born with the donation procedure have genetic inheritance from egg donors and for that reason, it is of greatest importance that parents don’t choose the candidates independently. A lot of details need to be taken into consideration and donors are usually found with the help of agencies that own all of the essential data to help parents with the suitable choice. Data we are talking about, apart from appearance, includes proof of mental and physical health. We will discuss the process of choosing egg donors as well as suitable agencies step by step in our later posts.
Parents should not be doubted about the motivation of egg donors. Researches have shown that there are two reasons females choose to participate in the reproduction process – Altruism, monetary interest and of course the combination of both. Egg donors have no right to request any kind of information about parents or children and are out of the process once their contribution is compensated. However, it’s parents who may choose to get in touch with donors out of interest, reassuring in their choice or the intention to inform their child about genetics later.
However, the process is not as simple as it may seem as laws regulating egg donation vary from country to country. It may be completely restricted in one place, partially regulated in another and somewhat simplified in the third one. As you have been shortly introduced to egg donation, we now are ready to discuss above described procedures in details.
To start with a bare definition, surrogacy is a process when a surrogate mother carries and delivers a child for intended parents. It may seem complicated and unclear at first , but we are going to break the process into pieces.
What we already know is that there is a surrogate mother, a female, who with the help of medical procedures is intended to get pregnant and deliver child to biological parent(s). The process is called surrogacy and may be achieved in more than one ways.
Gestational surrogacy is the process that uses the technique called “in vitro fertilization”(IVF) to impregnant the surrogate. It is as simple as that – Eggs from mother are fertilized with the sperm of father and later transferred in surrogate mother for development and delivery. You may find this simple scheme easier to comprehend :
Mother’s eggs X Father’s sperm ⇒ Surrogate mother
Child does not inherit genetics from the surrogate mother and does not develop any kind of attachment towards her. Surrogate mother does not offer anything but the environment for embryo to grow and develop until ready for birth. This technique comes in handy when biological mother does not have fertility issues but because of other medical problems, she is not able to carry a child herself.
It is also possible to gather eggs from a donor, fertilize them with sperm of a father and place them in surrogate mother’s uterus. This technique is a perfect solution for LGBT parents, single males or traditional couples, in which females due to medical issues are not able to become biological mothers. You can read about donation on our blog here.
Donor’s eggs X Father’s sperm ⇒ Surrogate mother
These and many other combinations have made parenthood possible for hundreds and thousands of people who could not adopt a child or could not make it themselves because of fertility problems.
If you are considering surrogacy as an option, there are a number of agencies that provide service from the very beginning until the end. Terms of service may vary , but usually a surrogacy agency is responsible for :
- Finding and choosing an appropriate surrogate mother
- Connecting parents and surrogate to the clinic where they receive all of the essential medical procedures
- Supervise the health care of the surrogate and collect her medical transcripts from clinic on regular basis
- Planning the birth
- Planning the trip if needed (Surrogate and parent(s) may reside in different countries)
- Ensuring that child continues life with parents without any complications
If you are not able to find the service in every country, do not be surprised. A lot of legal processes are included that vary from place to place. For that reason you may need to travel to a foreign country and the agency will help you to arrange the trips as well.
Parenthood is a sensitive issue for LGBT people worldwide. Doesn’t matter in couple or single, people representing non traditional sexual orientation often have to face the obstacles that would otherwise not be present at all. Before the increasing popularity of surrogacy, couples of the same sex were struggling to adopt a child. Nowadays, it is possible for them to have biological children as well, but the journey towards parenthood may turn out complicated if parents are not informed appropriately.
Law that regulates parenthood rights for LGBT couples is different in every country and may restrict adoption or surrogacy. For that reason surrogacy agencies simply have no other option and offer their service only to people with traditional sexual orientation. On the other hand, there are countries where LGBT people are not limited by the law, but agencies still refuse to assist them because of their terms and policies.
Despite a number of possible difficulties, there are a lot of agencies that wholeheartedly welcome LGBT parents in countries, where the whole process is lead legally, without any complications or restrictions. These surrogacy agencies do not discriminate people and divide them into majority and minority. They fully acknowledge that children there are raised in loving atmosphere and reliable hands.Throughout our blog, we will be gradually discussing as much options as possible for LGBT parents to experience the joy of parenthood and achieve this with ease.