Monthly Archives: October 2017
Choosing the surrogacy agency is a complicated, tricky and confusing process. Everyone claims to be the most professional, trustworthy, successful and caring. Distinguishing such claims from the reality is a hard task for parents. How should they know who is actually on top?
Apart from a number of active surrogacy agencies on internet, there is a noticeable amount of free and charitable surrogacy advisors. Intended parents use their services with expectation to receive valuable and reliable advices. However, not everyone is to trust. Hardly ever is there something literally free and charitable in the business world. After precise observations and explorations, we have figured out the real motivation of several businesses. In this post, we are going to mention surrogacy agencies and advisors, parents should avoid collaborating with.
Men Having Babies
Ron Poole-Dayan, the founder of “Men having babies” is a Jewish man, currently living in New York. He himself, has experienced the joy of parenthood through surrogacy. “Men Having Babies” provides advising to prospective parents, hosts workshops and conferences in different cities – everything free of charge. The organization is supposed to be non-profitable and even raises funds for gay parents, willing to participate in a surrogacy program. Why should someone consider not to collaborate with a charitable organization, expressing such a strong will to help and encourage parents in need? – because the reality is controversial. On annual conferences, “Men having babies” hosts surrogacy agencies and clinics, offering and selling sponsorship packages to them. What is even more important, conferences can be attended only by the agencies and clinics, that have a referral based agreement with Ron Poole-Dayan.
To explain simply, referral based agreement means that “Men Having Babies” receives a commission every time they redirect patients to a partnered surrogacy agency or clinic. The amount of commission fee is defined by the price of service – higher the price, better the commission. “Men Having Babies” is proved to direct parents to clinics and agencies that are ready to pay the highest commission fees.
The popular case was when “Men Having Babies” refused to admit one of the prestigious surrogacy agencies “New Life Global” to their conference. “New Life”-s price for surrogacy package in Georgia is about 28 000 USD, allowing the agency to pay 1 000 USD for a reference. “Manor Medical Group”, is another agency offering surrogacy packages for 75 000 USD in Georgia. Their income, allows “Manor Group” to pay as much as 10 000 USD for a reference. In 2017, “Men Having Babies” hosted a conference in Israel and “Manor Group” has become their gold sponsor.
The idea of getting a free, valuable and reliable advice on such a sensitive matter sounds appealing. However, think in a long term perspective before you turn for advice to Ron. It will definitely be painful to realize that the charitable organization you trusted the most, is actually oriented on their commission. Genuinely charitable organization, would approach each parent’s issue individually and would do everything possible to honestly offer only the most qualitative, reliable and cost effective options.
With “Men Having Babies”, free advice could cost you tons of extra money later.
Mariam Kukunashvili , Co Founder of New Life Global shares her experience on Facebook :
‘’Out of sudden, Ron , the head of Men Having Babies, refused our application saying that New Life has unethical approach to the surrogate mothers as we pay them their compensations with 6 weeks delay from baby delivery ( as soon as DNA test result is ready which is fair enough towards both parties ) and that New Life existence in Cambodia ,Kenya or Mexico is against ethical standards they set. Anyone who has ever been in touch with New Life are very much aware that parents and surrogate mothers are having direct contracts and contractual obligations to each other including the payment terms, and New Life never makes any transfers to the surrogate mothers. With blaming New Life for not paying the surrogate mother’s right away ( instead of 6 weeks) Ron and his company indirectly insulted all our parents who very responsibly and in timely manner fulfill their financial or any other obligation towards their surrogate mothers.
Once New Life reviewed the attendee list of the conference it became crystal clear why New Life was not desired to attend. In the list we could find only US agencies exhibiting, or the countries who do not welcome LGBT community for surrogacy programs or those ones, who sell their packages 40 000 USD more then New Life does. The whole conference was not held for the interests of the Intended Parents who are eager to find most affordable and reputable IVF clinics and agencies to perform the programs and fulfill their longed dream to become parents. The organizers knew very well that if New Life attended the conference the expensive Agencies( and consequently Ron) would not benefit and parents would not tend to them, when they would have indeed most affordable, reputable, honest, diverse and ethical company like New Life Global Network as an ultimate option.
Man Having babies have been around for a few years and of course it’s a profit business and not a volunteer organization! They aim for the gay market and their programs are very expensive. They market for wealthy clients and they’re not going to consider affordable programs. New Life is their competitor and therefore they attack our programs and use any angle they can find. New Life felt obliged to bring this information for the Intended Parents to inform them that it’s useless to attend Man Having babies conference, if they are not ready to pay hundreds of thousand dollars. We do believe that in so called ‘’ Ethical Business’’ intended parents must be provided with options and their freedom of choice must be respected. ‘’
Families Through Surrogacy
Similarly to Ron, Sam Everingham is a successful surrogacy dad. His organization’s target audience, apart from Australia, now includes European gay parents too. Families Through Surrogacy is supposed to provide free and trustworthy consultation for future parents. In reality, a number of surrogacy agencies and clinics can confirm how high is the commission fee Sam asks them for. Pretty much like “Men Having Babies”, this advising organization offers parents the least cost effective options, bringing them the highest commission.
There was a page on Facebook, where parents and agencies shared their negative experiences with “Families Through Surrogacy”. Unfortunately, the reality is still unknown for the majority of inexperienced intended parents. Our aim is to protect them from losing a solid amount of money, while searching for a charitable organization for a free and honest advice.
Successful surrogacy gay parents share their experience with “Families Through Surrogacy” on social media :
‘’Sam runs a page called families through surrogacy and this is who hosts. He is a dodgy dodgy man and tries to syringe money out of everyone. There is a story about a certain person here in Sydney who was asked to come and speak at the conference, and then told they had to pay 10k for the privilege!
I had a massive falling out with sam over nepal as I was one of the first people to contact Tammuz and MTN about their packages and try to piece it all together in a document for all the other interested IP out there. After talking with tammuz at length, and being confused, Sam offered to work out a plan for my nepal journey at $250/hr consultation – and I found out he knew nothing about nepal, and had not even had his phone conversation with tammuz who was the main agent there.. he was advertising he was an expert when I knew more than he did.
After that we didn’t speak to him again.
He chases down clients, infiltrates all the groups and gets contact info without permission from his sources and contacts people to assist them for a fee.
Yes, anyone who attends his conferences have to pay even if they are the speakers.
He has had a lot of dealings with Megan sainsbury and the like and created massive controversies for taking her money and allowing her to set up a booth at his conference, and he pushing her despite her history and the outrage by the surrogacy community at him doing this.
During the whole Thailand saga him and partner Phillip said they are going to the media and actually stated they did not care that the surrogacy community was opposed to it….they said they wanted to and would do it. He is BIG on media and always emailing people privately to get them to talk to tv programs, radio, newspapers and journalists…he is very widely hated in the circles. ‘’ Writes one Australian successful surrogacy Parent.
”If you ask me it’s an article instigated by Sam Everingham – he’s been ‘interviewed’ in each of the three negative articles in that paper this year – and I suspect he’s the source – he’s no friend of surrogacy’’ Writes another Australian successful surrogacy parent
Successful Parents Ukraine
In 2009, Olga Tsisarenko started working at a surrogacy agency in Ukraine. There she had the opportunity the learn about the field of fertility. In 2010, when she was fired from her job for appropriating company’s funds, she gradually founded “Successful Parents Ukraine”. On webpage, Olga claims that her agency exists since 2003. As a proof of her honesty, Olga provides a document, which states that the company was indeed established 2003. However, this document has nothing to do with surrogacy or successful parent agency.
A number of attempts to deceive patients have lead Olga to being blocked by UK Fertility Forum. What she did, was to register on forum as if she were a successful surrogacy parent and wrote positive reviews about her wonderful experience with “Successful Parents Ukraine.” All of the reviews and comments were posted from the same Ukrainian IP address. There are a lot of successful stories on internet that are associated with Olga’s agency – with the minority of them being real. Faking information, photos and testimonials has become “Successful Parents Ukraine’s” way to catch inexperienced infertile couples.
Manor Medical Group
Manor Medical Group first appeared on surrogacy market in 2012. At first, it was explicitly oriented on offering surrogacy treatment for Jewish couples through Georgia. Gradually, “Manor Medical Group” suggested surrogacy options in Ukraine and since 2015, they are already offering programs in both countries to all the future parents worldwide.
The cost of surrogacy at Manor medical group is about 75 000 USD. Meanwhile, other agencies in Ukraine and Georgia offer surrogacy packages for 28 – 30 000 USD with guaranteed surrogacy packages starting at 37 000 USD. Why is there such a huge difference?
“Manor Medical Group” has thought of a smart, but a misleading answer, claiming that doctors in Ukraine and Georgia are not trustworthy, qualified and professional enough. As a substitution to local doctors, Manor Group offers the service of the top doctors they invite from Israel. After contacting Ministries of Health in Georgia and Ukraine, they will momentally confirm that those “top” doctors do not even have a working license. When they visit these countries once in a decade, the only right they have to observe the working process of local doctors.
Such a marketing strategy for justifying extremely high prices and confronting competitors is indeed effective – lies are always revealed soon though. Parents may prefer to pay higher amount for better guarantees but is this really so? – Definitely not in “Manor Medical Group’s ” case.
Before deciding upon a surrogacy agency/clinic , it is the best practice to contact several local ones and ask for as much details as possible.
A lot of people stay surprised after hearing that technically, there is a possibility to choose baby’s gender. This is indeed true, however, not everyone is eligible to do so. Gender selection will usually have a serious reasoning behind it and will normally occur during an infertility treatment, such as IVF.
Gender Selection during Preimplantation Genetic Diagnoses
After In Vitro fertilization, before embryo is implanted into uterus, it will sometimes be screened for genetic disorders. The procedure is called preimplantation genetic diagnosis(PGD). It includes removing and screening one or two cells from an embryo. During PGD, apart from genetic disorders , it is possible to check embryo’s gender by observing sex chromosomes, X and Y. (XX indicates a girl, XY – a boy) After PGD, healthiest embryos of the desired sex will be implanted into mother’s or surrogate’s womb.
Why PGD and gender selection?
In case of previous unsuccessful pregnancies and family history of genetic disorders, PGD definitely allows to implant the healthiest embryos. PGD is a complete chromosomal analysis and in specific cases, increases the chances of a healthy pregnancy.
While some people have ethical concerns about gender selection, they fail to consider factors that influence parents’ decisions. For example, there exists a number of gender-linked diseases that are hereditary. One gender may be carrier of a certain disease and live unproblematically with it, while the opposite gender suffers from the lifelong symptoms. If family has a history of gender specific illnesses, gender selection can protect their baby from the same condition.
Sometimes parents go for gender selection for the sake of “family balancing” – having kids of both genders.
Who is eligible?
When parents have no fertility issues and choose IVF for gender selection solely, surrogacy agencies and clinics will have to turn them down. On the other hand, when couple has proven fertility issues, are married and already have a child, they can be allowed to choose baby’s gender if family balancing is their priority. Couples with fertility issues and family history that requires gender selection, will also be able to do so.
After PGD, the remaining embryos of both genders can be frozen and used later. This is for the case if a current transfer is unsuccessful or couple decides to have more children later. Thanks to the technological advances, frozen embryo transfer has the same success rate as the fresh transfer.
As already mentioned, in specific cases, PGD is the way to a successful pregnancy. However, the procedure is not recommended if there is a limited number of embryos as PGD can diminish the number of them. For example, if a couple having fertility issues does not have problematic family history, performing PGD is not recommended. Gender selection and screening for chromosomal abnormalities, only happens when there is an urge to do so. Otherwise, surrogacy agencies and clinics will only be concerned with treating and dealing with current fertility issues or specific requirements.
Due to legitimate concerns, gender selection is not possible in every country where surrogacy agencies operate. Mexico, Ukraine and some Asian countries are on the list of popular destinations.