International surrogacy is a choice, yet there are many factors you should weigh before making a final decision to dive into your international surrogacy journey.
What's international surrogacy like (surrogacy outside of the US?)
In short, the U.S. is the most successful nation in the world as far as surrogacy goes! Today, we're helping more Americans start families through the miracle of artificial reproductive technology than ever before.
The catch is that many would-be intended parents can't afford to go through a U.S surrogacy agency, so they give international surrogacy a try.
Another curious phenomenon is that intended parents in the U.S. assume that surrogacy is illegal and immediately start searching outside the country. After all, surrogacy is legal in most states–surrogacy is only unlawful in Louisiana, Nebraska, and Michigan.
Interestingly, engaging in commercial surrogacy in Louisiana is a criminal offense, but that's the exception to the rule.
But surrogacy regulations are very, very different in other parts of the world!
In fact, many countries expressly prohibit any form of surrogacy whatsoever, including altruistic surrogates.
Similarly, other countries like Mexico may have surrogacy laws on the books, but they vary widely from region to region. The bottom line is that there's only one region in Mexico where surrogacy is legal and international surrogacy is still a gray area at best.
Indeed, the most surrogate-friendly countries include Greece and Russian, to name a few. Still, the takeaway is that you'll need to do plenty of homework to see whether or not surrogacy is even legal in a country.
International surrogacy and travel costs: Are the prohibitive?
The short answer is: potentially so.
Travel costs will most likely be an issue if you choose international surrogacy. That's because there is no telling how much travel an international agency will require to facilitate gestational surrogacy across international borders.
Will the agency handle every legal detail on your behalf, so you don't have to travel at all? Or will you have to visit a country repeatedly or be on-call as the process moves forward?
The honest answer is that we can't tell you with certainty how much you'll need to travel because international surrogacy varies substantially from case to case.
How does surrogacy in the US compare to international surrogacy options?
The best part about surrogacy in the U.S. is that it's legal and safe. We're truly blessed to have access to world-class healthcare services and to remain at the forefront of medical innovations.
The only natural result of this level of healthcare is that we enjoy better health outcomes overall, which translates perfectly to the world of surrogacy.
Nevertheless, the main difference between international surrogacy and U.S. surrogacy is the quality of care you'll receive before, during, and after pregnancy.
Another benefit of surrogacy in the U.S. is that agencies in this country take a holistic approach and include psychological counseling and post-natal care too.
An agency in another part of the world absolutely can't promise you the same service level!
Compensation for surrogates
You may not know that you don't necessarily have to compensate a surrogate financially. Altruistic surrogacy is a trend in the U.S., and many families get started that way. Many gestational surrogates go through the surrogacy process out of the kindness of their hearts.
While this is amazingly selfless, most of the time, surrogates do receive monetary compensation to cover lost wages and the ancillary costs of getting pregnant.
Either way, the biggest takeaway for intended parents is that a surrogacy agency will handle the legal details about the newborn's parentage. You could make a commercial surrogacy arrangement on your own, but it's not preferable without a vast knowledge of paternity law in a particular state.
Do intended parents come to the U.S. too?
Yes, international intended parents can come to the US to begin their families' journey. Our surrogacy team is incredibly honored to lead the industry in providing international surrogacy options for intended parents worldwide!
When considering coming to the US for your gestational surrogacy, you should keep in mind that different laws apply from state-to-state. Some US states make it harder for international intended parents to go through the process.
For instance, in California, there are no restrictions against international intended parents' sexuality or marital status. In Texas, international intended parents must be single individuals or married couples.
Overall, these are your options when you need to give international surrogacy a long look, but we're here for you, too, if you think that working with a reputable agency like ours is the best choice.
At SurrogateFirst, we're a boutique surrogate agency specializing in quickly matching intended parents around the world with our fully-vetted, exceptional surrogates.
We help individuals and couples, regardless of race or sexual orientation, build their families through the miracle of surrogacy.
Every team member at SurrogateFirst is either a former intended parent or an experienced surrogate herself. We also have first-hand knowledge of what it takes to have an incredible, successful surrogate journey.
Ready to get your surrogacy journey started? Contact us today and get started today!