While many countries without access to surrogacy, many seeking to create biological family are venturing offshore.
It has left some resorting to ‘unofficial’ traditional surrogacy, using the surrogates eggs and home insemination. Others have had a local friend offer to carry for them, and taken her overseas for the embryo transfer.
For the majority, the USA and Canada have been solid, dependable options for years. But in the last 18 months, demand for Canadian surrogates has far outpaced supply, so there can be very long wait times to a successful match. Many are spending large amounts on creating embryos in Canada and then finding it difficult to locate a surrogate. Many are reporting being ‘matched’ with a surrogate, paying large fees, only to have the match fall through and being asked to wait up to 180 days to be re-matched.
Meanwhile in the US, there are some very good agencies that can organise an appropriate surrogate in 6-10 weeks while others are charging huge fees for agency support, only to have no surrogate match nine months later and no means of recouping monies paid.
More affordable Asian destinations such as India, Thailand, Nepal and Cambodia are now closed to foreign surrogacy. So more recently some have been investing in Kenya – a program that has had serious problems.
In Ukraine, a country that allows surrogacy for married heterosexuals only, at least one dodgy provider is assuring gay couples they can enrol – arranging forged medical letters and a bogus marriage with a local woman. Too often vulnerable singles and couples are being conned.
Such stories make it essential that you do your homework and speak to parents and non-aligned experts. Even fertility lawyers find it hard to keep up with the changing landscape.
While far less experienced than the US, there are proven surrogacy programs accepting gay singles and couples in Mexico, Cyprus and Colombia and an emerging program in Czech Republic. All of these have provisos attached.
So whether you are currently engaged in surrogacy or contemplating it, being informed is essential.