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Surrogacy is an excellent way of having your dream family when you can't conceive or carry children. However, what happens when surrogacy isn't a possibility in your home country? The answer lies in international surrogacy.
Many individuals come to the USA for surrogacy because of long legal precedence, excellent medical care, and great agencies. It's critical to understand the legalities and process involved before signing up. Below we describe what to expect from a surrogacy journey as an international intended parent in the United States.
The United States has many surrogacy agencies with specialized programs for international parents. Most of them will help you have a successful surrogacy journey without requiring in-person meetings with their staff. Distance is not an issue in your surrogacy journey.
The first step is choosing a USA surrogacy agency that works for you. Narrow down your options and schedule surrogacy consultations --these are usually complimentary. An established agency will then have a surrogacy lawyer discuss the entire process with you and answer any questions you have about international surrogacy.
Once you find a suitable surrogacy agency you will go through the processes of creating embryos, matching with a surrogate, transferring the embryo, and eventually, welcoming your baby! The process is well-regulated by United States law, with many states allowing for compensated surrogacy. You can rest assured that with a reputable, established agency the process is legal, ethical, and safe.
You get to work with a certified lawyer who will take care of any legal issues you need to address as an international intended parent. These lawyers, along with your agency, work as the principal communication hubs between you and the prospective surrogate — regardless of time zone differences and distance. Finally, they ensure you safely take your newborn home upon delivery with suitable newborn insurance coverage.
You will need to travel to the United States during your international surrogacy journey. The number of trips will, however, vary depending on the agency you pick. Many intended parents choose to be present for the embryo transfer, some screenings, and the birth.
The IVF clinic will stipulate the number of times you have to visit the U.S. for embryo creation. This will also depend on whether you are using an egg donor. Your agency might also recommend traveling to the USA, if possible, for crucial medical appointments such as the surrogate's transfer, pregnancy confirmation, and the anatomy scan. And it usually helps to be in the United States around one to two weeks before the delivery date.
COVID-19 restrictions might make it difficult for international travel. However, your IVF clinic physician can help validate traveling for medical purposes depending on where you are traveling from. Your agency’s attorney will also help facilitate any visas and travel permissions. Ensure you account for quarantine periods to guarantee you make it in time for the expected due date.
Establishing parentage will depend on the specific state. Usually international intended parents establish parental rights through the following ways:
Your lawyer will take you through the entire process depending on the state where your surrogate dwells, where the transfer is performed, and other factors.
Your agency’s attorney will oftentimes also work with an attorney local to you. This helps facilitate any legalwork that needs to be done in your home country and helps ensure the process is quick and seamless. Note that some countries require intended parents to establish parentage in their home country. Others, however, honor the established parentage in the United States.
Are you an intended parent living outside the USA and considering international surrogacy? At Hatch, we offer full support to intended parents outside the United States who intend to expand their families through surrogacy. Contact us today to learn more about international surrogacy.