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The United States is one of the safest places to pursue a surrogacy journey in the entire world, as 47 out of 50 states allow commercial surrogacy. While the surrogacy experience is a journey for all involved, international intended parents have special considerations to tend to.
For international IPs, crucial aspects are making sure the process of drafting agreements and establishing parental rights are handled correctly and efficiently. Furthermore, the realization of the trip of a lifetime, returning your new bundle of joy to your home country.
The day you return home with your child should be precious and stress-free, which is why we partner with front-runners in the field of family law in your home country to ensure that local laws and regulations are being taken into consideration during the entire process. So that you can focus on what is most important - the new addition to your family!
Read on for the ultimate checklist for International IPs and bringing your newborn home.
As you near the end of your surrogacy journey, your lawyer and supporting agency must ensure that your legal parental rights are established at this point. Every child born in the United States becomes a U.S. citizen by birth. An intended parent’s child might or might not become a citizen of their home country through parentage, this should be discussed further with legal counsel.
Typically this step is addressed early on in the surrogacy journey, though when preparing to bring home your newborn, it's important to revisit for consolidating the necessary legal paperwork to travel with your child.
When it comes to establishing the parentage in the home country that process looks different from country to country, in some countries, it will be necessary for the non-biological parent to adopt the child through a second-parent adoption. In other countries that might not be the case. For example, some countries accept the US Declaration of Parentage, meaning that intended parents can expect fewer steps when it comes to establishing their parentage in their home country.
At Hatch, we work with the best attorneys in reproductive and family law to make sure that your journey runs smoothly. Your agency should be able to connect you with proper legal counsel in navigating parentage.
For international IPs, newborn insurance is an especially important part of your journey. Ensuring your newborn has insurance immediately upon birth is crucial, as they won’t be placed on your surrogate’s insurance policy. Failing to complete this could result in receiving large medical costs not covered by any insurance.
Some of the most cost-effective insurance options must be purchased as soon as 2 months prior to an embryo transfer. Others are applied for just before the transfer and activated at confirmation of pregnancy. While others are applied for during the second trimester. The timing will depend on the plan you select so consulting with an insurance specialist early in the process is crucial to ensure you have access to all options.
If you're pursuing surrogacy with Hatch, your coordinator will walk you through the newborn insurance selection process to ensure that your child(ren) is protected.
At this stage, you’re preparing for the final and most exciting part of your third-party reproductive journey: the delivery of your healthy, happy baby! Typically, the IPs will be responsible for travel costs and accommodation for this stage aside from their agency's family-building package. IPs should be prepared to find, book, and pay for all travel and accommodation themselves. Below we break down important considerations for traveling to the delivery of your newborn baby.
The time you need to spend in the United States after the birth of your baby depends on the legal proceedings in the state where the child was born, but expect anything from 2 to 6 weeks or more. Intended parents should consider the following when planning their journey:
Some intended parents choose to apply for a U.S. passport in conjunction with a U.S. birth certificate for their child, and return via this method, while others apply for a visa at their home country's local consulate/embassy. For intended parents working with Hatch, you can expect us to be by your side the whole time during the issuing of birth certificates and eventual visa/passports.
Make sure you are privy to international travel requirements from your home country and the United States. The way in which countries are navigating Covid-19 along with a plethora of other protocols needs to be understood while preparing for the big trip. TSA.gov has information about traveling requirements in the United States.
As stated earlier, expect your stay in the United States to range anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks or more. Along with the essentials, we put together this list of thoughtful items for international IPs to also bring:
Your newborn is going to appreciate you preparing some items special for them for embarking on the journey home. Here is a list of items to bring for your new bundle of joy:
For some, they may be meeting their surrogate in person for the first time at the delivery. Regardless of whether this is the first in-person meeting or not, it's a nice gesture to bring some items along to ensure her comfort. Here is a selection of suggested items that may be helpful for labor & delivery, healing post-partum, or a simple gift:
Be prepared to be flexible. Preparing for your path to parenthood is stressful, especially when assisted reproductive technologies and third parties are involved. Make sure you communicate your questions, concerns, and needs with your agency.
Now that you are prepared with your belongings, articles, and most importantly, your newborn baby, it's time to go home!
Re-entry fees, covid regulations, and in-flight forms will vary. Make sure you are in regulation, this will make the traveling significantly less stressful. Depending on your home country, you may be asked to provide certain articles of declaration for breast milk and/or formula, among other things. Connect with your legal counsel to help guide you on the smoothest journey home possible.
Your newborn is incredibly vulnerable and about to embark on the greatest journey with you! Ensure all of their needs are met, here are a few items to consider:
Things happen, but you can help mitigate disruptions by setting yourself up for success. Start preparing sooner than later and exhaust your questions and concerns with your supporting agency and legal counsel. The more you know, the better prepared you will be for this beautiful journey of a lifetime.
We've been on this journey before. Join thousands of international intended parents who have trusted Hatch to lead their assisted reproduction journey. Whether you’re looking for the top five percent of donor or surrogate candidates, or a due legal process that’s not available in your country, we have the compassionate care and high-quality services to give you a 99+% success rate in building your family.