Overseas couples go to US in search surrogate mothers
India is often described as the world surrogacy hub. But a good number of American women are also bearing children for overseas couples.
India is often described as the world surrogacy hub. But a good number of American women are also bearing children for overseas couples. The Irish Times recently featured the story of an Irish couple, James and Kate, who resorted to a Boston surrogacy clinic. They were unable to have more children because of medical problems after the birth of their first daughter. “We didn’t even look at the Ukraine or India – instead we looked at what was available in the US. We literally started googling surrogacy clinics and then came across Circle Surrogacy in Boston,” says James.
James and Kate took out a US$115,000 home extension loan. They were linked with a surrogate mother from Indiana and used a pre-birth order to ensure that their names would be appear on the child’s birth certificate as soon as he was born. After signing various other documents, James’ sperm was used to fertilise his wife’s eggs in the US.
“We went to meet her and her husband at the Pizza Hut in their home town,” James says. “Their kids played around in the play area and we talked. She explained that she was doing it because she lost one of her five children during birth. She said she wanted to give birth once more for closure, that she was doing it for her own reasons.”
To judge from its website, Circle Surrogacy is not a small operation. It claims to have organised about 500 babies since it was started by a lawyer, John Weltman, in 1995. It has a staff of nearly 25 multi-lingual lawyers, social workers, marketers and “journey coordinators”. About 60% of its clients are couples in countries where surrogacy is banned, like Israel, Sweden, Ireland, the UK, France and Norway. Many of its clients are gay.
According to the website, “The United States is widely considered to be the preferable country for surrogacy among Europeans and other international parents due to legal, societal and medical conditions. In the USA almost every state permits compensated surrogacy and no appeals court in any state has ever given custody to a gestational carrier.”
Circle’s strong point seems to be legal certainty. Its intending parents, says Mr Weltman, have a “99 percent chance of getting a baby and a 100 percent chance of keeping it.” ~ Irish Times, Nov 22
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