Why the United States is the Global Leader for Surrogacy
Surrogacy is a reproductive arrangement where a woman carries and delivers a child for another individual or couple. In the United States, surrogacy is a legal and well-established practice, and it has become one of the most desirable locations for surrogacy for several reasons:
The United States has a well-developed legal framework for surrogacy, which varies by state. Many states have favorable surrogacy laws that provide clear guidelines and protections for both Intended Parents and surrogates.
In most states, commercial surrogacy is legal, allowing Intended Parents to compensate the surrogate for her services. This provides financial compensation for surrogates in acknowledgement of their time, commitment, and risk to their health. Commercial surrogacy and the protections it affords is a far more appealing option for those considering becoming gestational carriers.
The U.S. is a leader in reproductive technologies and has advanced medical facilities and experienced fertility specialists. Many International Intended Parents seek out American fertility clinics for their expertise, cutting-edge technologies, and experience with surrogacy.
Diverse Pool of Surrogates:
The U.S. has a diverse population, and this diversity extends to the pool of available surrogates. Intended Parents have the option to choose a surrogate whose values, lifestyle, and preferences align with their own.
Surrogacy is generally more culturally accepted in the United States compared to most other countries. Many people view it as a legitimate and positive way to build a family, and this cultural acceptance facilitates the surrogacy process.
Availability of Services:
There is a wide range of lawyers and fertility clinics in the U.S. that specialize in surrogacy arrangements. This infrastructure makes it easier for Intended Parents and surrogates to navigate the process with professional guidance.
The U.S. legal system generally recognizes and upholds the parental rights of Intended Parents, even if they are not genetically related to the child. This provides a sense of security for Intended Parents who choose surrogacy in the U.S.
Openness to International Clients:
Most fertility clinics in the United States work with international clients. This global perspective attracts Intended Parents from around the world who may face legal restrictions or challenges in their home countries.
The U.S. possesses a stable legal and regulatory environment, makes it financially feasible for Intended Parents to pursue surrogacy in the country.
It’s important to note that while the U.S. is a popular destination for surrogacy, the legal landscape can vary significantly from state to state, and prospective parents should carefully consider the specific laws and regulations in the state where they plan to pursue surrogacy. Additionally, cultural attitudes towards surrogacy can vary, so individuals and couples considering surrogacy should be aware of the social context in their chosen location.
The following destinations also allow commercial surrogacy:
Surrogacy in Mexico
Since 2021, thanks to a Mexican Supreme Court decision, commercial surrogacy was declared legal. Surrogacy in Mexico can be considerably more affordable than surrogacy in the United States, however, there are risk factors in choosing Mexico as a destination for surrogacy, especially as a foreign national. Surrogacy laws in Mexico may not provide clear and consistent guidelines regarding the recognition of parental rights. Issues related to citizenship and travel documents for the child may arise as noted in a recent high-profile case where an American couple struggled for months to be able to bring their baby home from Mexico.
Additionally, while there are reputable medical facilities in Mexico, the level of medical care and the adherence to international standards can vary. Intended Parents should carefully research and choose clinics with a strong reputation for ethical and safe surrogacy practices.
Intended Parents who are not fluent in Spanish may face communication challenges, both in legal processes and medical interactions. Misunderstandings could arise, potentially leading to complications.
Due to these potential risks and uncertainties, some individuals and couples may choose surrogacy destinations with more established legal frameworks and regulations. If considering surrogacy in Mexico, it is strongly advised to seek the guidance of legal professionals with expertise in reproductive law and to thoroughly research the specific laws and practices in the chosen location. Consulting with experienced legal and medical professionals can also provide valuable insights and support throughout the process.
Surrogacy in Ukraine
Ukraine has established laws that specifically regulate surrogacy. Commercial surrogacy is legal, and the country has a clear legal process for establishing the parental rights of Intended Parents. Ukrainian law allows for surrogates to be compensated. The legal process in Ukraine is clear and designed to facilitate the transfer of parental rights to the Intended Parents. Once the child is born, the names of the Intended Parents can be listed on the birth certificate. Ukraine has developed a reputation for having modern and well-equipped fertility clinics that offer a range of assisted reproductive technologies, including surrogacy.
Because of the favorable regulatory environment, until the recent conflict with Russia, Ukraine was seen as a excellent choice for surrogacy. Given the resent conflict with Russia, however, and the risks of an active war zone, surrogacy in Ukraine hasn’t been popular in several years and is not expected to become a popular choice again for the near foreseeable future.
Surrogacy in Israel:
In Israel, commercial surrogacy is legal and regulated and since 2022, available to all individuals and couples regardless of gender expression/orientation. A 1996 law, however, stipulates that the couple must be residents of Israel, and Intended Parents must meet certain requirements. Additionally, unlike in most locations in the United States, surrogacy contracts must be approved by the state in advance.
Surrogacy in Columbia
While Columbia’s government ruled that surrogacy was not illegal, there isn’t a robust framework of laws governing its practice, nor are there ethical guidelines. Because of this, folks interested in surrogacy in Columbia should proceed with caution in the country and work with a reputable surrogacy-experienced attorney.
Surrogacy in India:
Once a top surrogacy donation for International Intended Parents, in 2015, the Indian government enacted regulation forbidding foreigners from using Indian surrogates in response to stories of exploitation. In 2021, India went a step further and banned commercial surrogacy outright, even for its own citizens.
Surrogacy in Thailand:
For-profit surrogacy was once legal for foreigners, however, Thailand has since banned the practice for foreign nationals.
Surrogacy in Russia:
Once a popular destination for surrogacy, in 2022, Putin signed a law banning surrogacy for foreigners.
Surrogacy in Georgia:
Georgia’s government is currently considering a ban on surrogacy services for foreigners starting January 1, 2024. It is unknown at this time whether such a ban will take affect. If it does, Georgia, once a hotbed for international surrogacy, will become like India, Russia, and Thailand in banning foreigners from using Georgian women as surrogates.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Surrogacy in the United States:
What is surrogacy?
Surrogacy is a reproductive arrangement where a woman carries and delivers a child for another individual or couple.
Why is the United States considered a desirable location for surrogacy?
The United States is a popular destination for surrogacy due to its well-developed legal framework, acceptance of commercial surrogacy, advanced medical technologies, diverse pool of surrogates, cultural acceptance, and availability of services.
How does the legal framework in the U.S. protect all parties involved?
In many cases, the U.S. has state-specific surrogacy laws that offer clear guidelines and protections for both Intended Parents and surrogates. This legal system generally recognizes and upholds parental rights, providing security for Intended Parents.
Can international individuals/couples pursue surrogacy in the United States?
Yes, most fertility clinics in the U.S. work with international clients, making it an attractive option for individuals or couples facing legal restrictions or challenges in their home countries.
Is commercial surrogacy regulated in Mexico?
Mexico has legalized commercial surrogacy since 2021, making it a more affordable option than the U.S. However, there are associated risks, including legal uncertainties, potential issues with parental rights recognition, and variations in medical standards.
How is surrogacy regulated in Ukraine?
Ukraine has specific laws regulating surrogacy, allowing for commercial surrogacy and a clear legal process for establishing parental rights. Ukraine is known for its modern fertility clinics and favorable regulatory environment.
Despite being a popular choice, the recent conflict with Russia has affected the popularity of surrogacy in Ukraine due to concerns about being in an active war zone.
Is commercial surrogacy legal in Israel?
Yes, commercial surrogacy is legal and regulated in Israel since 2022, open to all individuals and couples regardless of gender expression or orientation. However, there are residency requirements and specific eligibility criteria.
What is the status of surrogacy in Colombia?
Surrogacy is not illegal in Colombia, but there is a lack of a comprehensive legal framework governing its practice. Caution is advised, and working with an experienced surrogacy attorney is recommended.
What is the current situation of surrogacy in India?
India was once a top destination for international intended parents, but the government enacted regulations in 2015 and a complete ban on commercial surrogacy in 2021, prohibiting its use even for citizens.
What’s the latest on commercial surrogacy in Georgia?
Georgia is considering a ban on surrogacy services for foreigners starting January 1, 2024. The outcome is uncertain at this time.
Is surrogacy legal for foreign nationals in Russia?
Surrogacy for foreigners in Russia was banned in 2022, marking a change from its status as a popular destination for surrogacy.
Please Note: Laws and regulations can change, so it’s advisable to consult with legal professionals and stay updated on the current legal status of surrogacy in any chosen location.