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International IPs - FAQs

What countries has Agency for Surrogacy Solutions worked with?

Agency for Surrogacy Solutions has worked with IPs from all over the world and would never and has never turned anyone down based upon the country that they come from, their sexual orientation, age or marital status. We have worked with IPs from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Germany, Italy, Greece, Spain, England, France, Mexico, Canada, Sweden,Nigeria, South Africa, Israel, Lebanon, Egypt, Brazil, Columbia… just to name a few.

What percentage of your clients are International?

At any given time approximately 40% (or more) of our clients are from abroad. All of our case managers are skilled in assisting IPs who are far away from their clinic and gestational surrogate. We can assist in finding you an appropriate clinic, GS, lawyer, post-birth insurance, translator, driver, egg donor and whatever else you need. Our Case Managers are known for their hands-on attitude, excellent communication skills and for doing more than is required or outlined in the agency contract. We have hundreds of happy international IPs at home with their babies right now, many whom would be happy to speak on behalf of our agency and the services we provided.

Why choose to pursue surrogacy in the US?

The United States is one of the few countries in the world where surrogacy is legal. In addition to that, your child will receive U.S. citizenship and a U.S. passport. The U.S. also has very liberal laws and there are no legal restrictions governing age, marital status, gender or sexual orientation of the intended parents. Egg donation and sperm donation are also legal in the U.S., so is gender selection.

Is California the best state for surrogacy?

While California does provide superior reproductive medical care and fertility treatment optionsand laws that uphold the surrogacy contract – it is not the only surrogate-friendly state in the U.S.There are other states where you can be assured that your parental rights will be protected whether you are a traditional couple, a single parent or a same sex couple, or if you are using an egg donor and/or a sperm donor. These are also other states where you will find clinics and lawyer to be friendly, accepting and supportive offering high quality care. So is California the best state? For some people it may be, but for others you have many options. Talk to us about your specific situation and we can advise you based on your particular needs. For us, it is more about finding you the best possible surrogate, rather than one who just resides in California.

What kind of additional support can you offer International IPs?

Agency for Surrogacy Solutions provides international parents with on-going support from our company as well as the support of our professional contacts in the medical, legal, and psychological communities, most of whom we have worked with for many years and fully trust to care for our clients. A successful surrogacy journey is truly a team effort. We are committed to providing you with all the services you will need to ensure a wonderful experience.

How much will a surrogacy journey cost in total?

We realize not everyone has unlimited finances to afford pursing your family through gestational surrogacy, therefore we work hard to keep our fees and costs affordable and work with other professionals in the industry (medical, psychological, legal) who also extend reduced fee services to our clients and/or have other affordable options. We also advise you to watch the changes to the exchange rate in your countries’ currency and take advantage of the market when conditions are good. You may be able to establish a US bank account to transfer funds to while the exchange rate is optimal which could afford you the ability to stretch your dollar further.

Be aware that some agencies do make it seem much more affordable than others – but if it looks too good to be true, we can assure you – it is. The industry is pretty standardized –lawyers fees vary only slightly and most surrogacy agencies pay their surrogates comparable compensation packages –the main difference you will find is in the agency fee and the services they provide. If an agency’s fee is low, they probably do not provide extensive and continuous service. As an International IP, it is imperative that you work with an agency that has experience with clients like yourself and that you do your homework in finding an agency that you are comfortable with and that you feel will be responsive to all of your needs.

As for the actual costs – it can vary greatly. The overall cost can range anywhere from $75,000 if you use frozen embryos and have insurance that will cover a U.S. birth and potential complications to more than $200,000 if you need an egg donor, have multiple tries, your GS ends up on bed rest, your twins are born prematurely and need to stay in the hospital. But these numbers are both the two extremes, more likely it will fall somewhere in the middle – around $140,000 or so.

Is there anything I need to know about the cost that will surprise me?

Our agency is one of the few that supports full disclosure and honesty regarding all costs and fees involved. Many agencies will try and get you to sign with them by posting cheaper costs on the internet, but they purposely leave out the costs involved with IVF/medications and with newborn health care. Some of them even suggest that IPs use their surrogate’s insurance for their newborn’s health care costs (be aware, this is a federal offense and you could end up with a jail sentence) or try and have the hospital cover the costs (this, too, is fraud). We would rather you be fully prepared from the beginning so that there are no surprises later on. Our policy is that it is best to plan for the worst and hope for the best. When you work with us, you can be confident that we will quote you an overall cost that will basically offer no real surprises in the end. Of course, we can never know just how a pregnancy will go, whether there will be complications or not, and that is why we have such a huge range in the overall prices we quote. But again, better to know the most it might cost and then perhaps be pleasantly surprised if it comes in lower.

How often will I need to travel to the U.S.?

As you may or may not know, there are a lot of things that must happen for you to have a baby via surrogacy here, and other things where there are choices. The first thing that is a choice is how many times you come to the US. This will depend upon whether you want to meet your surrogate in person before you start and if you want to attend any doctor’s appointments once pregnant. The minimum that most of our foreign IPs come to the US is 1 time, although many come two times – once at the start (for the sperm donation/egg or donor egg retrieval/embryo transfer) and once for the birth of the baby. Although, if you can come for one or two OB appointment (particularly the 20 week appointment – which is a big deal) along the way once your surrogate is pregnant – that is wonderful – but certainly not a requirement. Different surrogates have different expectations so we like you to fill out a questionnaire to determine what your needs are (in this and other areas) before we make a match. If you’d like to receive a questionnaire please fill out or short version and we will send you one.

How can I trust my surrogate?

While many people have an initial concern that the GS may want to keep your baby, it is not really a realistic fear – because if a GS wants a baby she can easily have one. She does not want your baby, one that is not biologically connected to her. Her objective in being a surrogate is to deliver a healthy baby to a couple or person who cannot have one on their own. She likes being pregnant and has easy, healthy pregnancies. Also, right now you do not know who your surrogate is – so it is easy to project your fears onto her. But once you read about her and her family, see pictures and then talk to her, your level of trust will go way up. As added reassurance for you, you should know that our agency heavily screens our surrogates, and we only accept a small number into our program. We truly believe in our motto that if ‘we wouldn’t work with her as our own personal surrogate, we won’t let her be a surrogate for you.’

How much communication will I have with my surrogate?

Each journey and relationship is unique. Some people talk or communicate via text or Skype or phone on a weekly or every other day basis and some much less frequently. It all depends upon you and your surrogate, but you should realize that she has a full life – children and possibly a husband or job – so she will not be available to talk 24 hours a day. That said, we specifically screen and look for surrogates that are good communicators and the ones we match with our international IPs know that it is unlikely that the IPs will come to the OB visits or see them during the pregnancy – and they are okay with that.

When should I come to the US – before or after the birth?

We understand you may not be able to travel frequently to the United States during your surrogacy arrangement and we will match you with a GS who is comfortable with that. If you desire, we can work with you to limit the number of trips to the U.S. Often our client’s only need to travel to the U.S. once or twice. If you come prior to your IVF cycle or to cycle with your doctor here, we work hard to accomplish as much as possible before your arrival through email, phone and Skype communication so that when you arrive we will maximize your time in the U.S. to accommodate all the necessary meetings with your clinic, your surrogate, meeting with the reproductive endocrinologist, psychologist and attorney. Most of this can be accomplished in a three to five day trip (this depends of course on whether or not the Intended Mother (if there is one) will be using her own eggs. If that is the case, the trip will be longer. We have developed a successful protocol to meet the needs of both our international parents and their surrogates so that everyone feels fulfilled in their surrogacy journey despite the distance.

Most IPs would like to be with the GS at the birth. And if the laws in your country do not support surrogacy, we strongly suggest that you come to the US at least a month before the scheduled birth. It is not a requirement but it will make things easier when returning to your home country and getting citizenship for your baby in your home country (if it is desired).If there is an Intended Mother and she is in the US a few weeks prior to the birth, the authorities will not question whether or not it is a surrogacy pregnancy. If the IM arrives in the US after the birth it will be harder to get citizenship for the baby when she returns home especially if she used an egg donor. But no matter what the baby will have a U.S. passport and be a U.S. citizen.

Will I need insurance for my surrogate and my baby?

Insurance is a complex issue in the U.S. (even for Americans) – but there are two types of insurance needed during the surrogacy.

  1. Medical Insurance for your GS – Your surrogate needs medical insurance to cover her medical expenses while she is pregnant The insurance policy must not have anywritten exclusions for a surrogacy pregnancy (some do.) If the surrogate already has insurance, the agency will review the policy and if in doubt show it to an insurance expert to ensure it will cover her pregnancy for you. If it does not cover we will assist you in finding good medical insurance for your surrogate. The US insurance system is difficult to understand but you may also be required to pay co-pays (up to $50 or $100 per visit to the doctor, or $10 – $25 for medications), plus a yearly deductible (example – $2500) plus monthly premiums (average is $300 – 500). This health insurance will cover all of the maternity care once she is released from the reproductive doctor for the surrogate including the delivery of the baby in the hospital.
  2. Post birth Insurance – As previously described, you will also need insurance to cover your baby once he/she is born. Once the umbilical cord is cut, you are responsible for the baby’s medical care and the GS’s medical insurance cannot be used.There are currently only two companies that offer policies for newborn health care. (link to newborn health care section) If an agency tells you otherwise, they are not being truthful.

Will my name go on the birth certificate?

We only work with surrogates living in states that will uphold the surrogacy contract (which means the contract will be adhered to if there is a dispute and she cannot change her mind – nor can you) and where your name(s) will go directly on the birth certificate – whether or not you have a biological connection to the child. There are some instances where IPs prefer to do an adoption or step-adoption of the baby (this is rare) but we can assist with that too.

What if I am not there when the baby is born? Will that jeopardize my parental rights?

It is best, as we have described, to be in the U.S. prior to the birth of your baby. This will ease the road for you if you want to get citizenship for the baby in your home country. But if for some reason you miss the birth, don’t worry, your parental rights will not be jeopardized. It is critical of course that you get to the hospital as quickly as possible because you will be the one to make all medical decisions for your baby should any need to be made.

How long will I be in the U.S. after the birth, and will I have trouble traveling with the baby post birth?

It is hard to predict how long it will take to get a passport for your baby but you should anticipate an average of 3 weeks post birth. We will assist you in the process of securing a birth certificate and passport and we can expedite paperwork – but this is the usual amount of time. If your baby is born healthy without any issues then he or she will be released from the hospital within two days of birth. At this time you will be free to travel with him or her – including flying – within the country. Most babies born to international IPs are free to travel by the time their birth certificate and passport are issued.

What will my child’s nationality be?

When a child is born in the United States it is automatically a U.S. citizen and can remain so for his/her entire life unless your home country requires that the child only hold one passport (and you have chosen to obtain citizenship in your home country). Some countries allow the child to be dual-citizens. Please check with your local immigration lawyer to determine the laws of your own country.

No matter what our agency or any other surrogacy agency, your U.S. lawyer or your doctor says, we strongly advise you to talk to an immigration lawyer in your own country before pursuing surrogacy in the U.S. or any other country.

Are there age restrictions for Intended Parents in the US?

While there are no laws that put age restrictions on IVF procedures, many clinics impose their own guidelines. A common one is that the Intended Parent’s ages add up to no more than 110.