From year to year, diagnosis of infertility has been reaching catastrophic level. It is known that every sixth couple in the world faces with this disease. And this figure has been rising. Reproductive medicine has entered the battle-field, hand to hand with the global problem of childlessness in families. Surrogacy, egg donation, in vitro fertilization (test-tube babies). These are assisted methods for reproductive medicine, which are the only way to solve the problem of infertility.
Basing on moral and ethical principles, not all but just a few European countries propose their fellow citizens such treatment. But there are states as well that have entered the market of providing services of reproductive medicine and actively compete with each other. Therefore, if people can not take advantage of such methods at home, they will go to places where it is legal. Price, quality, guarantee, etc. – each country propose clients different conditions.
For example, in the U.S.A so widespread surrogacy program is legal only in some states and costs about 40 – 60 thousand dollars. The sum is quite impressive but in spite of such price American clinics and agencies do not offer their customers “all inclusive” package of services. It means that meeting at the airport, transfer, legal support, food, accommodation and other additional services are burdensome on clients. In addition there are no guarantees of program’s success and that you will leave America with your child. It can be said that you buy a pig in a poke: it looks like you have paid and agreed all details but will you get the desired result… ? No one knows. Using services of American reproductive medicine you pay only for the brand “Made in America.” After all, any European much more trusts America than, for example, a little-known Ukraine, with a hazy quality of medical services. But in practice and according to the statistics just Ukraine is a leader in the field of reproductive medicine.
Ukraine is a country of Eastern Europe and it entered the arena of reproductive medicine recently. But over the last 2 years this country has become a Mecca of surrogacy and egg donation. Internet web sources contain a great number of articles and headlines about how the Ukrainian reproductive medicine clinics help hundreds of elderly foreign couples to become parents. In Ukraine, such procedures as surrogacy are legal. Thousands of European infertile couples visit Ukrainian medical centers as there are a lot of advantages there. Thus, the largest center of reproductive medicine in Ukraine BioTexCom guarantees to all its patients 100 % success of chosen program, package with unlimited number of IVF attempts, and in addition it is the only clinic that provides the «all inclusive» package. It means that patients pay once (surrogacy program costs 29,000 Euro, which is much less than in European clinics) and get everything they need: accommodation, food, legal assistance, medical examinations, interpreter etc. That is why many countries including America send their patients to Ukraine working as intermediary agents because America, for example, has more credibility than Ukraine. But there are also some drawbacks. Due to the influx of clients it can be seen shortage of surrogate mothers and turn to start the program to 2 years.
Aristocratic and severe Great Britain is a different story. Here you will be met as a titled member of society. You will be provided with all the information you need, clearly explained the entire legal process, and so on. But it will be problematic to find woman who will agree to become a surrogate mother. In addition, only non-commercial surrogacy can be conducted in Great Britain. It means that parties can sign the agreement but it will have no legal force. Therefore surrogate mother can change her mind and do not give child, in a word to act not in the interests of the biological parents.
Everything is okay with the contracts’ legality in the Russian Federation. It is one of the few countries where all aspects of surrogacy are clearly set in the law. Considerable numbers of foreigners visit Russia, like its neighbor Ukraine, in order to use services of local surrogate mothers. And it is due to the fact that such programs as surrogate motherhood is not only legal, but detailed set in the law as well. But there is also another side of the coin – it is price. In Russia, such program costs about 40,000 euro and this sum does not include additional medical procedures, clients’ meeting at the airport, accommodation, food, etc. Because of the high cost of surrogacy program even Russians often go to Ukraine to use services of reproductive medicine.
A similar situation of clinics of reproductive medicine can be seen in Israel and Canada. In these states, officially married couple has the right to use services of surrogate mother if due to medical reasons couple is unable to conceive a child naturally. Israeli medicine and its high level are known al over the world. People come here from all over the world to treat various diseases. Technologically advanced and economically developed Canada also has a decent health care system. Like every European country Canada provides qualitative health care at a decent European level. But how much does this quality cost? Choosing Israel or Canada as a surrogacy country you run the risk to turn bankrupt. In addition difficulties can appear during selection of a woman for carrying your child.
India has no problems with the selection of surrogate mothers. The state of South Asia is one of the centers and leaders of surrogate motherhood. Here one can find legislation that permits such programs and very suitable price. High qualification of local doctors has been continuing to lure foreigners to visit Indian medical institutions. But there is an unusual rule in this state – it is a ban to conduct ultrasound diagnostic of pregnant women. This is due to sexual character issue. According to the old tradition boys are considered as a future heirs and breadwinners, while girls are just a burden. That is why for a long time after the ultrasound procedure women made abortions if baby’s gender was female. Therefore, in order to prevent selective abortions authorities banned the ultrasound investigation. In the case of surrogacy it is a great risk that the child will born with abnormalities or defects that could be seen and prevented with the help of ultrasound diagnostics. Therefore, in India, you for sure can save a significant amount of money, visit good doctors but at the same time run the risk of a disabled child because of the medical control lack.
As for Greece where surrogacy is also can be seen ultrasonography is permitted there and medicine meets European standards. But it can be a certain difficulties with the organization of the whole process of the surrogacy program. In Greece, there are no specialized, good centers or agencies to provide services of reproductive medicine. And those that can be found there do not provide clients with impeccable organization and clarity of the implementation of all program’s phases. But it is an integral part of positive result achieving, in particular timely execution of all medical procedures, monitoring of the health of surrogate mothers etc.
Nowadays, surrogacy is very popular procedure. Because very often just this method is the last and only chance for infertile couples to achieve happiness of motherhood and fatherhood. In spite of this fact not many European countries favor such a solution of infertility problem. Hot debates still have been gathering around topic of surrogate motherhood. For example, in Spain, the law permits donation of sperm and eggs, monetary reward for donors, but surrogacy does not permitted there although it is not a criminal offense. In this case, south- western state of Europe decided to enter the market of reproductive health as a mediator. Spanish doctors work well and perform procedures that are permitted in their country but in case of need surrogacy program Spanish doctors refer patients to Russia or Ukraine where surrogacy is legal. Thus paying 5-6 thousand euro more at home with peace of mind Spaniards go to the eastern states and lawfully conduct program they need. And Spanish doctor – mediator acts as a guarantee and peace of mind of those who fly to a foreign country to receive medical services.
As it was mentioned above, European clinics do not provide their clients with a full range of services and therefore patients have to spend additional funds. And in total taking into account program’s cost fabulous sum can be seen. In Macau, city of China, Chinese successfully perform surrogacy programs that are not so expensive there. But the cost of living in this town is very high. Due to the fact that Macau is a major financial center, famous for its casinos (here there are about 33 of such), gambling houses, racecourse and night clubs, accommodation, food and other necessary services for foreigner are very expensive. You will not even notice how your bank account will make a hole in this wonderful city and you will spend more money to stay in it, rather for needed health care services.
The main difficulty of surrogacy program in many countries is a legal side when you need to receive necessary documents for a child who was born with the help of surrogate mother and get a permission to leave the foreign country. In Argentina and Brazil this program’s phase is added with one more condition, namely it should be any kinship between biological parents and surrogate mother. And of course, this fact must be proven by documents (that is, to have legal force). If you try to work around this aspect in any way or falsify a document in future you will have serious problems with birth certificate registration and leaving the country.
Surrogacy has become extremely important and frequently used procedure in the whole world. Since infertility has been recognized as a plague of the 21st century and speed of its development does not ease down. As it can be seen there are enough countries and offers, each of them has both advantages and disadvantages. A customer is only to choose which of them he agrees and which ones are firmly rejected by him. And always remember a eloquent expression of the poet and philosopher Omar Khayyam who said: “…To live a life wisely, you need to know much,
for a start, remember the two important rules: you’d better stay hungry than to eat no matter what, and better stay single, than with no matter who”.