More and more couples around the world face the problem of infertility. Including in Romania.
Oleh, a top manager at the Biotexcom Center for Human Reproduction, and Olha, a top manager of the Romanian department, agreed to meet with us today and discuss issues such as IVF features, egg donation and, in particular, surrogacy. We hope that readers of our desprecopii.com web-site will learn a lot of new and useful for them information, maybe even find a solution to a problem that has long been preventing the conception of a child.
Correspondent: To tell the truth, I found out about the existence of the Biotexcom clinic on the infertility forum – «Desprecopii». Could you now tell us in simple terms about Biotexcom in more detail and for what purpose are you here today in Bucharest?
Oleh: Biotexcom is a large company with headquarters in Kyiv, with more than 400 employees. We have been fighting infertility and successfully helping our patients for more than 10 years. We cooperate with many countries, such as: Italy, Romania, France, Germany, USA, Great Britain and many others.
Olha: In Belgium and Italy there are clinics and laboratories with which Biotexcom successfully cooperates. We started working with Romania eight years ago. It is worth noting that here they are rather skeptical of surrogacy, since there is still no clear legislation allowing or prohibiting this process.
Oleh: We started very modestly, with a small clinic, and developed over the years, and continue to do so; now Biotexcom is a company in the broad sense of the word, with its own logistics, clinics, living spaces, as well as our own cars and drivers. We provide everything our patients need, from the moment they contacted us until the moment when a couple leaves our country with the child they dreamed about.
The company also promotes a healthy lifestyle through sports, as we support Ukrainian jiu-jitsu teams, helping them achieve very high sports results, and athletes – to advance in the professional career.
You can find a lot of information on our website, as well as on the Internet. Once Euronews journalists were in our clinic with a hidden camera and filmed different moments, you can find this video on YouTube. Spain calls us “The womb of Europe”. Also on some forums videos about the experience of couples who could not have children for a long time are published, but in our clinic these people found a solution. Each couple is a part of the history of our clinic, and for each of them, we show not only professionalism, but also moral support.
Correspondent: One of the clinic’s services is IVF (in vitro fertilization), and not only with the use of own eggs, but even with donor eggs. What is it? Who are the donors of these eggs?
Oleh: Noted should be that the majority of couples who come to us are over 40 years old. In this context, the chances of conceiving a baby are naturally quite low due to the physiological aging of the ovules, and we also know about the accumulation of various mutations in the human cell, which are very likely to be inherited by the baby. In our lists there are more than 700 young women who underwent tests and received a good medical evaluation in our center and who meet all the necessary health criteria. In Biotexcom, you can choose several donors, among which, one is the main one, and the rest – just to be safe. Donors undergo hormonal stimulation after which they ovulate 15-20 eggs.
Olha: This procedure, namely the egg fertilization stage is carried out only with fresh material. We do not freeze eggs, since it is proved that in this case the chances of both fertilization and the development of a good quality embryo are sharply reduced. It’s important to keep in mind that the stimulation process is controlled by the doctor himself, and ovarian stimulation is carried out only in accordance with medical standards.
Correspondent: Another service of your clinic is a surrogacy program. It would be very interesting and useful for us and our readers to find out how everything happens. What are the criteria for the selection of surrogate mothers?
Oleh: Let’s say, if the couple had an attempt of classic in vitro fertilization with donor eggs, then it makes sense to offer such couples the surrogacy program. A mandatory condition is that the couple must be traditional, that is, a man and a woman, and their marriage must be officially registered. Another condition is the availability of medical evidence that they cannot get pregnant naturally. It is important that the donor and the surrogate mother have at least one child of their own in order to participate in our program.
Olha: We act in accordance with Ukrainian legislation: two attempts through the classic IVF method, then through donor eggs and, finally, the option of surrogacy. As mentioned above, the surrogate mother must have at least one child and have no bad habits. In our clinic, we conduct a detailed examination on a mandatory basis in order to ensure that the embryo obtained from the donor egg and husband’s sperm can be implanted and develop normally.
Oleh: Our couples can meet surrogate mother only after making sure that the pregnancy is proceeding well and that there are no complications. They may then be present in the monitoring of the pregnancy of the surrogate mother, and during ultrasound. Parents are constantly informed about the health of their future baby and the surrogate mother.
Olha: We know that in Romania, doctors prefer caesarean section more, but we practice natural childbirth and caesarean section only if the doctor recommends it.
Oleh: On the official website of the clinic you can watch a video about how mothers spend time with us in the clinic. You may learn a lot when watching the video.
Olha: There are couples who want a baby, other couples want twins, and there are some who choose the sex of the future baby. We do all that.
Correspondent: Wow, you can even choose the gender of the unborn child?!
Oleh: Yes, it is possible. If the couple wants a girl, then we transfer the girls. If the couple wants a boy, then we transfer the boys. This pattern does not apply to twins. Although 90% of applications are boys, girls have the highest success rates.
Correspondent: Tell us how the process of surrogacy is legally developed? Does the law allow babies to be registered directly to their parents’ last names?
Oleh: In registration documents, a baby belongs only to the couple. A surrogate mother does not appear in the documents.
Olha: According to the laws of Ukraine and Romania, one of the parents must have a genetic relationship with the baby. The couple must be officially married, in the Ukrainian birth certificate (since they were born in the country where the clinic is located), they are registered as parents, regardless of their nationality. On the other hand, the surrogate mother signs a surrender of the baby. In case she is married, her husband also signs surrender of the baby and they recognize the genetic parents and have no claims for the newborn. After discharge from the hospital, the surrogate mother signs a document indicating that she voluntarily renounces the rights for the baby in favor of the couple who are the biological parents of the baby.
Oleh: Then the parents receive a birth certificate and together with the child, a citizen of Romania, can return home to Romania.
Correspondent: Should spouses go to the Romanian embassy in Ukraine?
Olha: We accompany the couple and prepare the necessary documents. After the baby obtains the birth certificate in the Vital Records Office, we register online at the embassy.
Oleh: A DNA test is also required not only for the preparation of documents, but also for the parents themselves.
Correspondent: How do these documents in Ukraine comply with the current legislation of Romania? Are the children of this couple recognized by the legislation in Romania or should they perform other legal procedures here in the country?
Oleh: As I said, while the procedure is being carried out in the territory of Ukraine, the legislation of our country must be respected. All documents are translated from Ukrainian to Romanian and certified by a notary. Legally, with the birth of the baby, the married couple is recognized as legal parents, and the baby is already a citizen of Romania. Biotexcom takes care of the preparation of all necessary documents and their translation.
Correspondent: Thus, BIOTEXCOM is a chance for couples who dream about their own child! What are the chances of success with ART, namely IVF?
Oleh: Of course, we keep our statistics and, for example, in 2019, from January to September, we achieved a success of 74% with the first attempt on donor eggs. With own egg, the percentage is lower and amounts to 65%. The goal of our clinic is that a couple returns home with one or two healthy children.
Olha: We offer two attempts with your own eggs. If the procedure is performed with donor eggs, the number of attempts is unlimited, that is, until pregnancy arrives.
Correspondent: The clinic is located in Kyiv, does this mean that couples who wish to use your services must travel to Kyiv? Are there translators for clients from Romania?
Oleh: That’s true. Everything is carried out in Kyiv. We have many departments, including a Romanian one that works with patients from Romania. Our clients enjoy all the services of the company, we pick them up from the airport, we accommodate them, we carry out all the medical tests and we help make their dream come true.
Correspondent: That is, you offer accommodation for Romanian couples?
Oleh: That’s right. Couples live in apartments of at least 50 square meters, there are restaurants nearby. We provide a pediatrician for babies, a playground for the little ones, also a room for children, where it is possible to leave the baby for several hours.
Correspondent: We like to hear happy stories! Please tell us one of them.
Oleh: Oh, I want to tell you a story about a Romanian woman who before the arrival in Biotex had 15 IVF attempts with eggs obtained in Romania, Greece, Spain. Each time, spontaneous abortions occurred after 7 weeks or so of pregnancy. When they heard about our clinic, they immediately said they wanted to go to surrogacy, then our doctor recommended that they try to do IVF again and give birth independently. The woman did the stimulation according to our protocol, after which they transferred three embryos. A few days before the New Year, she called me and said that the pregnancy had failed again. I felt very sorry for her. There was still a risk of miscarriage. They started planning the surrogacy program, but a week later she called me again and told me she was pregnant. Out of the three embryos, one came out with a blood clot, but two remained. Today, Dana, a mother who lives in Bucharest, has two healthy girls between 7 and 8 years old, made in Ukraine. (Smile)
Olha: Many couples think that there are no more chances; they believe they have tried all the options and they give up. It is important to trust us and the doctors. This way, sooner or later they will succeed. We sign the contract only if the couple consciously decided to have a baby and take full responsibility for it, and if they also realize that they will have to go a long way and wait.
Oleh: Due to the increased demand from September to November, we stopped signing new contracts for participation in the program. Now couples register for 2020.
Correspondent: On November 3, you also had a conference in Bucharest. What was its purpose?
Olha: The conference had the informative character and addressed to those couples who was not able to visit our clinic in Kyiv. I answered the questions: What steps should they follow? What awaits them? Or how long should they wait?
Oleh: It was important for us to meet in person with couples who have a problem here in Romania, since we do not have a representative office in this country. More than 70 couples attended the conference, and even though we are close to Romania, it has been important for both couples and us to meet face to face.
Correspondent: How long has Biotexcom been working with couples in Romania?
Oleh: Over eight years, approximately 1,000 couples of Romanian citizens, regardless of whether they live in the country or not, have applied for registration for surrogacy programs and more than 2,500 for the IVF program.
Correspondent: Visiting the official website of your clinic, we understand that patients from different countries of the world come to you. Can you tell us more about this?
Oleh: The Chinese come to us by bus. They are our patients, most of them want boys. Yes, we have patients from all over the world. Canada, USA, China, India, Spain, Germany, Australia, Japan, Portugal, Algeria.
Olha: from all over the world. Argentina, Brazil.
Oleh: We are often recommended by those couples who come home already with a child. Then there was information about Biotex in the media, on various sites, in newspapers or video reports of some well-known television channels.
Correspondent: What problems do your patients face most often?
Olha: When you have not been able to conceive from the first time or a pregnancy is failed.
Oleh: Many couples do not quite understand what this procedure entails. They are in a hurry, hoping to get the results as soon as possible. But they need to be explained that if they want a positive result, they should be patient. We have a lot of requests and a long list of couples waiting to become parents.
Correspondent: I am very grateful for your time and, after all, I would like you to wish something to couples who plan to use the services of BioTexCom.
Olha: Be patient. If a couple is nervous, it is not even able to answer questions.
Oleh: Trust us. We have a slogan: there is no absolute infertility! Together with us you will find the optimal solution much faster!