Sometimes, when American intended parents consider surrogacy, they look outside of the United States in hopes of finding a cheaper option than they would through an agency in the U.S. However, while an international surrogacy may cost less than one completed in the United States, it comes at the cost of crucial legal protections and important services for you and the surrogate who carries your baby.
If you’re one of the U.S. citizens considering gay surrogacy in other countries, it’s important to know that the best option for you will be the United States. Not only is it usually the most convenient option for LGBT Americans, it’s also usually the safest — legally and practically — for both intended parents and the surrogate involved.
Many intended parents from other countries also come to the United States to complete their international surrogacy. If you’re a foreign LGBT intended parent, American Surrogacy is happy to help complete your surrogacy process through our international surrogacy program. The services we provide from start to finish will help you bring home a perfect little bundle of joy in an easy and efficient way. To learn more about working with a surrogate from the U.S., contact our surrogacy specialists today.
But, if you’re an LGBT couple in the U.S. considering an LGBT surrogacy in another country, there are some important things you need to know first.
The Reality of Gay Surrogacy in Other Countries
Before surrogacy options and surrogacy law advanced dramatically in the U.S. over the past few decades, it was far more common for U.S. citizens, no matter their sexual orientation, to go abroad to have a child via a surrogate. This was largely due to a lack of surrogacy regulations in those countries, which made the process relatively inexpensive and more possible than in some parts of the United States. However, it was a rather risky process for these parents.
As the use of surrogacy and other assisted reproductive technology became more widespread, countries that used to have no regulations in place for this process started to enact laws that would greatly impact the ability of U.S. citizens to complete a surrogacy abroad. Nations that used to allow surrogacy from foreigners either restricted or completely banned surrogacy, and the legal landscape for surrogacy abroad is very different than it used to be.
Here’s what surrogacy laws look like in countries where international LGBT surrogacy used to be popular or common:
Gay surrogacy in India: Illegal for homosexual couples and foreigners.
Gay surrogacy in Mexico: Illegal for non-Mexican nationals and homosexuals.
Gay surrogacy in Nepal: Illegal for all people, including foreigners.
Gay surrogacy in New Zealand: Compensated surrogacy is illegal and, no matter whether a surrogate is related to the baby she carries, she retains all parental rights until she formally completes the adoption process. Altruistic surrogacy is legal.
Gay surrogacy in Australia: Laws vary by state, but generally, commercial surrogacy is illegal.
Gay surrogacy in Thailand: Effectively illegal for all foreigners, and compensated surrogacy is illegal.
Gay surrogacy in the U.K.: Compensated surrogacy is illegal, regardless of the intended parents’ sexual orientation.
Many other countries in the world either completely ban surrogacy or do not regulate the process enough to provide a safe surrogacy process for foreigners. In addition to the legal complications of completing the surrogacy medical process in another country, LGBT couples considering an international surrogacy must also think about the legal process of protecting parental rights (especially if the country does not recognize same-sex marriage and, therefore, joint LGBT adoption) and securing their child’s citizenship in the United States.
Before you move forward with any kind of gay surrogacy in a foreign country, you need to speak at length with an attorney who is familiar with the surrogacy laws in that country — and whether the process is even possible for an LGBT individual.
Why the U.S. is Your Best Option
Clearly, if you’re an LGBT person considering surrogacy, going to another country may not be the best option for you. Instead, when you choose to complete your surrogacy in the United States, either as a U.S. citizen or as international intended parents, it will be done in a way that protects not only your rights and interests but also the rights, safety and health of your baby and their surrogate.
When you work with a surrogate in the United States, you will be able to be a part of your child’s development even while they are still in utero. You can meet your chosen surrogate and even build a close relationship with her, one where you can go to doctor’s visits with her and be there for the birth of your child. In addition, the U.S. surrogacy laws will protect your parental rights and your signed surrogacy contract in a way that you may not be able to ensure in another country.
Working with American Surrogacy gives you many other benefits that you may not get in another country, including a fully-screened and vetted surrogate, case management and counseling services and a professional to help you through every step of the process. Our surrogacy specialists are more than happy to discuss your individual situation and help you understand what your options for a gay surrogacy might be. Please feel free to call us anytime at 1-800-875-2229 with any questions you have or to start your surrogacy process today.