Going Abroad for Surrogacy in Ukraine
Ukraine has seen an increase in the number of international surrogacy arrangements taking place in Ukraine that may partly be attributed to the legal, stable and transparent egg donation or/and surrogacy Ukraine arrangements enabling intended parents to obtain legal parentage of the newborn bore via In vitro fertilization (IVF). It is thought that increasing numbers may be going to India, Thailand, the United States or Canada for surrogacy. However, the relatively significant cost of surrogacy in the United States, and the fact that both India and Thailand have lost their attractiveness to the intended parents due to the legal ban of surrogacy for foreigners in India, and full ban of surrogacy in Thailand, prevents the intended parents from going to those countries for surrogacy.
When the intended parents goes Ukraine, they sometimes may not know who their surrogate and for sure do not know who their sperm or egg donor is (both, sperm and egg donation is fully anonymous in Ukraine). The process of going Ukraine may put additional psychological obstacles on the intended parents. On the other hand, it is possible that dealing with an IVF clinic or the respective international surrogacy Ukraine agency like Parents Life is, rather than a surrogate directly (as is sometimes the case in Ukraine too), may lessen anxiety during the pregnancy. It is also not known, how children will feel about having the surrogate and possibly the egg donor who are from a different country, culture and ethnicity to their intended parents, and what, if any, information they would want to know about such third parties involved.
There are few reasons why the intended parents may consider going abroad for surrogacy Ukraine. The most common reason for the intended parents going there is that they are concerned about the risk of the surrogate keeping the baby if surrogacy is carried out in their home country (provided that surrogacy is allowed there). The intended parents think often that asking the surrogate to carry “for love”, that is, for altruistic reasons, seemed an unfair exchange. This means that the countries with a solely altruistic surrogacy simply do not fit their needs. Other reasons included finding no one suitable to act as the surrogate, and that surrogacy in the intended parents’ home country is a lengthy and truly complicated process. Earlier, most of the intended parents were going to India or Thailand for overseas surrogacy with thousands of births attributed to Indian or Thailand surrogacy, but now it is impossible.
It is assumable that the intended parents from the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Europe would have similar reasons for going for surrogacy Ukraine, if the local legislation about surrogacy does not prohibit them to do so. Some countries expressed great unease about commercial surrogacy Ukraine and recommended that the surrogate should receive the only reasonable expenses. Concerns included how the child would feel about significant amounts of money changing hands and whether commercialization would lead to commercial exploitation of the surrogates. Taking into account the commercialization of surrogacy Ukraine, we do not know how base monetary compensation to the surrogates in Ukraine may influence on the surrogate herself and on the child’s feelings about their surrogacy Ukraine birth.
The most Ukrainian surrogates are happy with the current Ukrainian law allowing base monetary compensation and other reasonable expense as they feel that such services must be adequately paid for. In addition, the surrogates are happy of other aspects of Ukrainian legislation including the plenty to do not have their name on the birth certificate. All the surrogates feel it fair that the intended parents who provided their gametes could be named on the birth certificate and have to acquire legal parentage of their own biological child without problems.
From the intended parents’ perspective, having the surrogate, who is motivated by money, may appear less of a threat. In terms of the amount of money received by the surrogate, there appear to be minimal differences. For example, in Ukraine, the surrogate may receive around $15,000 and in the United States, typical amounts are between $20,000 and $30,000. Thus, it appears that the difference in between Ukraine and the United States may often hinge on the amount of the surrogate receives. Of course, not all surrogacy Ukraine arrangements involve large amounts of money and rare surrogates may be motivated by a desire to help others, rather than for financial reasons.
In some cases where the amount received by the surrogate is perceived to be high, then the intended parents and the surrogates may be put in a very difficult position jeopardizing their chances of obtaining parentage. This scenario is perhaps more common for the intended parents who go Ukraine to access commercial surrogacy, when in their home country they are wary of commercial surrogacy. Although yet, no the intended parents have been denied parentage because of the amount the surrogate has received. Actually, it is legal for the surrogates to be paid, though in practice the intended parents and the surrogates may feel that it is. In Ukraine, it is thought that all the intended parents seek parentage when they return home as Ukraine allow the intended parents to be named on the birth certificate, although according to Ukrainian law these intended parents would be considered legal parents.
The additional study require the impact for the married couple of using surrogacy Ukraine and of raising the child, once they return home. It is not known, for example, how do the intended parents who choose not to obtain parentage in their home country, and so would not be legal parents of the child, would be affected in their role as a parent. Does the uncertainty over their legal parentage make them feel less secure in their parental role? Do they keep the surrogacy birth secret from their family and friends given that they had not formally disclosed it to the authorities, and if so, what impact does this have on family relationships and on the child? In addition, how may surrogacy child feel about their surrogate or egg donor being from another country or of a different race or culture? For those families who choose to stay in contact with their surrogate, how do families maintain a relationship across different countries and cultures and does contact taper off over time in the same way as it has been found to do for Ukrainian parents who had carried out domestic surrogacy arrangements?
Changes in legislation or surrogacy practice can have immediate consequences for those concerned. For example, in July 2012 the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, instructed that all the overseas intended parents seeking surrogacy in India would require a medical visa instead of a tourist one. Such medical visas are issued following a letter from the Indian IVF clinic involved. Furthermore, to access surrogacy, medical visas would be issued only to couples who have been married for at least two years. Given that India does not recognize LGBT marriages, this meant that LGBT couples and single men were no longer able to access surrogacy in India. This sudden change in the eligibility criteria meant that the intended parents found themselves in a situation where they were unsure whether they would be able to take their baby home. It was later made clear that the guidelines would not apply to those who were in the middle of treatment; however, it did affect couples who had embryos in storage in India who, because of these new rules, would not be able to have them transferred into a surrogate. India’s restrictions led to many couples travelling to alternative destinations such as Thailand (that is banned now), Malaysia, Kenya and Ukraine, which at the time had no such limitations in access to surrogacy. As a result, idem, surrogacy in India was banned for the overseas intended parents.
Surrogacy Ukraine in a context in which the surrogate is paid, and where there is no perceived shortage of the surrogates, can also lead to the intended parents requesting that more than one surrogate undergoes embryo transfer in order to increase the chances of a pregnancy. If two surrogates become pregnant, this results in a unique type of “twins”, where the intended parents raise at least two children of a similar age, but where the children do not share their gestational mother. In some instances, the two surrogates may each carry twin pregnancies resulting in a rare situation of two sets of twins, that is, four children. Although the Indian clinic involved in this case was surprised and concerned when they discovered both surrogates were carrying twins, the couple were reported to be overjoyed. Couples can view multiple births as a means of creating an “instant family”. However, multiple births carry health risks for the gestating woman, such as high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia, anemia and gestational diabetes, and for the babies, including preterm delivery, low birth weight and perinatal mortality and disability. In addition to the medical risks, the intended parents may be unprepared for the additional physical, emotional and financial burden of caring for twins or triplets and intended mothers of twins born through assisted reproduction have been found to experience greater parenting stress and depression in comparison to the intended mothers of singletons.
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