Being a surrogate for intended parents is a rewarding and inspiring experience, and international surrogacy is an option for you.
Just as there are many intended parents in the United States wanting to add to their family, there are many intended parents abroad who also have this desire. They may even live in countries where surrogacy is illegal or heavily restricted. As a surrogate who lives in the United States, you have the unique opportunity to make their family dreams come true.
There is a lot to consider before you begin the international surrogacy process for parents living outside of the U.S. If you are interested in learning more about this process, you can keep reading to find out the information you need to proceed with this unique surrogacy path.
You can also contact us online to speak with our surrogacy professionals and get more free information about international surrogacy programs.
6 Steps of the International Surrogacy Process
So, how does the international surrogacy process differ from becoming a surrogate for American intended parents?
In most ways, the international surrogacy process is similar to your process of becoming a surrogate for intended parents living in the U.S. However, there are a few major differences you should consider before choosing this surrogacy path.
In general, there are six main steps to the international surrogacy process:
Step 1: Determine if this is the right path for you.
Choosing to become a surrogate is a big commitment to make, and carrying for intended parents from another country is an even bigger decision. So, how do you know whether going through an international surrogacy program instead of a domestic route is right for you?
An experienced surrogacy agency can answer any questions or address any concerns you have about the international surrogacy process before you decide if it is right for you. Take time to process and consider asking yourself important questions, including:
- Are you willing to conduct a long-distance relationship, which may include a language barrier?
- Are you interested in learning more about a different culture?
- Are you comfortable with intended parents not being able to arrive immediately if something goes wrong?
Step 2: Find the perfect intended parents.
If you decide that international surrogacy is right for you, the next step is to find international intended parents.
A surrogacy agency that completes international surrogacy will show you profiles of waiting, pre-screened foreign intended parents. Like with choosing American intended parents, you will be able to decide which personal characteristics you are comfortable with, including:
- Marital status
- Sexual orientation
- And more
You will also be able to choose which country they are from, as well as the languages they speak. While most international intended parents pursuing surrogacy in the U.S. speak English, your international surrogacy professional can always provide a translator if the chosen intended parents do not speak English.
They will also help mediate an initial conversation with the intended parents so you can ask any remaining questions you have and ensure this is the right match for you.
If you complete an independent surrogacy, you will have to complete this step on your own through social media, surrogacy listings, and your personal network. Keep in mind this may be more challenging when you live in a separate country than potential intended parents.
Step 3: Complete the legal contract.
For the legal aspects of international surrogacy, you and the intended parents will need to work with your own surrogacy attorneys.
Because you live in the U.S., your international surrogacy will be subject to specific international surrogacy laws. Your surrogacy lawyer will make sure your rights and interests are protected throughout the process.
Step 4: Complete the embryo transfer process.
You will likely meet the intended parents for the first time while you work through the medical process of international surrogacy.
International intended parents will usually need to have their embryos shipped to the U.S. if they are already created, or work with an American fertility clinic to create their embryos in the U.S. Therefore, international intended parents are often required to travel to the U.S. for this process.
Your surrogacy professional will help you prepare for this first in-person meeting with the intended parents. They will usually be present during the embryo transfer process and may wish to spend time with you before and after the medical procedure is complete.
Step 5: Stay in touch during your pregnancy.
Being pregnant with an international intended parent’s baby is often no different than working with a long-distance American intended parent, especially if they speak English.
Your contact schedule will have been set in your international surrogacy contract, and you will often be responsible for emailing or calling the intended parents with major updates, like after all of your doctor’s appointments.
You and the intended parents will work together to find contact times that fit your schedules and time zones, which is why most people in an international surrogacy choose to communicate primarily by email.
Step 6: Deliver the baby and complete the international surrogacy process.
When it’s close to your due date or scheduled induction/C-section date, the intended parents will travel back to the U.S. to be present for their baby’s birth.
Your surrogacy professional will have already coordinated your delivery plan with the hospital of your choice, and the intended parents may be able to be in your room during your delivery. They will usually have a separate room of their own to stay in while you are recovering and they are awaiting their baby’s discharge.
You may need to sign additional paperwork once you give birth to establish the international intended parents’ rights. Otherwise, your international surrogacy journey will be complete after your delivery. The intended parents will return to their home country, and you may continue your relationship with them for months and years to come.
Unique challenges may arise during this process because of your international intended parents’ location, which is why it’s so important that you work with a surrogacy professional if you choose international surrogacy.
Why Should I Choose International Surrogacy?
When you choose to become a surrogate, you will always have the chance to choose what kind of intended parents you wish to carry for. Whether you choose to complete an independent surrogacy or work with an agency that offers international surrogacy programs, you may have the opportunity to carry a baby for people who live outside of the U.S.
America is one of the safest places for intended parents and surrogates to pursue the international surrogacy process, which is why so many international hopeful parents work with an American agency to fulfill their parenthood dreams.
Unfortunately, there are many countries, like India and Thailand, that have shut down surrogacy, or made the process so strictly regulated that is impossible to complete. So, when these parents come to the U.S. for its safe legal international surrogacy process, it is often the only chance they have at a biologically-related child.
Women who choose to carry a baby for international intended parents are often moved by this desire and the parents’ commitment to their parenthood process. These surrogates are honored at the ability they have to change someone’s life that may live half a world away.
Choosing the path of international surrogacy is a huge decision, and one you should only make when you’re sure that it is right for you. Whether you’re considering becoming a surrogate for international intended parents or you just want to learn more about international surrogacy, contact a surrogacy professional today.