Monday, August 03, 2015

The Surrogacy Road Map


Surrogacy is a complicated and expensive process.  There are lots of queries, emotional worries, and financial concerns. How do we find a surrogate ? Who will provide her with antenatal care? How will I be able to track her pregnancy ? Will she stay at home ? Is the surrogacy contract  water-tight ? Does it protect me ? Will it stand up in a court of law in case there is a dispute ? Whose name will be on the baby's birth certificate ? Will I be able to take the baby back with me after birth ?

For example, if you’re a non resident Indian, or you’re coming from overseas for your surrogacy treatment , you need to deal with the FRRO as well as the Embassy of your country in order to get a passport and visa for your baby. This means that surrogacy is a complex exercise and there are lots of moving parts , and you need to make sure that everything progresses smoothly.

Fortunately there are agencies which will provide an end to end service for the patient. This includes: identifying the surrogate, organising the IVF treatment in an IVF clinic, making sure the surrogate is looked after during her pregnancy; and helping you to take your baby back after birth.  These are one point, one contact solutions for intended parents , and it can be very reassuring to deal with these agencies , some of whom are very organised and professional in their approach.

The problem is that the care they provide then becomes extremely expensive , because act as middleman, and have to source all these services from various different experts. When you add their profit margin , it becomes extremely expensive.

Irrespective of where you choose to do your surrogacy, it’s important that you have a road map in your head.  This is the stuff which you need to do in order to identify the IVF clinic, identify the surrogate, and the lawyer, and includes everything you need to do before you start your treatment; during the IVF treatment and her pregnancy; and then after the baby’s born.

Part of the problem is that most of the service providers you offer surrogacy treatment play only a limited role within the entire journey . Because there are lots of pieces within the complicated jigsaw puzzle , you will often need to be the integrator , so that you can be sure that the right hand knows what the left hand is doing.

It's a good idea to map  out and write down your path as you travel along the journey. You might also want to consider sharing this with other patients.  Not only will having this written down make it much easier for you, you’ll also be able to solve your queries because your are well organised.  Sharing it will help everyone - the  IVF clinic ; the lawyer ; the various government agencies and embassies and officials involved in your process, because you’ve made sure your documentation is complete and that you’ve not overlooked anything, so there are no gaps. Even more importantly, you will be able to help other patients during their journey, which can be so extremely taxing, but so rewarding when it all works out well in the end.

If you want to see an example of a well designed road map for surrogacy for US citizens who come to India because you want to take charge of your surrogacy journey, please check out www.slideshare.net/malpani/surrogacy-us-citizens-legalchecklist which has been created by one of our expert patients.

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