Surrogacy in the US
Gail Sexton Anderson, Founder and CEO, explains why Donor Concierge is the best place for international patients looking to do a fertility journey in the US.
Why should international parents come to the US for their surrogacy journey?
I don’t think many people start their quest to have a child by thinking about who they will pick to become their egg donor, or which lucky woman will get to be their gestational surrogate. When receiving the diagnosis of needing ‘third party fertility’ (that means using a donor, either egg or sperm donor, or a gestational carrier) to help them along that path, there is a grieving process that can take many people by surprise. And then they find themselves in a situation of having to make hard choices – who will be their donor, which fertility clinic will they work with, how do they find a gestational surrogate (carrier)? These are all things that we can help with.
You work with people needing help becoming parents all around the world, but tell us more about the stumbling blocks and perception around it?
To those outside of the country, the USA has earned a reputation for being a premier destination for fertility treatment and therefore there are a dazzling array of options. There are hundreds of egg donor and surrogacy agencies, attorneys, fertility coaches and counsellors, fertility clinics vying for business. It can seem like everyone’s out to make a buck on the back of infertility misery of thousands of future parents struggling to conceive.
However, we’ve found that there are more checks and balances – there are legal contracts and FDA requirements set up in place and therefore there is less chance that things will go wrong, if you arm yourself with information and trusted fertility advice.
We know there are huge costs involved, often beyond what most fertility patients can afford. The compensated model of gamete donation and gestational surrogacy has harsh critics and often gets a bad reputation by misleading fertility blog articles, implying that everyone is in it for the money. While there may be a nugget of truth in some of this reporting, there is a common thread that we see amongst everyone working in this field – the desire to help others to have a child.
Getting a diagnosis of needing an egg or sperm donor, or a surrogate can be devastating. It can be confusing to know which companies to trust, where to go for fertility treatment and how much it’s all going to cost. That’s where we come in – helping you figure it all out.
The cost of surrogacy in the USA can be totally out of reach. Why is this the case and what are your thoughts?
The costs are definitely higher here – sperm donors, egg donors and gestational carriers are compensated, attorneys need to be paid and of course insurance can be a big cost. Traditionally, compensated donation and surrogacy have always been the case here. This gives us the opportunity to promote a transparent approach – all parties have contracts through an attorney, and we strive to make sure there are no surprises along the way.
So while it can be looked upon as a ‘business’, there’s a reason for that – a lot goes into a match with either a donor or a surrogate, and the professionals who do this matching – from the agencies to the attorneys, fertility clinics and mental health therapists / fertility coaches – have the same goal; to help people form families. At Donor Concierge, our premise has always been to take the burden of the search off of the intended parents. We actually help our clients save money by making sure they are choosing the best candidates -those who are likely to be approved by their fertility specialist, and those who have been vetted and are ready to go through this trying to conceive journey with them.
What’s your advice for people who are feeling overwhelmed by their fertility journey?
Let Donor Concierge help you! But there are some practical things you can do to tackle these feelings and make the journey a little more manageable. Here are my top three:
Remember you will need the help of many others for this journey so you must try to trust the process.
You can't control every part of the process and certainly not the outcome, but surrounding yourself with experts who are best placed to help you will go far in gaining a sense of being in control of your destiny.
Plan your finances. It may seem obvious but there's no point in starting this journey if you haven't got the finances in place. While the costs can seem daunting, Donor Concierge can help. We work with budget friendly surrogacy agencies, clinics with in house donor programs and see a wide range of donor and surrogates who may have lower compensation requests.
We know it’s not perfect, but Donor Concierge is here to make your US surrogacy and egg donor journey just that little bit easier. To find out how Donor Concierge can help further with fertility help and advice, contact us today!