International surrogacy has always been a hot button topic, but lately there have been even more stories emerging from outside our borders. There are many reasons why people look outside America when they’re hoping to grow their families with surrogacy, but none of them outweigh the potential heartache, and the very real consequences some intended parents are facing today.

The Laws are Continually Changing

Legislative changes have been occurring all over the world. In many cases, countries are outright banning surrogacy, while others are rewriting their legislation to limit gay couples from bringing home their babies. Mexico specifically limited surrogacy to heterosexual couples only, and also banned foreigners from seeking Mexican gestational surrogates. Nepal and Thailand have also enacted similar legislation. India didn’t ban it, but the country did make it much more difficult.

Consumer Protection is Questionable

Just before the change in Mexico, a New Zealand couple made arrangements with an agency. The dads elected to have two different surrogates and were blessed with three babies. When they arrived in the country for the birth of the children, they found that the “agency” had slipped away with their cash. The process to bring the children home was lengthy and they had to pay the medical fees all over again, plus endure expensive DNA tests to prove that one of the dads was the biological father.

Medical Conditions are Lacking

The fathers, not working with a reputable agency had no way of knowing what conditions awaited them. The Daily Mail reported that the babies were received into an unhygienic hospital room with cockroaches. Sadly, one of the boys became ill, no doubt at least partially caused by the conditions, and required an additional $118,132 in care before he was fit to go home. The dads were lucky in that a fundraising effort was made, enabling them to pay off their unexpected debts and return to New Zealand with the trio.

Custody is Uncertain

In many cases, the intended parents must have a biological link to the child. DNA tests must be completed before the parents can leave the country with the children. Despite this, one couple recently had trouble bringing their baby home to Spain from Thailand. The little one was conceived before the country tightened its restrictions, though the gestational surrogate “changed her mind” after the birth, forcing the couple to go through the court system before they could leave. This is common in many countries, where a gestational surrogate must permit the parents to leave, even though she has no relation to the child.

Thankfully, the stories highlighted here all have happy endings, as healthy babies returned home with their intended parents, but this is not always the case. Though legislation varies across the US, California’s regulations are tight, and they protect intended parents. Medical care is exceptional, and when you work with a reputable and trustworthy agency, the process is a smooth one. If you’re considering completing your family via surrogacy, protect your little one and yourself by beginning the journey here. SPS will guide you through the process and stand by your side even after the delivery. Please contact us if you’re ready to add to your family or if you have questions about the process.