Washington, D.C.’s longstanding surrogacy agreement ban has officially been revoked. Effective April 7, 2017, theCollaborative Reproduction Amendment Act of 2016 ensures that residents of the D.C. Metro area are able to enter into surrogacy and surrogacy agreements without fear of legal repercussions.
Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists is thrilled to announce that we are attending the LGBT Family Building Expo in New York City next month. The Expo, for which we are a Premier Sponsor, is hosted by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center. It will take place on Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 11am to 5pm.
The Expo is intended to assist LGBT people from a variety of backgrounds achieve their dreams of parenthood. From parenting teens to infants, LGBT Family Building Expo will have a variety of resources, including workshops and panels on topics such as adoption, surrogacy, foster care and alternative insemination. There will also be many exhibitors throughout the day.
What we commonly refer to as “surrogacy” in America is often called “commercial surrogacy” abroad. Commercial surrogacy is not an option in many other countries. Some countries will only permit altruistic surrogacy agreements.
Altruistic surrogacy refers to those surrogacy agreements where the surrogate does not receive monetary compensation. In most altruistic surrogacy agreements, the surrogate is a close relation to the intended parents (family member/close friend).
Within the last two years, a story fromAustralia reached headlines about a positive altruistic surrogacy arrangement between strangers. The gestational surrogate decided she wanted to give back to someone faced with reproductive challenges. She connected with a family struggling to have a second child and agreed to be their gestational surrogate. This was a rare scenario.
Entering into an altruistic surrogacy with a known surrogate (i.e. family member, close friend) is a celebrated experience. However, even when the surrogate in an altruistic agreement is a close relation, complications or unforeseen expenses may arise.
An expecting parent might think all baby products are created equally until the day they venture into a baby store for the first time. So many options, some offering only the slightest differences, can make the selection process unnecessarily time consuming and overwhelming. Choosing good baby bottles isn’t rocket science, but it can be a daunting task if you are not aware of what is out there. It is helpful to think about what is most likely to match your preferences and needs.
Plastic, Glass or Stainless Steel
Years ago, glass bottles were the only option. As modern conveniences bombarded our society with plastic for everything, plastic bottles evolved into the go to choice. Plastic bottles are lighter than glass ones and less likely to break if dropped. Some plastic bottles even come with convenient disposable inserts (*less to clean/sanitize). Plastic dominated as the preferred bottle choice until warnings about BPA and its potentially harmful effects on humans (especially babies) started to surface.
Most, if not all, plastic baby bottles these days are made BPA-free. Some research indicates BPA-free makes plastic bottles a safer option. Others argue that additional chemicals are used in plastics and can also be harmful to the body. If a parent chooses to use plastic bottles, it is important they dispose of and replace the bottles if scratched or visibly worn.
Tags: baby bottles
Tabasco, Mexico, where surrogacy has been legal since 1997, became a hub after India closed its doors, first to gay and then to foreign would-be parents starting in 2013, and Thailand followed suit and also banned surrogacy. But the baby boom in Tabasco ended when legislators changed the civil code to limit surrogacy to Mexican heterosexuals as of Jan. 14, 2016.
In December 2016, the Tabasco civil registry began to refuse to issue birth certificates to children born through surrogacy after mid-October — nine months after the law went into effect. Without a birth certificate, the children could not receive passports to leave Mexico. As Mexican State Limits Surrogacy, Global System Is Further Strained, New York Times, 3/23/17.
Once the pregnancy is confirmed, the waiting game begins. While watching your surrogate’s baby bump grow is exciting, nothing compares to seeing the sonogram pictures from ultrasounds. Whether attending the appointments in person, participating via facetime, or gazing at emailed pictures later that day, ultrasounds offer the intended parents a sneak peek at their unborn baby.
What Are They?
The ultrasounds produce sonograms, or images, from the ultrasonic waves. The OB-GYN will use the information collected during each ultrasound to determine how the baby is developing and may potentially identify any health risks or concerns.
At the ultrasound, the gestational carrier will lay back on a table while a technician squirts warm gel all over her belly and runs a wand over the gel. Images will be displayed on a monitor for everyone to see and enjoy.
Italy's recent landmark ruling officially recognized the status of both men in a couple as the legal fathers of their surrogate children, not just the biological father. For a nation that has only recently recognized same-sex civil unions, this is a significant breakthrough, indicating that a more more open view toward surrogacy could be a future possibility.
Currrently, surrogacy is prohibited by law in Italy, but the Court of Appeal of Trento determined that "the consequences of the violation of the rules set forth in Law No 40 of 2014 committed by adults should not fall back on the newborn," indicating that families who pursue surrogacy outside of Italy will not be penalized when they register their children's birth certificates in Italy.
A former intern of ours shared the eye-opening experience he had with our surrogacy agency. This is what he had to say:
To be perfectly honest, I didn’t really know what I signed up for when I agreed to an internship at WSS; all I knew was that I’d be working at a law office that offered decent pay. Little did I know the impact this amazing agency would have on me, and all of the life lessons that would come along with it…
On my very first day, I was asked about my past work experience as a piano teacher/delivery boy/McDonald’s cashier – a far cry from helping people attain genetically-related offspring that they can’t conceive on their own.
Everything I knew about surrogacy up until this point was something I had learned from a five-minute Vice News bit entitled “Outsourcing Embryos.” The video covered the multi-billion-dollar international surrogacy business, discussing how hopeful parents-to-be were turning to foreign countries such as India to start their families. It’s an unfortunate realitythat surrogacy costs in America can exceed $150,000.
One of the many benefits of working with Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists, LLC is the agency’s extensive experience with surrogacy, including international surrogacy agreements (ISAs). The team at Worldwide will help guide international intended parents to best prepare all aspects of the surrogacy, including legal parentage.
Private International Law (PIL) applies to citizens from different countries conducting business (i.e. international surrogacy agreements). In the event that something goes wrong or one party seeks legal action, the need arises to determine jurisdiction, of which involved party’s national laws will apply. Private International Law in surrogacy may be needed to determine legal parentage and the nationality of the child. This will determine whether the child is a citizen in the country where they were born or in the country where their parents are nationals and they will reside.
There is no limit to the resources available on surrogacy. Books, websites, online support groups, and first person accounts are accessible for intended parents and gestational surrogates. Whether someone is considering surrogacy and seeking general information or needs support and reassurance to contend with a difficult aspect, resources exist to help.
Surrogacy Laws State by State
While overall the United States is at the forefront for surrogacy experience and equality, it does not guarantee the same practice or protection in each state. Anyone interested in surrogacy in the US should do research to learn the specific surrogacy laws and/or restrictions in a particular state. An excellent website to visit is: http://www.creativefamilyconnections.com/us-surrogacy-law-map. The site covers critical information including, but not limited to, whether or not gestational surrogacy is legal in that state, does the state offer pre-birth orders, and who and under what circumstances will someone be granted legal parentage.