|Sarah Jessica Parker & Matthew Broderick have twins via surrogacy|
Since the in vitro fertilization or IVF baby, Louise Brown was born in 1978, the infertility and assisted reproductive technology industry in the United States has expanded tremendously.
IVF, just one of many medical services offered to infertile couples, has skyrocketed since the Centers for Disease Controls (CDC) began tracking the industry in 1998. The CDC states that the IVF births per year have more than doubled in over a decade since the agency started tracking them. They exceeded 57,000 in 2007.
Other fertility services include egg and sperm donation, hormonal therapy, artificial insemination, and emerging technologies like gamete intra-fallopian transfer (GIFT) and zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT).
Surrogacy has exploded in recent years. The number of babies born to gestational surrogates grew 89% percent in just four years, from 2004 to 2008.
This rate far exceeds growth in the number of IVF babies generally.
- A permanent resident currently living in the United States -Out of country surrogacy has a load of issues of its own, including rampant fraud. However, surrogacy scams are limited to foreign nations. The FBI has a file about American surrogacy scams too. The centers usually don’t require you to be a US citizen.
- Do not reside in the following states: AZ, DE, DC, IN, LA, MI, NE, NY, OK, WA – These states have immensely tough restrictions and barriers that make it challenging for these organizations. Check out this document from the Council on Responsible Genetics which details all the states restrictions toward the end. (Warning: Most of this document is anti-surrogacy, which it considers an abomination of sorts.)
- Non-smoker – Agencies want a mother who will deliver a healthy baby and perhaps since they cannot assure that a current smoker would be able to adequately quit, and they will have limited opportunities to monitor the mom, it’s best if the surrogate is not a smoker to begin with.
- Between the age of 22 and 43, although the age limit is flexible for repeat surrogates – Obviously, younger mothers with fresh supply of ample eggs are ideal, but there is nothing stopping older mothers who have successfully completed their family from being a surrogate. See yesterday’s story about the 48-year-old surrogate mother on her 8th and 9th surrogate pregnancy.
- Given birth to a child without any complications – The odds are if you have successfully had a complications-free pregnancy, labor and delivery, more likely you and your body are capable of doing it again with similar success!
- Not currently receiving any form of government assistance – Here, it seems like discrimination from the poor, but ethically, the organization may be wary of women who may be electing to become a surrogate thinking there will be steep financial rewards for doing so. It would be as if they are making babies to sell. A recent Forbes article indicated that surrogates can be paid anywhere between $12,000 and $25,000 per pregnancy, though the cost to intended parents can be much greater, running from $40,000 to $120,000 when medical and legal bills are included. It’s not that much money if you break down this figure by hour, surrogates are paid below the minimum wage.