Ask the Surrogacy Experts

“My partner and I have read through all the information you’ve sent. It’s so disheartening that the only options are so expensive for gay couples – it’s really upsetting. What are our options? Do you think surrogacy is achievable for less than $80,000 dollars?”
— Arturo & William


Good morning Arturo and William.

Surrogacy options suck for gay couples. It’s even worse for gay couples in the UK. The United States is the only destination where commercial surrogacy for gay couples is legal. And the UK Parental Order process limits surrogacy to countries with explicit, supportive legislation.

Straight couples have affordable options in eastern Europe, but gay couples don’t enjoy that alternative. LGBT families are limited shady programs in developing countries like Kenya, or pretending to be straight to arrange a legally murky journey in Ukraine or Cyprus. Those options run afoul or the UK laws.

Below is a summary of international surrogacy programs for LGBT couples within your $80,000 budget. There’s also a full discussion about surrogacy destinations for LGBT families in the Surrogacy Guide.

Independent Surrogacy in the USA: This is a new type of program, and not for everyone. Instead of hiring a surrogacy agency, the “Indy” program has the parents work directly with their surrogate to manage her clinical appointments, medications and prenatal care. Agency’s typically charge from $20,000 to $25,000 USD, so by cutting out the agent this type of program costs about $75,000 USD. But you should be prepared to take a much more active role in your surrogacy journey.

Canada: After the US, Canada is the best-known option for Gay couples. Only altruistic surrogacy is legal, which complicates finding a surrogate. A client recently told me that he was on a list for 18 months for a surrogate in Canada – he was gay man from overseas and surrogate candidates preferred to work with local couples. If you’re willing to wait, you can get a program for about $80,000 in Canada.

Colombia: A little known option is surrogacy in Colombia. Colombia has a progressive society with gay marriage, gay adoption and LGBT non-discrimination laws. There is also a legal framework based on declarations by the Constitutional Court supporting surrogacy agreements. A “guarantee program” in Colombia is also affordable, at about $65,000 USD. Although there is still no explicit legislation on the books, surrogacy in Colombia is becoming a hot-spot for same-sex couples.

Kenya: There is no regulation on surrogacy in Kenya, so anyone can do it.  The surrogacy contract is just a private agreement with your surrogate, which means it can’t be enforced if something goes awry. And given that the Kenya is one of the most homophobic destinations worldwide, the chances of something going awry are not insignificant. Programs now costs about $45,000 USD.

Ukraine:  Technical loopholes will allow a single man to pursue surrogacy if he presents himself in a relationship with the surrogate, and that their intention is to raise the child together.  These programs cost about $50,000 USD.

Mexico:  There are some unregulated programs in Mexico that may be within your budget.  I don’t have specifics of these, but the option exists because there is no federal law banning surrogacy in Mexico.

In your case, because the baby will need to return to the UK, a Parental Order is needed to establish parental rights.  Parental Order requires the country where the baby is born has supportive legislation — and that eliminates Kenya, Ukraine or Mexico.

So by elimination, the only destination that may fit your needs would be the Indy program in the United States or the altruistic program in Colombia.

I hope this is helpful. Don’t hesitate to send a note and ask for details about any of these options.

— Bill


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