Ask the Surrogacy Experts

Good morning Bill,

I am unable to conceive using my own eggs, but still want to become a mother. My intention was to use donor eggs, but I also require the use of donor sperm. Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that surrogacy may not be the right avenue for me to pursue after all.

I know your area of expertise is in surrogacy, but can you please recommend me to the most successful and most affordable IVF clinics your experience has lead you to discover? — Whitney


Hello Whitney,

If your intention is to carry the pregnancy yourself, and you don’t need a surrogate at all, then there are a multitude of options. (Many of which I have negotiated fees with.)

The better IVF clinics in the United States are ranked on the CDC website. Here is the link to their listings. I like to work with the HRC clinic in Encino, California.

If you are looking for an even lower price, I can recommend an IVF program overseas. Which one you choose depends on where you intend to have the embryo transfer. India is a great place to conceive embryos — the local government and clinics have heavily invested in a medical tourism industry, so they have great facilities and staff training. The problem with India is that it’s impossible to export your embryos out of the country… so you should consider that country if you plan on becoming pregnant in India as well.

Ukraine has excellent IVF clinics for a fraction of the price of U.S. facilities, and it’s quite simple to bring the embryos out of the country once conceived. I work with a few clinics there, but have had the best success with the Victoria Clinic and the Adonis Family Center. Both have had had great IVF results for my clients.

If you want to stay closer to home, there are some good clinics in the Mexico. I recommend the LIV clinic in Puerto Vallarta. However, like India, the embryos conceived in Mexico cannot be brought into the U.S. for two reasons: Mexico requires special export permits to move embryos out of the country, and also the U.S. has restrictions on embryos from countries that are considered Zika risks. But you can easily have your embryo transfer in Mexico, and then return home pregnant.

Southeast Asia is a dangerous place for foreign couples considering fertility tourism. The governments are quite suspicious of foreigners coming for fertility treatments (they always assume that surrogacy is the ultimate purpose). I would stay away for clinics in Thailand, despite them being among the best worldwide.

One quick note about having IVF overseas — the U.S. government has special medical requirements for embryos being brought into the United States. You will need to have blood tests performed at the time of your egg donation, and these must be done by a U.S. laboratory. The option is to have the tests done in the U.S. on the day before you travel abroad for your egg retrieval procedure. You can also have a testing kit sent to the clinic abroad and ask them to draw the samples (which are then sent to the U.S. lab for testing). The testing kit will cost about $1200 USD for each donor (sperm and egg donors).

If you plan to use both a sperm and egg donor from overseas, then assume you will NOT be able to bring those resulting embryos into the United States for the reason stated above. The FDA tests would need to be performed on the egg and sperm donor at the time of the donation — and if you get these from a Cryobank, it is unlikely that those tests were done. In that case, you should plan on having the embryo transfer (and becoming pregnant) in the overseas clinic. (That will be a couple of week process for the egg retrieval, and then an additional few weeks for the embryo transfer.)

I hope this answers your question,

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