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Tuesday, 10 July 2018 17:36

Confidence and Transparency In Surrogacy

The UK -- not the US, sorry -- has a very thoughtful and vocal stance on surrogacy.

By ELLEN TRACHMAN

Last month, the government issued thoughtful guidance on best practices for citizens considering entering into a surrogacy arrangement. Our government? No, no, sorry for any confusion. I am talking about the United Kingdom. The United States continues to maintain a patchwork of (mostly positive) surrogacy laws, or in many cases, no law at all. But the UK’s government, and more specifically, the Department of Health and Social Care, recently issued official guidance for intended parents and surrogates entering into surrogacy arrangements in England and Wales.

Tell Your Kids.

The guidance outlines provisions of existing law. These include things like how to secure the intended parents’ rights after the birth of the child or (2) that UK intended parents currently need to be married or living together as a couple (although hopefully not for long) to apply for a post-birth parentage order. But the guidance doesn’t just stop with existing laws. It goes further, noting that “research suggests that openness, confidence and transparency about a child’s origins from an early age (pre-school) is the best way to talk to children about their identity and origins.”

Yes! And that may even sound familiar! Because in the egg and sperm donor context, prominent figures in the assisted reproductive technology world, such as the Wendy Kramer, the founder of the Donor Sibling Registry, have been preaching in favor of this mentality for decades. Unfortunately, one prevalent norm in American culture is to obscure the origins of children who do not come into a family born the old-fashioned way, whether that be by adoption or through assisted reproductive technology.

Even today, many intended parents enter into “anonymous” sperm or egg donation arrangements. The idea is that the identity of the gamete providing-donor will always remain a secret to the intended parents, and to the ultimately conceived children. But Kramer, among others, believes that true anonymity is no longer possible. With very little work — a home DNA test and the internet — people who were born from donor material connect with their biological relatives, regardless of the original intent of their parents or donor. But the UK has short-circuited the process of finding one’s parents and is one of a handful of countries that requires by law that the identity of an egg or sperm donor be available to their donation-conceived children.

Acknowledgement and Support — Kind Of.
Perhaps even more notable than the guidance’s stance on disclosure, is the general position that the “government supports surrogacy as part of the range of assisted conception options.” That’s huge! For a government to announce its support for these arrangements is incredibly helpful to those needing to turn to the surrogacy option, and not feel like they need to hide the arrangement. Yay, one big leap toward removing the stigma!

Of course, UK law still contains many less-than-supportive measures. It is still a criminal offense to advertise that you are looking for a surrogate, or willing to act as a surrogate, even out of altruism. It is also a criminal offense for third parties to advertise that they facilitate surrogacy (with exceptions for certain non-profits) or to negotiate the terms of a surrogacy agreement. That law even applies to attorneys!

Compensation Still A No Go. 

The UK continues to look skeptically at compensating a surrogate beyond the reimbursement of “reasonable expenses” (a family court must consider whether there have been such payments and exercise its discretion to authorize them retrospectively).  So while there isn’t a “ban” per se preventing a UK surrogate from receiving compensation beyond her maternity clothes and lost wages, compensation for UK surrogates may be below the significant figures that American surrogates in most states enjoy. All payments made to or on behalf of the surrogate must be disclosed to the UK court when obtaining a post-birth parentage order.

Paid Leave!

On the other hand, as a working mom, I am drooling over the UK’s parental leave policies. Intended parents can receive up to 52 weeks off from work!  The statutory minimum maternity leave is 90% of salary for six weeks, UK lawyer Natalie Gamble explained to me, and then a flat rate (approximately £200 per week) for the next six months.  Some employers enhance this, for example to full or half pay, for six months or a year. I don’t know how smart that is from an economics standpoint (says the jealous American), but from a surrogate’s perspective, that alone may be much more valuable than the compensation American surrogates receive!

Despite some of the stark differences between our countries on surrogacy, I offer strong kudos to the UK for its thoughtful and vocal stance on surrogacy, and for producing an informative document to assist all its citizens walking this path in the dreams of a child.

Learn more about Ukrainian and International Surrogacy

Delivering Dreams International Surrogacy Agency helps couples throughout the US struggling with infertility have children. Located in the state of New Jersey and Kyiv, Ukraine, our amazing medical facilities and professionals, surrogates and donors are in Ukraine, because Ukrainian law protects the rights of parents and their children from inception at affordable costs and high success rates.

Unique to Delivering Dreams, we offer guaranteed not to exceed, all-inclusive pricing and contracts under US law to provide prospective parents legal and financial security.

1 in 6 couples are struggling with infertility. You are not alone. We want to be your path to parenthood.

Would you like to learn more? Please contact us to share your challenges, ask questions and discuss solutions. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., www.international-surrogacy.com, 1.908.386.3864.

International surrogacy made simple!

Our upcoming book, “Successful Surrogacy: Your Guide to Realizing Your Dreams of Parenthood Through Ukrainian Surrogacy” reveals the process, details and answers to empower you to start your Ukrainian Surrogacy Journey and ensure it will be an affordable, secure and happy experience.

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I’ve known Susan for several years now, and I’ve always been impressed by her attention to her clients’ needs. I’ve known her to work ardently and diligently to solve whatever challenges, no matter how unique, that prevent her clients from completing their families. She is a problem-solver, and she earnestly believes in providing the best options and in making surrogacy opportunities realities: this is not merely a business for Susan. She will help customize the process for your needs and to ...
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Mary Woods
Susan has a keen sense of business and goes to the max to solve her clients’ problems. She is super knowledgeable on business, laws and how things work in surrogacy in general, and specifically on Ukrainian surrogacy. She is an advocate for transparency in a market that’s often opaque and full of hidden risks. I really enjoyed working with Susan. She really pays attention to detail and was always looking out for my best interest above all. Highly recommend!
Laurie Tham
Delivering Dreams goes above and beyond what other surrogacy agencies offer. After speaking with Susan, I see how they anticipate every part of the process, down to details that I had never even considered. I didn’t know what I didn’t know! Surrogacy can be really complicated and confusing. What an amazing sense of relief to have a company so dedicated to managing the WHOLE process and taking away as much of the stress as possible.
Kate Varness
I have gotten to know Susan through a group where we are members. I have found her to be a genuine and caring person. Her consideration for others and love of her work with Ukrainian surrogates and parents-to-be are evident in all her decision making. She is passionate about being a force for the greater good and helping where she can. I have been amazed at the way she is able to smoothly navigate the complicated maze of requirements in the surrogacy process. I am happy to give her my highest...
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Susan Kibler is kind.  She clearly loves those she works with and loves what she does.  Susan listens deeply and compassionately and can make you laugh all in the space of one conversation.  She is wonderful!  If you are feeling worried, she'll hear you.  If you have questions, she will find answers for you. If you need help, she does her very best to support you.  I feel so fortunate to have found her and imagine you will too.
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Susan has the ability to really connect on a personal level quickly.  I have found her easy to talk to and have been so grateful for her guidance.  She is one of those people who offers so much to her clients.  She sees the big picture and has a heart for the most intimate concerns.  She is highly skilled and able to manage what can certainly be challenging and uncomfortable experiences, making them feel easier.  She will take charge at the perfect times and guide you when you really need her...
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The international surrogacy world is complicated. Susan Kibler knows its ins-and-outs. She knows the people and outfits you can trust and the ones to avoid. She insists on the best for her clients and handles the details so they don't have to worry about them. If you want to take the international surrogacy journey, you can trust Delivering Dreams International Surrogacy Agency to guide you on that path.
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Marilyn

Under Ukrainian law, surrogacy is a legal affordable option for traditionally married couples to have children using their own embryos, or with either an egg or sperm donor. There must be a medical reason you can’t carry a child. You are also able to participate if you have had 4 unsuccessful IVF attempts.

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Under Ukrainian law, surrogacy is a legal affordable option for traditionally married couples to have children using their own embryos, or with either an egg or sperm donor. There must be a medical reason you can’t carry a child. You are also able to participate if you have had 4 unsuccessful IVF attempts.