But for real, Ukraine?

This is the top question that we get from everyone who has been a part of our baby-making adventure, and so here is a thorough explanation of why we ended up choosing Ukraine for surrogacy.

First, we looked into the process of surrogacy in the US, and found it to be overwhelmingly expensive ($60 – 150k), which was a factor, unless you have a kind family member or friend that is willing to carry it for you. If things go wrong, such as a surrogate backing out, or unfortunate situations like a miscarriage, you automatically have to pay at least $5k to match with another surrogate and do their health workup through the agency. It just seemed that there were so many costs that could be added at any time, and it seemed so unreasonable that most of that cost was going to the agency or lawyer, rather than the surrogate, who receives on average of $20 – 30k for the pregnancy. What also bothered us was that in some states, surrogate mothers retain a parental right to the child, and can even pursue custody. Even though the embryos placed in the surrogate have both of our DNA, the surrogate mother’s name is on the birth certificate, and then you have to go through the process of adopting the baby in court. The biggest factor of all for us, though, is time. All of the legal paperwork, signing a contract, matching a surrogate, having the surrogate go through the work-up, and so on, and next thing you know, it’s been a year or two since you started the process. Having already put in 5 years, we weren’t willing to wait for an indefinite amount of time again.

Discouraged, we started to look into surrogacy overseas. There were so many options, but some were very sketchy, and we definitely read our share of horror stories about Thailand and India, both of which, as a result, have shut down their surrogacy practices not too long ago. After much gleaning in forums, it became clear that Ukraine was our best choice. First, it is relatively affordable, with all-inclusive plans starting at 32k up to 50k, which covers absolutely everything outside of your plane tickets, such as transportation, food, accommodations, all things that involve IVF for you if you are using your own eggs, surrogate screening and medical costs, and birth at the hospital. It is also the same price if you choose to use donor eggs instead, which is a nice back-up plan to have if things don’t work out with your own, at no additional cost. This blew us away, because we hadn’t seen this kind of all-inclusive plan anywhere else, and the best part about it is that they guarantee you a baby, because if the first surrogate doesn’t work out, they will try again with another using your frozen embryos until they are successful. We have encountered other couples who chose Ukraine purely for the guarantee factor of a baby, which can sound strange to some, but for us, it was like music to our ears! Also, it seems like Ukraine is one of the few places where the laws favor the intended parents rather than the surrogate. Under Ukrainian law, the baby is ours from the moment of conception. Once the baby is born, the birth certificate is issued with our names, and the surrogate cannot claim any rights. Lastly, we could rest with the thought that time-wise, pregnancy could start right after embryos are created, as many women participate in surrogacy in Ukraine. Everyone that we had spoken to had been successful with the first try, if not the second, so that was very appealing to us, as we had also considered adoption at one point, but knew from family members that it could take quite some time for that to happen as well.

One additional fact that we also liked is that we can pay the surrogate directly, which assures us that they are being paid well for their efforts, and aren’t abused by the agency. The average monthly income for Ukraine is around $200, so the compensation can change the lives of their family for the better.

Still, we weren’t 100% sure until we came across Shabana’s blog, a sweet woman in the UK, who was already going through the process with BioTexCom, and was able to answer all of our questions. If you do end up being interested in using this particular clinic, we highly recommend contacting her first before contacting the clinic, as she has relationships within the clinic, and will get you faster responses than if you had contacted the clinic yourself.  She also has a network of folks all around the world who are pursuing surrogacy in Ukraine, which ended up being extremely helpful. Shabana was able to connect us to a couple from Seattle who just took home their twins last week. The father of the twins took the time to talk on the phone, and thoroughly reassured us that it was a legit legal process, and that medically, they are very sound and advanced, and that bringing the twins back to the US hadn’t been an issue at all.

After some more discussion, we were sold and decided to go for it. After all, even if we had decided to pursue adoption, we would’ve probably paid a similar amount of money at the end of it all, and would be waiting a lot longer, most likely. As for US surrogacy, it is half the price, and nowhere near the hassle.

To be fair, there are other clinics in Ukraine that are great as well, and you will find similar plans there. The reason we chose BioTexCom is because we independently read a lot of great reviews online, even before meeting Shabana. There isn’t as much info in the US forums as there are in European forums, as Ukraine is only a two or three hour flight for most, and since they are in different languages, we had to use Google Translate to gather the intel on some the forums. This is why we wanted to document our experience, so that others in the US could find it useful for their own fertility plans!

 

9 Comments

  • melanie@7

    We were considering surrogacy in the UK first. This is what we got to know when doing research.
    Legal aspects of surrogacy in the UK and the birth mother is the legal mother irrespective of the conception method and genetic make-up of the baby. The surrogate’s husband if married is considered the legal father and neither can surrender parental duties. If the surrogate has no partner or they are unmarried and not in a civil partnership, the child will have no legal father. Another thing – The Parental Orders – This allows intended parents the opportunity to become the child’s legal parents. The following criteria must be met in order to apply for a Parental Order: Over 18. Commissioning parent must be resident in UK. At least one of the applicants must be genetically related to the child. Apply after 6 weeks of birth and before 6 months. The surrogate parents must consent to the making of the order. No money other than expenses must have been paid in respect of the surrogacy arrangement. The child must reside with the commissioning parent under English law once the Parental Order is granted the intended parents will receive a new birth certificate stating that they are the legal parents of the child. This shows the matters with long lasting paper work and other procedures you’ve written about. Concerning all the aspects it’s worthy going to Ukraine for surrogacy option.

  • lindcey hawks

    All our family was against our journey for surrogacy in Ukraine.They kept on saying it was unsafe, ’cause of war in the east of the country. And that there couldn’t be a reputable clinic with modern facilities and professional staff ’cause it’s Ukraine..I really didn’t understand what they meant, ’cause every country has its experts and repro centers specializing in this field. So what if it’s Ukraine chosen? After some gleaming in forums the worst thing we happened to read about biotexcom was that it’s sometimes slow at communication..But this didn’t bother us. We thought we could live with it if at the end of the journey we’ll get our baby. So this was our final decision and we made the first call to the clinic. A sweet lady answered and told us how to start with them. From that moment time flew for us. We didn’t know how many shots it’ll take our surrogate to conceive or how long we had to wait or any other thing..But we knew for sure surrogacy is well regulated in Ukraine. The surrogate has no right to keep the baby after delivery. She’ll have no rights after signing the contract with us, and this made us feel comforted like never before.

  • amaluis

    The first thing we got to know when doing the research was that to start the surrogate program in Ukraine you should be legally married heterosexual couple with one of the following indications:
    The absence of the uterus.
    Deformation of the cavity or cervix.
    Diseases in which pregnancy and childbirth may endanger a woman’s life.
    5 IVF attempts– we had 6!!
    Structural and morphological, or anatomical changes in the endometrium of the uterus.
    Complex somatic diseases.
    Of course some of diagnosis were proved by our previous doctor.
    We also checked with our local lawyer all the details of legalization of the baby in our country, so that we could put our mind at ease. We had no explanation why all of our embies didn’t survive longer than 9 weeks..Dr just told us it happens..which was not enough, though we both understood there are lots of things in the process no one can rule over..
    Finally, we signed up for guaranteed VIP surrogacy package.

  • mileK

    The first thing we got to know when doing the research was that to start the surrogate program in Ukraine you should be legally married heterosexual couple with one of the following indications:
    The absence of the uterus.
    Deformation of the cavity or cervix.
    Diseases in which pregnancy and childbirth may endanger a woman’s life.
    5 IVF attempts– we had 6!!
    Structural and morphological, or anatomical changes in the endometrium of the uterus.
    Complex somatic diseases.
    Of course some of diagnosis were proved by our previous doctor.
    We also checked with our local lawyer all the details of legalization of the baby in our country, so that we could put our mind at ease. We had no explanation why all of our embies didn’t survive longer than 9 weeks..Dr just told us it happens..which was not enough, though we both understood there are lots of things in the process no one can rule over..
    Finally, we signed up for guaranteed VIP surrogacy package.

  • MillieG

    The first thing we got to know when doing the research was that to start the surrogate program in Ukraine you should be legally married heterosexual couple with one of the following indications:
    The absence of the uterus.
    Deformation of the cavity or cervix.
    Diseases in which pregnancy and childbirth may endanger a woman’s life.
    5 IVF attempts– we had 6!!
    Structural and morphological, or anatomical changes in the endometrium of the uterus.
    Complex somatic diseases.
    Of course some of diagnosis were proved by our previous doctor.
    We also checked with our local lawyer all the details of legalization of the baby in our country, so that we could put our mind at ease. We had no explanation why all of our embies didn’t survive longer than 9 weeks..Dr just told us it happens..which was not enough, though we both understood there are lots of things in the process no one can rule over..
    Finally, we signed up for guaranteed VIP surrogacy package.

  • Elina Albrecht

    Hey, thanx you for such detailed information according to surrogacy in Ukraine. I believe it is beneficial information for couples who are going for surrogacy to the Biotex! My husband and I had also a problem to conceive a baby! But after long and challenging treatments we finally became parents! Honestly, we also had thoughts about surrogacy in that clinic thus I had read a lot of positive comments about this place!
    Thank you for sharing your experience! I believe it will be helpful to many people!

  • Jercey

    The first thing we got to know when doing the research was that to start the surrogate program in Ukraine you should be legally married heterosexual couple with one of the following indications:
    The absence of the uterus.
    Deformation of the cavity or cervix.
    Diseases in which pregnancy and childbirth may endanger a woman’s life.
    5 IVF attempts– we had 6!!
    Structural and morphological, or anatomical changes in the endometrium of the uterus.
    Complex somatic diseases.
    Of course some of diagnosis were proved by our previous doctor.
    We also checked with our local lawyer all the details of legalization of the baby in our country, so that we could put our mind at ease. We had no explanation why all of our embies didn’t survive longer than 9 weeks..Dr just told us it happens..which was not enough, though we both understood there are lots of things in the process no one can rule over..
    Finally, we signed up for guaranteed VIP surrogacy package.

  • Elvy

    I have always been wondering why people are so opposite to choosing surrogacy or any fertility treatment abroad. Sure, there are a lot of risks, but risks are everywhere. Take for example those stories about those doctors who manage to impregnate hundreds of women with their bio material. Why? Just because. And some of the most popular and respected clinics can do mistakes, just like all of the other people and agencies. That’s why reading tons and tons of stories about surrogacy abroad I saw nothing scary about travelling to Ukraine. The only thing that was stopping me from doing so was a brief uncertainty about which clinic or agency to choose. There are a lot of options. Honestly too many if you ask me. But my husband says (and obviously) he is right, that such thing is good because it keeps them moving. We did not choose the most common route. We signed with a fairly new agency just because of some small but very important differences they’ve offered us. For example, it is possible to meet your surrogate mother when she only signs the contract. Of course we’d be more than happy to choose one but since it is a gestational surrogacy on donor eggs there is no point.
    We’re happy because our manager at World Center of Baby is really attentive and all of our questions are not left without a reply. You can see for yourself what exactly they offer here- https://worldcenterofbaby.com. But I’d recommend you to contact them directly. Just because as I was told their website is constantly changing and you might want to know a lot more about you programs than there is on their website.
    I wish good luck everyone who’s about to start their journey. As we are one step closer to our dream become true!
    xx

  • Alexia

    First and foremost, it should be clear that, under UK law, the surrogate will be considered the legal mother of the child. As in many other countries, the woman who gives birth is treated as the legal mother. this bothered us the most!!! I wanted ME to be the legal mom of MY baby!! That’s why we chose Ukraine for surrogacy. In Ukraine, surrogacy arrangements are permitted by law as long as the parties involved do meet the following requirements: To be an officially married heterosexual couple. At least, the intended father is able to provide his genetic material. Ideally, the law envisages that both commissioning parents provide their gametes for the creation of the embryo. To have a medical cause that is preventing the intended mother from becoming pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term under safe conditions for both her and the baby-to-be. Uterine malformations, being born without uterus, anatomical, morphological and/or structural problems of the uterine lining that lead to implantation failure or are incurable are some examples of what the law accepts as medical causes. It is required to prove it by means of a medical certificate, which will be reviewed and approved by Ukrainian gynos and Res. Also, severe somatic symptom disorders that may put the life of the patient at risk during pregnancy but have no influence on the health of the fetus are considered to be a valid reason as to why one may need a surrogate to have a baby. Having gone through 4 failed IVF attempts using high-quality embryos is also considered a medical cause that can leave a couple no alternative but to turn to surrogacy. (We’ve passed 5 IVF shots!) In such cases, the Ukrainian authorities will require you to provide proof from the fertility clinic you were working with in your home country. One can find a wide range of surrogacy agencies in Kiev that can be very helpful through your journey, especially during the initial steps. They usually help hopeful intended parents to choose a gestational carrier as well as the fertility clinic they want to work with to carry out the medical process. As mentioned earlier, no special permit is required by the Ukrainian government to enter the country for the purpose of surrogacy. However, a visa or valid Ukrainian residency is required for stays longer than 90 days. Also, you are required to a have a valid health insurance. BioTexCom is the top one in the area. As they offer the plans no other place does: All-inclusive plans. Unlimited number of shots. Guaranteed success or money refund in case the process doesn’t work out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *