Hello, my name is Gunther!
My wife, Anna, and I live in Germany. I am 43, and my wife is 39. We’ve been married for more than 10 years. We really wanted to have children, but 9 years ago my wife was in a horrible car accident while she was pregnant. The doctors were unable to save the baby, and my wife would no longer be able to carry a child. We struggled with this for a long time. Having a child was very important to us, so we began researching fertility options.
We realized that with the help of surrogacy we could have a genetic link to our child. Unfortunately, surrogacy is prohibited in Germany. This did not deter us. We knew surrogacy was the best option for our family, so we decided to research alternative locations. The prices for U.S. clinics seemed unacceptable to us. We considered traveling to India, as the prices are much lower there, but we were told that when the child was born by a surrogate mother the baby would automatically become a citizen of India. We were nervous about legal complications and possible publicity. From our friends we learned about their acquaintances who had a positive experience with a surrogacy program in Moscow, Russia. We got the contact information and dialed the number for International Agency for Reproductive Technologies (MART).
After several phone calls we decided to work together, mostly using the internet to keep in contact. For the signing of the contract, we had got it via e-mail, signed and sent in Russia via DHL and then got the document, signed by both parties, the same way. The Agency had selected the most suitable surrogates, based on our needs. We were able to chat with them on Skype, and decided to choose Galina, a very neat and sensible woman. Galina was 32 years old, married, lived in the city of Zagorsk (Moscow Region) and had a child of her own. The price of her services was already included in the price of the contract. The first two implantations were unsuccessful but, although we were upset, we remained optimistic. The additional costs were included in our contract, and we had been warned that this could happen.
On the third attempt 2 embryos were successfully implanted. We had an idea of what to expect in the process, as it was laid out in our contract. We kept optimistic, and the pregnancy proceeded smoothly. According to the agreement, MART took the lead on all issues concerning medical services, payment of costs and the surrogate mother. All this time my wife had been wearing a special fake pregnancy belly to imitate a pregnancy, as we couldn’t advertise our involvement in the surrogacy journey. We even showed ultrasound pictures, sent from Moscow, to our friends. We found out that both of our babies were girls—such an exciting moment! As the due date approached, Galina was put in the hospital. Since there were two children, they were born with the help of Caesarean section. Of course we knew about the expected date of birth and by that time we were in Moscow. Unfortunately it was prohibited by the rules of the clinic to be present at birth, so we saw our babies for the first time only the next day. It was the most wonderful moment of our life!
As we were told, the surrogate mother in Russia had the primary rights for the child. So, the surrogate mother’s consent was necessary to register Anna and me as parents. In the presence of lawyers of MART company and of the clinic, Galina gave consent in writing. With that document we went to a state institution, where we got the birth certificate, in which we were registered as mother and father. Then we went to the German Embassy, where we were issued as parents of Elza and Maria according to German laws. We returned to Hamburg as a family of four!
Today our girls are a year and a half already. They are very similar to Anna, but just in case we made a genetic examination that also proved my paternity. We are very happy and thankful to MART for this!
Unfortunately I had to change the names of the members of my family because surrogacy is prohibited in our country and we don’t want any problems to occur. We don’t understand why the prostitution is legalized and the surrogacy is not. Russian surrogate mother Galina is satisfied, we are happy, so we don’t see any sense in this interdiction, but we have to obey the law.