Our own Lauri Berger De Brito, co-founder of Agency For Surrogacy Solution, Inc. and Global IVF, Inc. was interviewed byJennifer Redmond from Fertility Authority as a Global Surrogacy Expert regarding surrogacy in India.
Lauri and Kathryn Kaycoff-Manos, who is also a co-founder of Agency for Surrogacy Solutions based out of Los Angeles, recently took a trip to India to visit surrogacy agencies; they both blogged about their experiences there.
CBS News Holly Williams reported on the ever growing and expanding (and can we say multimillion-dollar) surrogacy industry in India reporting that many Americans are flocking to India for surrogacy services because it’s less expensive in India than in the United States.
CBS was concerned about reports that the women in India who are of poor economic class were being exploited. Lauri, who visited 20 surrogacy clinics in four cities on her trip to India, shared with Fertility Authority that “We have to stop looking at Indian surrogacy with Western eyes. These women really view it as a business arrangement.” Lauri was quick to point out that those surrogates she did meet in the various clinic waiting rooms and surrogate housing that she visited seemed to her to be healthy, happy, well-nourished and well taken care of. Lauri also went on to say that is such a huge opportunity for these women because this is the ability for them to make a lot of money and increase their standard of living for their family. The Indian surrogates that both she and Kathryn met (as well as the agency owners) were not forced into doing anything.. in fact, she says the waiting rooms were filled with healthy-looking, happy, nicely dressed women who wanted to be surrogates.
In India, surrogacy is regulated differently than it is here in the United States. The Indian government does indeed pass regulations (in fact just recently, Global IVF posted a blog on the most recent surrogacy regulations in India) the laws changed and now surrogacy is illegal for same sex, single or couples married less than 2 years. However, the Indian government doesn’t step in and regulate fertility clinic practices and ethics (while they have some ethic based organizations, not every clinic abides by the guidelines). In the U.S., we would venture to say that most clinics doing surrogacy abide by the guidelines set up by ASRM. Lauri shared with Jennifer from the Fertility Authority that she thinks strict government regulation of surrogacy would cause the same issues as it would in the United States, meaning that she believes government should make not be making decisions for doctors (in regards to number of embryos to put back, etc) as long as the doctors are acting ethically.
As always — Global IVF chants the same mantra – “Research, research, research” Do Your Homework!!! Regardless of where you go – India, Czech Republic, Spain, Ukraine, Australia, etc… for your fertility treatment, be smart about your choices.
Bottom line, India is a great option for Americans (and a few other countries where surrogacy is legal but not necessarily affordable or doable) … but it has to be approached the right way. Thanks to their visit to India and the fact that they were very impressed with several clinics and surrogacy agencies that they met with, Agency for Surrogacy Solutions will be setting up a new division to assist Intended Parents who want to learn more or do surrogacy in India. If you’re interested, you can visit their website Agency for Surrogacy Solutions. You can also contact either Lauri or Kathryn: firstname.lastname@example.org