UPDATE: Our beautiful boys, Maximus Vincent Smith and Alexei Felix Smith were born 20 July 2017 in perfect health and with fantastic weights!
They were fully developed and we only spent 4 days in the hospital – no NICU, we all stayed together in a room just for observation.
At time of writing (10 May 2017) ,our surrogate is currently 28 weeks pregnant with our twin boys. If all goes according to plan, they will be born around 7 August 2017.
This is the closest that my husband and I have come to getting our dream family and holding our babies in our arms.
First, a little background on my surrogacy discoveries …
In April 2016, our 8th round of IVF produced another negative pregnancy test and we decided that my body has had enough of being pumped with drugs that don’t seem to be working. After months of careful consideration, we decided that we were ready to explore creating our family through the gift of surrogacy.
I set about researching and making phone calls all around the USA, where we currently live and I was in total shock to discover how expensive and risky surrogacy in the USA was. The average starting cost was in the region of $100,000, without extras, such as medical insurance for the surrogate and a long list of other items. In addition to this, miscarriage or failed implantation meant even more money to try again. I also found in my research that the risk of a surrogate changing her mind about going through with the surrogacy at the last minute was a common problem, as well as the risk of the surrogate choosing to keep the baby – this is less common but still happens more often than expected.
We then had a look at the UK, as we are both British Citizens with our permanent home being, the UK. Here the cost was not as much because the UK only deals with altruistic surrogacy, meaning that the Intended Parents only pay the surrogate for expenses. This is all good, however, firstly this means that there are very few surrogates available and secondly, the risk with surrogacy in the UK is huge as the surrogacy laws do not protect the Intended Parents. The law states, that the woman who gives birth to a baby, regardless of whether she is genetically linked to the baby or not, is considered the mother in the eyes of the law. Furthermore, her husband or boyfriend even, can have claim to the baby without being genetically linked too. There are no protections for the biological parents claiming the baby if the surrogate decides to keep him or her at any time during the pregnancy and after the birth.
After many years of battling infertility, miscarriage and multiple rounds of failed IVF that led to heartbreak and oceans of tears and shattered dreams, there was no way that I could risk doing surrogacy through the UK and there was no way that we could afford the cost of surrogacy in the USA. So we had to search elsewhere and we are blessed to have found our clinic in Ukraine.
Surrogacy & Egg Donation in Ukraine
- Surrogacy laws protect the Intended Parents. Once a contract has been entered into between the surrogate and the intended parents, the surrogate has no legal rights to keep the baby. This is true even if egg donors were used.
- The Intended Parents’ names are entered immediately on the baby’s birth certificate when the baby is born.
- Egg donation is also very favorable in Ukrainian law.
- Slavic ladies are known for their beauty and intelligence, and therefore make for a great egg donor choice.
- Ukraine stands amongst the leaders in medical reproduction.
- The quality of Ukrainian fertility specialists exceed international standards.
- Ukraine is becoming one of the world’s leading expert countries for surrogacy and egg donation, with more and more patients travelling there from all over the world.
- Although the quality of reproduction medicine is high, the costs are much lower than in most other countries due to the poor economy. Furthermore, Ukraine offers affordable all-inclusive medical packages, so Intended Parents know exactly what they are spending up-front – for a fraction of the cost that you would be in the USA. Many clinics also offer a money-back guarantee after a certain number of tries.
- There is no upper age limit for assisted reproduction in Ukraine.
- No visas required for Ukraine (up to 90 days) for citizens of the UK, USA, Canada and the EU.
Requirements for Surrogacy & Egg Donation in Ukraine
- Unfortunately, heterosexual married couples only.
My Experience with Surrogacy & Egg Donation in Ukraine thus far
- Contacted our clinic in Ukraine with enquiries
- The Head of the English Department returned my email a few days later answering all my questions, provided me valuable initial information and offered to book a date of our choosing for the initial consultation in Ukraine.
- We went through all the info, provided the required documentation and chose one of their packages – we chose the top VIP package.
- We travelled to Kiev, were met at the airport and taken to accommodation where food was provided and then taken to the clinic the following day.
- During the one week that we were in Kiev, we met with the Egg Donation Program Coordinator, the doctors, our Surrogacy Coordinator, did blood and semen tests, deposited several semen samples for freezing in case the first few tries did not work, went through and signed all our contracts, were given access to the Egg Donor Database of 250 ladies to choose from, decided on a short-list of 4 Egg Donors and secured a suitable Surrogate.
- Our Egg Donor had her Egg collection and 3 top quality embryos were transferred to our Surrogate.
- Two weeks later we found out that our surrogate is pregnant with a super high beta!
- We received our first scan report telling us that we had 2 healthy heartbeats!
- We received our 12 week scan report and pictures of our twin boys!
Since then we have received monthly scan pictures, blood tests results and full reports on the babies’ progress.
Our boys, Maximus Vincent Smith and Alexei Felix Smith were born Thursday 20 July 2017.