When I think of international surrogates, I think of U.S. couples paying a woman abroad to carry a baby (my limited perspective). But as Carolyn reported last week, international surrogacy is increasingly going the other way. More and more people in European and Latin American countries are using surrogates in the U.S. to host their babies.
An estimated 1,400 babies are born to surrogates in the U.S. every year — here’s the proportion that are thought to be the babies of international couples:
There’s not official tracking of the trend, but one major agency, the Center for Surrogate Parenting, says they estimate that half of the agency’s births to U.S. surrogates are for international parents.
Surrogacy has been around forever (the more traditional form, of course), but gestational surrogacy — in which biological mom is different from carrier mom has been with us since the late 1970′s.
Since then, it’s been gaining momentum, and along with other advancements like egg-freezing to preserve fertility, the possibilities available for making a baby are expanding at lightening speed.
I personally know two couples whose lives have been transformed through surrogacy. Ironically, one is a same-sex couple who will be married in Spain (where it’s legal), but will have to use a surrogate in the U.S. (because surrogacy is not legal in Spain). They’ll be piecing it together and taking advantage of the freedoms afforded to them across both countries.
Of course, we know celebrities who have famously used surrogates. Do you know anyone personally? How do you see the world of surrogate parents growing and changing in the near future?