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The concept of surrogacy has existed since biblical times and in our era it has become one of the most often sought-for infertility solutions. By surrogacy we traditionally mean that a couple who is unable to conceive a child makes an arrangement with a surrogate who agrees to be artificially inseminated by the male partner’s sperm, carry the pregnancy to term and then deliver the child to the couple. The other, obviously more desirable form of surrogacy is gestational surrogacy, in which the intended mother’s eggs go through in vitro fertilisation, then the embryos are implanted in the uterus of a so called gestational carrier. In this case both the intended mother and father can be genetically related to the child.

Gestational surrogacy exists is two forms:

•  A relative or friend does it as a favour expecting no financial compensation.

•  Commercial surrogacy, which means that the gestational carrier agrees to do it for financial gains.

Although surrogacy laws differ from country to country, nowadays there are numerous international surrogacy agencies and organisations ready to help childless couples of all nationalities including lesbians, gays and unmarried individuals. Medical tourism promotes open borders, and channels patients to countries with the most favourable gestational surrogacy regulations.

Let’s see some examples of how surrogacy works in various cultures all around the world.

Surrogacy in the United Kingdom

When it comes to surrogacy UK is a leading country in terms of patient safety and the back up legal system. It is legal for couples to turn to surrogate mothers and since 2010 it has been legal for same-sex couples to apply for the procedure. However, it is important to note that commercial surrogacy is strictly forbidden, as well as all related surrogacy activities, such as advertising and brokering one’s surrogacy services. A woman ready for gestational surrogacy can only accept payment to cover related costs such as hospital fees, lost working hours or clothes.

Surrogacy In India

Reproductive tourism is a booming business in India and a growing number of Indian  girls and women are willing to make thousands of infertile couples’ dreams come true. An all inclusive surrogacy in India ranges around $10,000-$12,000, no wonder then that Western couples flock to this mystical country to become parents. Medical tourists furthermore are not exposed to the often disabling bureaucracy and over-regulated legal impactions of surrogacy in the U.S. or for that matter in the U.K.

Surrogacy in Australia

When it comes to altruistic surrogacy Australia is a leading country in success rates and regulated, clear-set services. Just as in the UK, intended parents can only pay for hospital and additional pregnancy-related costs and they have to undertake a lengthy and complex, but rewarding journey till they can hold their baby in their arms.

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