Surrogacy for Gay Parents, Country by Country

Countries Where Gay Surrogacy is Legal - Updated Laws

While surrogacy is a great family-building option for Intended Parents who cannot carry their own baby, not all countries allow gay men to participate. In this post, we will look at many countries around the world where same-sex couples are permitted to embark on this beautiful journey and where they are not.

LGBT Surrogacy in the USA

The United States is becoming a new go-to destination for homosexual individuals and couples looking to have children, following the ban on surrogacy in most developing countries.

States with friendly surrogacy laws offer legal protection to Intended Parents who want to grow their families through surrogacy in the US. And surrogacy in California is still the most attractive option for gay men or transgender trying to become parents using a Gestational Surrogate.

The cost of surrogacy in the US is very high, and that is one of the factors preventing couples or individuals from pursuing surrogacy in the United States.

Below are some options that help make surrogacy in the US still affordable to some hopeful parents:

The cross-border hybrid program (USA-Mexico).

Under this program, the actual IVF medical procedure and embryo transfer are performed in a clinic in Mexico at a relatively lower cost. An American Surrogate Mom visits the Mexican clinic for embryo transfer and completes her antenatal care and childbirth in the USA under an American doctor’s supervision. As medical standards especially regarding individualized protocols are not being kept to the same standards and surrogacy isn’t regulated, this option is not advisable.

Independent surrogacy

A lot of male same-sex couples go for independent surrogacy, otherwise known as private surrogacy. In this type of surrogacy arrangement, the gay couples work directly with the would-be Surrogate, Egg Donor, surrogacy attorney, and fertility clinic without the assistance of a surrogacy agency.

While this option allows hopeful parents to save around $20000-$30000, they will have to devote more attention and time to their surrogacy journey. 

Traditional surrogacy

Traditional surrogacy is a kind of surrogacy arrangement where the Surrogate mom is genetically related to the baby she’s carrying. Although the IVF fee and cost of an egg donor can be eliminated with this option, the total Surrogate cost is usually higher. The cost of gay surrogacy can be up to $130,000, even after completing surrogacy the traditional way.

Gestational Surrogacy

Gestational surrogacy has become the norm today in U.S. as it eliminates grounds of legal conflicts and offers a much higher success rate.

In gestational surrogacy, the embryo is created using one of the gay father’s sperm and donor eggs through IVF. The resulting embryo is transferred to the Gestational Carrier’s womb and she carries and delivers the baby for the couple. This process is much safer as both the Egg Donor and the Surrogate Mother are thoroughly prescreened before they are selected.

Gestational surrogacy in U.S. costs between $120,000 to $160,000. Physician’s Surrogacy only offers gestational surrogacy to Intended Parents worldwide.

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Gay Surrogacy in Laos

Laos is a new attractive destination for single parents and homosexual couples considering surrogacy in Southeast Asia. Following the ban on surrogacy in Cambodia and Thailand, most of the surrogacy agencies in those countries have begun operation in Laos. At present, Laos has no laws regarding surrogacy. And lack of a legal framework for surrogacy makes Laos a go-to place for hopeful parents looking for inexpensive surrogacy in Asia.

Presently, surrogacy in Laos is the only low-cost surrogacy option in Asia, and it is gaining momentum, with the majority of fertility service providers moving their headquarter to Laos.

LGBT Surrogacy in Cambodia

Like Laos, Cambodia also has no surrogacy laws. That’s why many surrogate agencies or operators relocated to Cambodia after surrogacy was outlawed in Thailand and Nepal. Although there is a handful of IVF Clinics with mostly Thai and abroad-trained/experienced staff in the country, the idea of surrogacy is still alien to the locals.

However, the lack of surrogacy laws in Cambodia does not mean it is permitted. The absence of regulations only makes surrogacy exportable with unforeseen risk.

Hence, it’s recommended that you consult a reproductive lawyer in Cambodia to know the feasibility of completing a surrogacy in the country.

Birth certificate – The baby born through surrogacy automatically receives a Cambodian birth certificate, and the name of the Surrogate Mom and the biological dad are included. Intended Parents would require the Surrogate’s consent in a court proceeding before they can take the baby home after birth.

As of early 2018, Cambodia has banned all forms of surrogacy arrangements and started dealing with most of the surrogacy agencies and clinics in the country. In Cambodia, surrogacy is now considered human trafficking, and strong penalties have been put in place for anybody found to be involved in surrogacy.

Presently, paid surrogacy is completely prohibited. Residents can only partake in altruistic, unpaid surrogacy.

LGBT Surrogacy in India

India was a favorite destination for international surrogacy in 2010. Over 60% of surrogacy cases in the country involved a homosexual couple or single male.

Back then, India was a popular choice amongst Intended Parents who want to pursue international surrogacy to grow their families due to the low surrogacy cost, top-grade medical facility, and plenty of willing Surrogate Mothers available.

But toward the end of 2012, there was a mandate that outlawed same-sex or gay surrogacy in India. Only married couples were permitted to partake in surrogacy agreements.

Recently, India has become more conservative when it comes to surrogacy, with all forms of paid surrogacy now banned in the country. In late 2015, the Indian government banned married international couples from undergoing surrogacy in India. Presently, only Indian nationals are allowed to participate in surrogacy, according to the latest ICMR guidelines.

Gay Surrogacy in Thailand

Following the ban on surrogacy for single parents in India, Thailand became a promising new destination for singles interested in surrogacy. Within a few months, the country had emerged as a popular hub for international surrogacy. Thailand quickly and effectively filled the void created the restrictions on surrogacy for single parents in India.

Sadly, in 2014, surrogacy was also outlawed in Thailand, following reports of some infamous cases in the press. The new mandate did not only affect gay surrogacy, but all kinds of surrogacy were prohibited. Presently, foreign nationals are completely banned from pursuing surrogacy in the Asian country. Only unpaid, altruistic surrogacy is allowed for married couples, and even that is limited to close relatives.

Gay Surrogacy in Nepal

Intended Parents seeking surrogacy also explored Nepal after surrogacy was banned in India, but only for a short time. The majority of Indian surrogacy agencies and IVF clinics that could not render surrogacy services in their home country relocated their headquarter to Nepal.

Expectedly, due to the lack of surrogacy laws and poor medical fertility in Nepal, foreign nationals were soon banned from undergoing surrogacy in the country. The Nepal Supreme Court has put a hold on surrogacy services because of a lack of guidelines. Up till this moment, no progress has been made regarding surrogacy laws in Nepal.

Gay Surrogacy in Ukraine

Ukraine is a choice destination for Intended Parents from all around the world due to laws permitting surrogacy and egg donation in the country.

Surrogacy services can be rendered in Ukraine and are regulated by the country’s Law on Health Fundamentals and by the Family and Civil Codes. These laws apply to both Ukrainian citizens and foreigners visiting the country for medical tourism.

However, only married same-sex couples are allowed to pursue surrogacy in Ukraine, with a written letter from a medical professional stating the reason why a Surrogate Mother is needed. Hence, single or gay men cannot opt for surrogacy in country as they are forbidden from doing so.

LGBT Surrogacy in Georgia

Georgia has been a popular destination for surrogacy and egg donation services since commercial surrogacy was made legal in the country back in 2019. But while this small European country provides affordable and safe options for commercial surrogacy, only married couples are allowed.

Gay Surrogacy in Mexico

Until late 2015, Mexico was an excellent option for Intended Parents seeking international surrogacy in the State of Tabasco. But in early 2016, foreign nationals, including gay men, were forbidden from pursuing surrogacy in the country. Due to the lack of federal legislation for surrogacy in Mexico, a lot of surrogacy agencies are offering unregulated surrogacy.

The media reported several cases of fraud and corruption amongst those involved in surrogacy arrangements. Aside from this, the negligence of the Gestational Surrogate’s health care was also highlighted in the media. For this reason, only Mexican citizens with infertility problems are now allowed to opt for surrogacy in the country.

Many surrogacy agencies are using loopholes in the surrogacy framework to their advantage by obtaining a court order before surrogacy in order to regulate or make it less risky. And this helps enforce the surrogacy agreement.

There are a lot of IVF headquartered in Cancun that partner with surrogacy agencies in the United States to offer a US-Mexico hybrid program. In this program, the in vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo transfer are performed in a local fertility clinic in Mexico, while the prenatal care and childbirth take place in the United States (with an American Surrogate Mom and doctors). This helps lower the surrogacy cost compared to the full USA surrogacy program, although it has its own risks.

The cross-border hybrid program remains one of the most affordable surrogacy options for homosexual couples at the moment.

Gay Surrogacy in Russia

Russia is also a popular surrogacy destination for hopeful couples. According to the Russian surrogacy legislation, there is no need for the couples to be married, thus offering loopholes and making the country an excellent option for single parents considering surrogacy.

Gay couples who can prove that they have a female friend willing to assist them or pretend to be single can go for surrogacy services in Russia. Moscow and St Petersburg have many IVF clinics offering IVF surrogacy to both married and unmarried couples.

However, one common issue of surrogacy in Russia is that the Gestational Surrogate is the legal mother of the child, and she may decide to change her mind. To prevent this problem, there are surrogacy agencies that use women from Asian countries as Surrogate Moms.

Another negative thing about pursuing surrogacy in the country is that Russia is a homophobic society and does not support same-sex relationships.

While there are several IVF clinics offering single-parent surrogacy in Russia, some people are against it.

Conservative outlook toward same-sex surrogacy in Russia can pose unique risks to hopeful parents doing surrogacy in the country. While there is always news that surrogacy will soon be outlawed, there are presently no laws prohibiting the practice.

Surrogacy for Gay Couples in the UK

The UK is relatively an unpopular destination for international surrogacy, but citizens may choose to complete a surrogacy in the United Kingdom. Surrogacy is not prohibited in the United Kingdom, although there are some legal restrictions. However, surrogacy in the UK is not highly advertised since it is against the law to do so.

Plus, gestational surrogacy agreements are not enforceable by law in the UK. This means that the Surrogate Mother cannot be forced to give the baby to the Intended Parents despite the written consent from her. That is – she may decide to keep the surrogacy baby and be his or her legal parent, even if she is not biologically related to the baby.

A parental order is required for all surrogacy cases in the UK. It is filed before the baby is born to transfer the full parental rights from the Surrogate and her partner to the Intended Parents, making them the child’s legal parents.

It is recommended to use an unmarried Surrogate for UK surrogacy to lower the complication and documentation.

The UK has recently allowed same-sex couples or single parents to apply for a parental order for their surrogacy baby. Previously, only opposite-sex couples were permitted to do so. Single parents had to adopt the Surrogate baby. Nowadays, single parents or gay couples can apply for a parental order, making same-sex surrogacy accessible. This means that members of the LGBT community can opt for surrogacy in the United Kingdom.

Gay Surrogacy in Colombia

Columbia is the new choice destination for surrogacy in Latin America. The country has all qualities that can make it a perfect option for low-cost gay surrogacy.

The positive things about doing surrogacy in Colombia include:

  • The Colombian constitution does not support discrimination against LGBT individuals. Hence, both homosexual couples and heterosexual couples can grow their families through surrogacy in Colombia.
  • The court of Columbia legalized same-sex marriage back in 2019, meaning that gay couples have the same rights to build a family as heterosexual couples or single parents.
  • In November 2015, Colombia’s highest court lifted the restrictions on LGBT adoption. Therefore, gay men can quickly adopt their baby born through surrogacy.
  • Unlike some countries that outrightly banned surrogacy, the Colombian court considered surrogacy constitutional and provided guidelines to ensure it is well implemented. This ruling is now the de facto law in Colombia.
  • Hence, one can say that gay surrogacy in Colombia is a low-cost and safe option for LGBT couples. The cost of surrogacy in Colombia is about $64,000 for guarantee surrogacy babies. That is over 70% less compared to the standard surrogacy cost in the United States.

Gay Surrogacy Costs

Gay surrogacy is more expensive for gay men for the following reasons:

  • They require egg donation as well as surrogacy to become parents. The cost of egg donation depends on the kind of egg donor required and is usually higher when traveling egg donors are used. Therefore, it is best to select your surrogacy country based on the type of donor you want. If you desire an Asian egg donor, it would be good to opt for a full surrogacy program in an Asian country. If you want a Caucasian egg donor, selecting a European country will be a wise decision.
  • Few options for surrogacy destination: Surrogacy is prohibited in most Asian countries. And eastern European countries where surrogacy is inexpensive don’t allow gay men or single males to participate. It is therefore unavoidable for gay men to consider an expensive but safe surrogacy destination like the US or choose countries where surrogacy is not regulated to reduce cost.
  • Increased fertilization and IVF cost – If both Intended Parents wish to share a genetic link with the babies, they will have to undergo an egg donor IVF twice. This means a higher cost of medical procedures since donor eggs are divided in half and fertilized with sperm from both parents. Hence, the cost of fertilization doubles since embryos are produced using ICSI or IVF for the two parents.

Final Words

Gay surrogacy can be more difficult to complete. Aside from spending a huge sum of money to become a parent, strong support from family and friends is also required.

Remember that not all countries where surrogacy is legal, allow gay or same-sex couples to become parents through surrogacy. Unlike opposite-sex couples, single parents have limited options regarding the countries that support gay surrogacy.

If you are planning to become parents through surrogacy and require insight into the process, Physician’s Surrogacy is right by your side. Schedule a complimentary consultation today and learn your options.

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Physician’s Surrogacy is the nation’s only physician-managed surrogacy agency. Join our community to get updates on surrogacy, expert insights, free resources and more.