With surrogacy laws varying greatly from country to country and even state to state within the US, intended parents have historically had only a handful of options to turn to when it came to finding a surrogate. Among these were countries like Thailand, Greece, Nepal, India and Mexico where surrogacy services would cost a fraction of what it would in the US.
However, more recently most of these countries have started putting in place restrictions on international surrogacy and their laws are also no longer as surrogate-friendly as those in the US, more specifically states like California where the intended parents enjoy a seamless pre-birth order process, granting them parentage even before the birth of the baby. The state also has one of the most generous compensation frameworks in terms of how much a woman can be paid to carry a child for another family. Here in most of the states in the US in fact, hiring the services of a surrogate is possible for anyone, regardless of sexuality, nationality or marital status. In February of this year, New York, one of the only 4 remaining US states banning compensated surrogacy, finally lifted its decades long ban on commercial surrogacy allowing residents and international clients alike to engage in in-state third-party reproduction options without having to travel elsewhere.
In China, in particular, with a massively growing elite class and an infertility rate as high as 10-15%, there's a tremendous demand for US surrogacy services, owing to its culturally welcoming and diverse communities, industry's leading fertility doctors and a conducive legal environment for surrogacy. Certain social shifts in China, such as the end of the one-child policy have also been the key determinants of this trend. Out of of all foreigners participating in California’s birth tourism in fact, the number of Chinese intended parents is the fastest-growing.
If the international intended parents can afford, their first priority is always US-based surrogates, because of their reputation for being the absolute best professionals in the industry across the board. On an average, surrogate mothers in CA receive between $45,000 to $60,000 in compensation for their role in helping build a family, varying on the basis of location, experience, and qualities of the surrogate and the requirements of the intended parents. They are also reimbursed specific expenses, like lost wages in the case of required bedrest, a budget for maternity clothes, housekeeping, and childcare, as well as premiums in the case of twins or a C-section birth.
Apart from the the attractive surrogacy packages, California has the added allure of numerous enclaves where families can be surrounded by other China natives and businesses. Mandarin-speaking parenthood-hopefuls can feel right at home throughout the surrogacy process, with a plethora of Asian-dense neighborhoods and areas.
Another important statistic is that as many as 50% of all the foreign intended parents coming to the U.S. for surrogacy services are same-sex couples, primarily gay would-be dads. In fact, may surrogates prefer working with gay dads, possibly because the pregnancy has a higher likelihood of success as gay couples normally opt for donated eggs from young, healthy females with a naturally thriving ovarian reserve.
Another huge plus for international clients seeking surrogacy services is that any baby born via surrogate in the U.S. has birthright citizenship. This is especially important to parents who are frequent travelers to the US or for foreigners who aspire to send their kids to the US for higher studies later on in life. Unlike the U.S., China forbids dual citizenship though, and most American-born Chinese babies remain U.S. citizens.
Even though many developing countries like Cambodia, India, Mexico, Nepal and Thailand have banned surrogacy for non-residents, the industry, worth $6bn globally in 2018, is expected to reach $27.8bn by 2025, according to Global Markets Insights, a market-research firm.
The global surrogacy market is expected to witness a substantial growth in the future, owing to high incidences of infertility cases, emerging trends of delayed pregnancies among women, rise in technological advancements in fertility procedures, and increase in rate of gamete donations. Furthermore, rise in health awareness on fertility issues, availability of fertility treatments, increase in disposable income, and favorable reimbursement policies further augment the market growth.