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Aug 09, 2012
French couples and individuals, gay and straight, are turning to United States in increasing numbers to pursue surrogacy and egg donation. In response to the growth in interest, Circle Surrogacy is returning to France for its third time in 2012 to provide guidance for intended parents.
Like most of Western Europe, France does not allow surrogacy. But French intended parents who require the assistance of a gestational surrogate are looking outside the French borders to pursue their dreams of becoming parents.
“Many factors have reinforced the desirability of pursuing surrogacy in the United States for French prospective parents,” says John Weltman, President of Circle Surrogacy and a recognized expert in reproductive law, noting the favorable moral, legal and medical climate for American surrogacy. “We are very knowledgeable of the laws in each country and in some of the most frequent destinations such as here in France, we partner with local organizations and lawyers to provide a complete solution for our clients before and after the birth.”
Circle Surrogacy, one of the premiere surrogate and egg donor parenting agencies in the United States, will be hosting an informational group meeting on September 16, 2012 in Paris. The meeting will give prospective parents an opportunity to hear expert advice in French about U.S. surrogate parenting options, listen to personal stories from parents, and ask questions about the various aspects—medical, legal, financial—of surrogate and egg donor parenting. NOTE: Dr. Vicken Sahakian, IVF Physician and Medical Director of Pacific Fertility Center- Los Angeles, who speaks French, will be on hand to address the medical aspect of the surrogacy process.
French couples and individuals can go through the surrogacy process in the United States and return to France after the birth of their children. In the United States, court decisions have reinforced the rights of intended parents who have pursued surrogacy and no US appeals court has ruled in favor of a woman seeking to retain custody of a child to whom she gave birth as a surrogate. Weltman notes that the recent Mennesson decision affirmed the parental status of a French couple who pursued surrogacy in the United States (See Arrêt n° 370 du 6 avril 2011 (10-19.053) - Cour de cassation - Première chambre civile, accessible here). And the election of François Hollande will likely make surrogacy easier for French intended parents, gay and straight.
Advances in reproductive technology, favorable laws, growing media attention and societal acceptance have contributed to rapid growth of U.S. surrogacy. While many countries worldwide still restrict the practice, most U.S. states permit compensated surrogacy. “There is a fundamental need for reproduction alternatives like surrogacy and egg donation;” says Weltman, “these options allow a couple who remain childless try after try to be able to share their love with a child of their own. And we can make that happen.”
Circle’s staff regularly meets with prospective parents for free consultations in their own countries, although many still conduct them by Skype, or in Boston and/or New York. The agency leads all intended parents through the logistical, legal and administrative processes involved from day one until they arrive home and gain full custody of their newborns. “Circle prides itself as a place that focuses on the long term best interests of the child, the surrogate and the intended parent(s),’” says Weltman. Prospective parents, surrogates and egg donors are thoroughly screened to ensure that all parties share the same values and commitment. Circle firmly believes that an open and honest approach results in a more rewarding journey.
From a financial standpoint, Circle Surrogacy and Dr. Sahakian of Pacific Fertility Center - Los Angeles now offer an Exclusive Unlimited In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) program at a fixed cost for those looking to start a family through surrogacy. The comprehensive program covers screenings for egg donors, surrogates and intended parents, medications and monitoring. Intended parents will have unlimited attempts to have a child without additional costs. “We created this new IVF program to be a more financially viable option for couples and individuals who are exploring starting a family through surrogacy,” said Weltman. “With so many variables in the surrogacy process, we hope this program provides parents with a cap to their costs, something most parents are looking for.” The plan will be one of the options available during the consultations while in Paris this September.
About Circle Surrogacy
Circle Surrogacy is the oldest American surrogate and egg donor parenting agency serving clients worldwide. Since 1995, Circle Surrogacy has facilitated the birth of more than 600 babies and boasts unequaled success rates in helping clients becoming parents through egg donation and gestational surrogacy. Circle Surrogacy provides a choice of specialized clinics at locations throughout the United States as well as a large selection of egg donors, timely matching with carefully screened surrogates and a variety of flexible programs and financial options.
About John Weltman
John Weltman, President and Founder of Circle Surrogacy, is a recognized worldwide attorney and expert in the field of surrogacy and reproductive law, as well as gay parenting. John began his own surrogacy journey in 1991 and has two sons. He has written numerous articles in leading publications and has given lectures throughout the United States and Europe on various legal topics related to surrogacy. John holds degrees from Yale, Oxford and the University of Virginia, and is admitted to the bar in MA, CA and NY.
--Memorandum on the Mennesson decision