Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hello Canada...Surrogacy in India is available!

SURROGATES: Reflections on the birth of my son via a surrogate in India

Published on October 24, 2012 by   ·   No Comments
Crystal Travis (right) is a surrogacy advisor. All three of her children were born via a surrogate in India. Submitted photo
VANCOUVERDESI.COM Our son Mark turned 4 on Oct. 15th, and so many memories flashed through my subconscious all day.
I’m sure his surrogate Nayana was thinking about his birth, as she currently is working in Israel in order to send money back home to India. As most of us know, women from Third World countries often travel to other countries to seek out a living for their family back home.
I went back through the journal my husband and I started before Mark was born, to see just what we were thinking leading up to his birth. A middle aged couple, me, African American, and my husband, Caucasian and born in Melbourne, Australia – who would have thought that children of the ’60s would have ever connected.
Well, we did and, as life moved on, my eggs aged out. By the time we decided to have a family, and start down the road of IVF, we already needed an egg donor. Then we realized that we needed a surrogate, too, so off to India we went. My husband Colin often said he thought of this as a lottery ticket. Who would have ever thought that we would win?
In 2008, there was not much talk about surrogacy in India, and it certainly was not a 2.3 billion dollar business like it is today.
Our journey led us to Gujarat, India, to a little village called Anand. This area of India is known as a cottage industry for surrogacy. We were mesmerized by the kindness of people as well as the all-encompassing poverty around us.
Uday, who is a fixture in Anand, dropped us off at a hotel called The Laksh, We hated the food, and the stench of the hotel made us nauseous. However, we love Indian food, and to this day still eat hit it 1-2 times a week. We both ended up eating tangerines for days, from a cart off of the street, which is the worst thing you can do, besides drinking the water, in a Third World country, and lost weight.
The days seemed to lag as if we were behind in time by hundreds of years. The juxtaposition about so many things happening around us almost seemed like too many things to take in, on one’s first trip to India. The constant sound of beeping and auto rickshaws crawling around the town like ants was a sight to behold.
The colours of the saris that waved through the air, as women rode 3-4 on motorcycles, was like a slow motion dance and we sat for hours as if in a trance watching everything whiz by.
The next morning, a man who we would consider a valet in the U.S, hailed down an auto rickshaw for us to ride in. This strapping man was a force to be reckoned with, as his long sword hung from its holster on his pants. We noticed that he kept sending away rickshaw after rickshaw. Finally we asked why and he replied they want more than the 20 rupees it costs for the ride despite it only costing no more than 10 rupees.
Ten rupees is equivalent to 20 cents in U.S. currency. Who would argue with someone with a sword? Eventually we rode through the crazy streets in Anand, where cows, dogs, motorcycles, bikes, cars, trucks, and, yes, even a woman nursing her baby were all on the same street.
We met with Dr. Patel, and her husband, Dr. Hitesh Patel, and thought what an interesting pair.
Colin did his sperm deposit in what used to be an objectionable bathroom but he was able to get the job done. We discussed finances and hung around to meet our surrogate.
Finally to our excitement our surrogate came, with her family. An exchange of questions were answered, and the customary photos that most intended parents wish to take were shot. However I had a gut feeling that this would not work.
I noticed many other couples who were at the clinic, and they had the look of deer caught in the headlights. This was something that Colin and I did not have and it served us well.
After returning home we received news in late January that our surrogate did not receive a positive. I told Dr. Patel to find another surrogate immediately because emotionally I knew I had to get back on the horse right away, or I would dwell in my own sorrow and possibly give up. Almost immediately Dr. Patel found us a surrogate who was a nurse. As fate would have it, she ended up being the surrogate for all three of our beautiful children.
We received sonograms, as well as videos of our son, over the months of the pregnancy and all went well. As soon as we arrived in Anand on Oct. 15, 2008, Mark was born. The story of his birth is for another post, but one that, looking back on now, was a series of comedies that were not comical at the time. Nevertheless, we are ecstatic and blessed to have our son.
Crystal Travis’ website,, provides basic information about the process and expenses of surrogacy. She and her husband, Colin, live in the D.C. area with their son Mark, born in 2008, and twins Alec and Elle born in 2010. The children were born of the same surrogate mother in a clinic in Anand, Gujarat, India.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hollywood and World of Surrogacy

Surge In Surrogacy And Hollywood Is Taking Notice

There is a surge of births through surrogacy and Hollywood is taking notice. E! News host Guiliana Rancic has a son by a surrogate mother, born late last month. Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick also have children born of a surrogate, as do Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban.
Crystal Travis has experienced the anguish of infertility herself, and selected surrogacy as a solution. “Every family has the right to realize their dreams of parenthood in an affordable and low stress way,” Travis says. She and her husband have a son born in India, and twins born two years later of the same surrogate mother. Because of their experience, Crystal Travis started a consulting service for intended parents.

Surrogacy costs about the same as adoption, but has an important benefit: the resulting baby has a genetic connection with one or both parents. Choosing a surrogate mother in India is a fraction of the cost of surrogacy in the United States. But it can be difficult for prospective parents navigating their way through the paperwork and ensuring their baby gets good prenatal care. Travis has helped dozens of people become parents through surrogacy in India, overseeing the pregnancy, birth and homecoming every step of the way. More than 25,000 babies are born through surrogate mothers in that country annually.
Travis launched her consulting business after the birth of her twins. “Surrogacy is a 2.3 billion dollar industry in India,” she says. She frequently travels to India to meet with attorneys and have personal contact with the doctors providing prenatal care and delivery. A support staff in India makes frequent calls to check on the progress of each pregnancy, and the well-being of surrogate mothers. There are fewer laws regulating surrogacy in India, which contributes to the lower cost and faster results.
Travis’ website,, provides basic information about the process and expenses of surrogacy. She and her husband, Colin, live in the D.C. area with their son Mark, born in 2008, and twins Alec and Elle born in 2010. The children were born of the same surrogate mother in a clinic in Anand, Gujarat, India.
Please see

Friday, October 12, 2012

WPFW Monday 9:30-10:00--Surrogacy in India!

Please join in for a lively chat on Monday with the founder of World of Surrogacy on WPFW live on 89.3 Pacifica radio.  If you reside in Maryland, Washington DC or Virginia you can tune in on 89.3, all others can join in online......................

Monday, October 8, 2012

Surrogacy and the Celebrities--The Daily

Fashion designer Tom Ford became the latest celebrity to use a surrogate mother to make a baby on Friday when it was announced that he and his partner of 24 years, editor Richard Buckley, had become fathers of a boy named Alexander.
They joined a list that includes Giuliana Rancic, Elton John, Camille Grammer, Ricky Martin, Sarah Jessica Parker and Nicole Kidman. But there are tens of thousands of parents who are not rich or famous using surrogates.
A professional Washington D.C.-based facilitator, Crystal Travis, tells Flash that the baby-making technique has become more affordable in recent years, thanks to outsourcing.
“It’s a $2.3 billion industry in India,” said Travis. “It’s much more expensive in the U.S., more than $100,000. In India, it’s about $35,000.” Travis, who experienced the anguish on infertility herself, started her World of Surrogacy consulting business in 2007, after she and her husband had three kids in India using the same surrogate mother.
Gay men are big customers because it’s largely unregulated, as opposed to adoption, which involves reams of red tape. “It’s much easier than adopting and works out to be about the same cost,” Travis said.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Reasons Why A Facilitator is Necesssary In India...

Surrogacy in India at this time next year, will have changed completely.  There many unscrupulous doctor's  involved in  the business of surrogacy,  sadly, just reading positive blogs is not enough to protect you. The majority of intended parent's do not blog about surrogacy in India, for a host of reasons.  Sadly, many wish to keep the veiled secrecy that they even used a surrogate in India, and for many, after so many negatives they have given up.  With that said, there is hope that you can have a baby born via a surrogate in India, but buyer beware.  Do not look for the least expensive doctor that you can find in India, because you will pay one way or the other.

Bad IVF doctors and how to protect yourself

While IVF technology has miraculously made successful pregnancy possible for almost every couple, not all IVF Clinics are created equal. Protect yourself from ineffective treatment and possible physical damage by learning how to differentiate between a good IVF clinic and a bad one.

There is no doubt that IVF technology represents one of modern medicine's success stories. Using IVF , we can help couples who could never have a baby with any other technique to start their own family.
However, woe betide the patient who ends up in a bad IVF clinic ! For example , one of the IVF clinics in New Delhi is owned by a skin specialist. This doctor, who is not even a gynecologist , offers IVF treatment ! Not only are your chances of getting pregnant in a bad IVF clinic very low, you also run a major risk of losing a lot of time, money and energy. Not only do you pour your money down the drain, you also end up losing confidence in IVF technology, thus depriving yourself of your best chance of having a baby . And when you do find out afterwards that the IVF clinic you selected was a bad one, there is little you can do about it ! Blaming yourself or cursing the doctor afterwards does not help, which is why you need to be very careful when deciding which fertility clinic in which to do your treatment ! Caveat emptor - and this is why it's very important that you do your homework carefully - you are making a major investment !
Some useful guidelines to help you find the best IVF doctor are here.
How do you identify a bad IVF clinic ? It's important to be critical and careful, and not to take everything the IVF clinic says for granted. A common problem is that even bad clinics will quote high pregnancy rates because these are published in the medical literature, rather than share their own success rates.
Unfortunately, many patients naively assume that all IVF clinics are equally good. They often select a fertility clinic because it is close to them; because they charge less; or because they know of someone who took treatment there and got pregnant. However, remember that there is a world of a difference between a good IVF clinic and a bad IVF clinic - not all IVF clinics are equally good ! It can be far more cost-effective to fly down to a good IVF clinic with a high pregnancy rate, even if this does cost a little more, as your "cost per baby " is likely to be much less, rather than to do IVF in a local fertility clinic with a low pregnancy rate !
Some IVF clinics in India depend upon the services of a part-time embryologist, who flies down only once or twice a month to perform the IVF or ICSI procedures. These fertility clinics batch all their patients together, and then perform about 5-20 treatments over a period of 2 days. This can be dangerous for you ! Not all patients grow eggs at the same rate ! Suppose yours grow too slowly ? Or too fast ? The doctor has no choice, but to perform your egg collection on the pre-scheduled date, thus resulting in a major drop in your chances of conceiving.
TopOther IVF doctors are only "part-time" IVF doctors. They spend most of their time delivering babies or doing hysterectomies ( which is often far more profitable). They do IVF simply to provide an additional service. Such an attitude often results in their providing a sub-optimal service because they cannot devote the time and energy needed to provide high pregnancy rates. Full-time IVF doctor who do nothing else have much higher pregnancy rates, because their entire reputation and income depends upon their IVF pregnancy rates !
Other IVF doctors enjoy jetting around or travelling from place to place. They set up a "chain of IVF clinics" all over the country to get more patients, and then spend their energies running around from clinic to clinic. This often means that they are not available to monitor your treatment. You may find that you only see the "big-name" doctor once - for your first consultation. Afterwards, this doctor is never available for you !
Other fertility clinics cut corners and compromise by using underhand methods and dirty tricks. They "share" your eggs with other patients without informing you, thus earning an additional income from their egg sharing programs, which they advertise to attract infertile women who need donor eggs ! However, not only is this grossly unethical, it also means that your chances of getting pregnant are drastically reduced !
Many bad IVF clinics do not offer the full range of services a good IVF clinic does. Thus, they do not offer embryo freezing facilities, and they "bad-mouth" embryo freezing technology, claiming that the pregnancy rates with frozen embryos are poor ! Fertility Clinics which cannot freeze embryos are technically inadequate; and will often "donate" your spare embryos to other patients without your consent !
Others buy second-hand incubators; or poor quality equipment. They try to save pennies by not servicing their microscopes; using cheap IVF culture medium ; or "recycling" disposables such as catheters and egg collection needles, thus increasing your risk of acquiring an infection and reducing your chances of getting pregnant. Many have very old, poor quality ultrasound scanners, which make it hard for them to see the follicles or do an egg collection.
I agree that it's very hard for the average infertile patient to judge the technical competence of an IVF clinic. Ideally, your clinic should be open and above-board ; and should be happy to show you around, and share information with you during your treatment.
TopSigns of a bad clinic include:
  1. When they refuse to show you their equipment or facilities
  2. When you do not get a chance to talk to the same IVF doctor
  3. When they do not show you the ultrasound screen during your monitoring or tell you how many eggs you are growing
  4. When there is a major discrepancy between the number of follicles you grow on scanning and the number of eggs they collect from you
  5. They do not show you your embryos under the microscope
  6. They do not offer embryo freezing facilities
  7. They do not give you a discharge summary at the end of your treatment
What happens in many IVF clinics is very distressing. It pains me when I see patients who have been through many IVF treatment cycles, but know pathetically little about their treatment details, because the clinic never provided them with this information.
Embroidering pregnancy rates is an art some ART clinics are very good at. I know of some doctors who deliberately give their patients repeated HCG injections after embryo transfer, ( Inj Profassi, or Inj Pregnyl) and then measure the blood level of beta HCG a few days later to prove to the patient that she conceived ! Since the beta HCG level is positive, the patient naively believes she did get pregnant (when it become negative, the doctor explains that she miscarried) , little realizing that the positive test result was just a result of the HCG hormone administered to her in the injection !( If the doctor gave her husband the same injection, he would have a positive pregnancy test too ! ) Such a cruel trick not only gives the patient false hope which is dashed to pieces, it also hooks her to the clinic for life, since she "nearly" got pregnant in her previous cycle.
Even "internationally reputed" clinics resort to some underhand practices - and perhaps this is even more dangerous, because few patients dare to question them , given their reputation. Thus, some push unproven treatments such as immunotherapy for recurrent pregnancy losses, offering their patients false hope after making them spend lots of money. Since these treatments are still controversial and unproven, it would only be fair to offer them as part of a controlled clinical trial, at no charge to patients. However, these patients are often so desperate, that they are happy to grasp at straws - especially when these are cloaked in the garb of scientific gobbledygook.