Frequently Asked Questions
Please feel free to ask any questions you might be interested in, as given the complex and sensitive nature of surrogacy programs there is so much to find out.
We would appreciate if you could help us to find out the best and legal option for us regarding surrogacy. Do we have much contact with the surrogate mother or is everything done through your agency?
- All contacts with the SM and full coordination of the whole program and monitoring will be arranged through our company. You just choose package of services that fits your requirements, come to Moscow to meet the chosen surrogate and visit the clinic to realize your part of the medical program and in 9 months, if the first attempt is successful, get an official Russian Federation Birth certificate of your child. The rest is done and arranged by us. We provide a seamless fully coordinated program, a complete "package" approach, i.e. locate and screen the surrogates, make all appointments, arrange for the IVF at the clinic and also do all the needed legal paperwork to ensure the baby is given to the parents and that birth certificates etc are complete and legal.
We are very interested in getting started but just want to make sure that there would be no legal problems if we were to be successful in a surrogacy arrangement, as to adopt a child in our country is a very long procedure and we would be happier if our names were on the original birth certificate to avoid any problems in the future.
- Russian legislation allows you to carry on a surrogacy program and your names will be put on the Birth certificate. There would be no legal problems of any kind. Surrogacy is officially regulated by Clause 51-52 of the Family Code of the Russian Federation (29.12.1995 №223 Federal Law), Clause 35 of the Russian Federation Citiziens Health Protection Law (22.07.1993 № 5487-I) and Order 67 of the Russian Federation Health Ministry (Reg. №4452 24.04.03 RF Justice ministry).
I would appreciate very much if you could inform me of the cost involved in this type of program and also the time frame involved.
- Our packages start from as low as EUR 5,000. In the attached file you'll find description of our basic packages. Your payment is refundable. Even after the medical program is started, we make refund for the full sum less banking expenses and all expenses incident to the Surrogate's IVF attempt, pregnancy and our services. As for time frame, normally it takes up to one month to start the medical program after you sign the contract and choose the surrogate.
Is there an option to customize a package? What are the options for this?
- Please note that it will be a pleasure to prepare customized packages adding or excluding any services taking into account your particular budget for this program or exact services you need. You can choose paying to the clinic directly and pay our bills for the SM's accommodation, transport expenses and all further IVF attempt related and medical expenses. Normally if you choose our Medical and Extra expenses package it could help you to save some money, it's a guarantee that you won't be charged more than that.
What fee installment plan do you have? When do we pay what?
- It depends on the chosen package, but normally it's payable in 4 installments, first installment of to be paid upon signing our Consulting agreement and only when the surrogate that fits your requirements is found, second installment upon positive medical confirmation that the Surrogate is pregnant with a detectable fetal heart beat, then, within 90 days upon positive medical confirmation that the Surrogate is pregnant, third installment, and the forth and final installment upon birth.
What medical expenses are included in your Extra expenses package?
- The fee includes all medical tetsts previous to the IVF attempt and medical expenses for the SM and egg donor stimulation for the 1st attempt, one IVF attempt and cryopreservation - if needed. Test for the pregnancy is also included, as well as birth in a private room in one of the best Moscow clinics.
What's the price for an extra IVF attempt?
- The clinic's price for the medical program - 1 attempt - will be about EUR 2,000, depending on the chosen clinic and protocol, recommended by the embryologist. We just re-send you the clinic's invoice for your special case.
Also have you dealt with any European couples requiring surrogacy, I am just wondering if it is difficult to organize.
- We have dealt already with couples from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, USA. Most our clients come from Germany. Technically speaking, the process is quite simple, we get an official Russian Federation birth certificate for you in the State Registration Authority (ZAGS) and you go to your consulate to get your child's passport. After that we get an exit visa for your child and you can leave Russia.
Do you assist Canadians in surrogacy procedures? Have you assisted any Canadians before?
- Your nationality doesn't matter, we have clients from all over the world. As for Canadians, surrogacy is legal in Canada, currently legislation is trying to ban commercial surrogacy, but surrogacy itself is and will continue to be legal. So as for the moment we don't have clients from your country.
Do you assist us with getting Russian visa to enter Russia?
- We assist you in everything you might need here in Russia, including visa support letters, accommodation, transfers, interpreters and even sightseeing. Normally it takes up to 1 week to get a Russian visa. We'll require your full name, date of birth, passport number, when it was issued and it's expiry date. After that an official invitation will be sent to you with a special reference number. After you get it, you can go directly to the consulate. We can also arrange multi-entry visas, if needed.
How many times would we have to visit Moscow through the procedure? Approximately how long must we stay each time?
- One visit of your husband is required to deliver his sperm sample and sign all necessary papers. It will take up to 3-4 days. You should come to Russia before the child is born, we'll inform you about that in due time. It will take you about fortnight to go with our help through all formalities and go home with your new-born baby.
Do you arrange for the clinic appointments? What clinic do you use?
- Yes, we arrange all appointments that might be necessary for you and for the surrogate. We work with different Moscow clinic, but it's up to you to make the final choice, we can only share our experience with you and give you some orientation in choosing the clinic.
Are there any medical tests for us before we start the program?
- Yes, of course. Here are the tests for the husband:
- screening for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B and C,
- sperm count
- Gynecological examination with vaginal ultrasound;
- Blood type and rhesus;
- screening for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B and C,
- Gram stain smear,
- clinical blood analysis (blood count)
Does my husband have to travel to Moscow if we were to use an egg donor or a traditional surrogate, or is it possible to send a frozen sperm sample, what way does this normally work?
- Your husband really has to travel to Moscow, it's impossible to send a frozen sperm sample. One visit of your husband is required to deliver his sperm sample and sign all necessary papers, you should come to Russia before the child is born, we'll inform you about that in due time.
How many IVF procedures does it normally take to be successful? Would we be regularly informed about the progress of the SM?
- Normally it takes up to 3 IVF attempts to be successful. We regularly - on a weekly basis - inform you about the progress achieved.
I am wondering if the language barrier would be a problem, is it possible to arrange an interpreter to help us while we are in Moscow?
- Language barrier won't be a problem for you. Our managers fluently speak English, German, Spanish, we have also French and Italian interpreters in the staff. All legal documents will be translated into your language, our manager or interpreter will accompany you during your visits to the clinic, our office and state authorities. Transfers, sightseeing and other travel related services can also easily be arranged.
I am interested in learning more about the surrogacy program that you provide. I am wondering first of all how to start to look for a surrogate mother.
- We have available surrogates right now. There is no waiting list for our clients. To start working with your request and to make you an adequate offer we need to know your requirements as for the surrogate. As for the time frame, we can start working as soon as an official contract with you is signed, so it won't take more than a fortnight.
Is there any age limit to participate in your program? I'm 46 and my husband is 54.
- There is no any age limit for our programs. If you are infertile, sperm donor and egg donor will be provided for your program, your names will be put on the Birth certificate of your child, so legally speaking you'll be the parents.
Do we need an agreement with Russian clinic?
- Yes, you do need an official contract with the clinic that would precise their duties and responsibilities. Our lawyers will check the legality of this contract, make some amendments according to your wishes and will translate it into English. Only after it you can sign. To avoid misunderstandings and legal consequences please never sign any texts in foreign languages without a full and adequate translation and previous lawyer's consultation.
How long does it take to match a client with a surrogate?
- We have no waiting list for our clients, our data base is quite big and normally it takes us 2-3 days to make an adequate suggestion as for surrogates that might fit your requirements.
Do we ever meet the surrogate mother?
- It's up to you, but we do recommend all our clients at least one meeting before we start the medical part of the program.
What type of screening do you conduct on the surrogates?
- According to the Order 67 of the RF Health ministry it's as follows:
- Gynecological examination with vaginal ultrasound;
- Blood type and rhesus;
- screening for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B and C;
- screening for Neisseria gonorrhoea, Chlamidia trachomatis, Cytomegalovirus, Herpes
simplex, Ureaplasma urealyticum, Micoplasma;
- rubella antibodies;
- Gram stain smear;
- Papanicolau smear;
- clinical blood analysis (blood count);
- biochemical blood analysis;
- clinical urine analysis;
- examination by a psychiatrist;
- conclusion signed by a therapeutist (general practitioner) that she does not have contra-indications to pregnancy.
Do you normally choose woman who have had children before?
- According to the Order 67 of the Russian Federation Health ministry only women that have had children before can participate in surrogacy programs.
Do you mean the surrogate drinks alcohol, takes drugs or smokes?
- We do not accept in the program women that drink alcohol, take drugs or smoke.
For the egg donor, we would like to see photographs of the donor and we are looking for a young woman with blue eyes and blonde or brown hair, also someone with a nice personality. If you could let us know what types of donors that you have we would be grateful.
- We have about 50 egg donor candidates in our database and, being a Slavonic country have of course the type you are interested in. Photographs and suggested egg donors' detailed profile will be sent to you. You'll get also detailed information about prospective donor's parents, children and relatives, so that you can know up to great-grandparents of your future child.
As regards a surrogate mother we are looking for a young, healthy, kind and reliable and trustworthy woman, who will commit to the arrangement, as we are from another country we need your professional help regarding the choice of surrogate mother, to ensure that there will be no complications during the process.
- There are more that 200 potential surrogates in our database, all of them are healthy, kind and reliable, between 20 and 35 years old, some with previous experience in the program. We do not accept in our programs women that are not 100% trustworthy.
We would like to review some profiles before we sign the contracts to ensure that the candidates are suitable for us. Do you have profiles on file for review? We are interested in this procedure, but prior to signing contracts we need to know more about the donors.
- We can send you up to 5 profiles, so you can make your choice. There is no any haste, so please make your time and choose carefully before signing the contract. For your orientation we precise release date on each profile (as a general rule, 7 days from sending you the profile). After that the candidate can be offered to another couple.
Do we sign a contract with the SM so that we get full rights to any baby born? Is there a possibility that the SM can change her mind during the pregnancy? What is the legal status if this occurs?
- We do prepare a full contract with the SM, but you must know that according to the Russian Family Code the SM can change her mind after the baby is born - before she gives her legal consent for you both to be listed in the Birth certificate as parents. If it happens (though very improbable), legally speaking she'll be considered the Mother. According to the contract she won't be entitled for any compensation and will be obliged to compensate you all your expenses for this program. The program will be continued with another candidate, there won't be any amounts lost.
After you get - with our help - the Birth certificate (it happens on the 4th-7th day after birth) nothing can be changed, she will never be able to get the child back.
In our almost 4 years practice we've never had similar cases before, but if you'd like a 100% guarantee that the SM won't change her mind we recommend a special Extra Guarantee package that would include our daily psychological assistance to the SM during her pregnancy. It really gives you 100% guarantee or full refund for all your expenses if she changes her mind.
What measures are in place to prevent the surrogate from keeping the baby?
- We are proud to inform you that we've never had these cases in our almost 4 years practice due to the fact that we deal only with trustworthy and reliable women that are psychologically stable. Our managers and psychologists contact the surrogates on a daily basis during final stage of the pregnancy, our representatives assist the surrogate after the birth in giving her written consent for the parents to be put on the Birth certificate.
If we request genetic testing of the embryo is this available?
- Genetic testing is available, of course, but it should be done only if there are serious medical grounds to do that, as it reduces chances for the conception considerably.
Can we request more than 2 embryos to be transferred?
- According to the Order 67 of the Russian Federation Health Ministry (Reg. №4452 24.04.03 RF Justice ministry) up to 3 embryos can be transferred.
If we terminate the agreement, what happens to the remaining frozen embryos (if any)?
- From the legal point of view the embryos will belong to you, so it's your right to precise their fate it in the contract signed with the clinic.
What is cryopreservation? Is it recommended?
- Embryos that are not transferred can be frozen. Freezing can be recommended for any high quality embryos that survive to the blastocyst stage. These embryos are stored in liquid nitrogen and can be thawed at a later stage. While the pregnancy rates with frozen embryos are not as high, the procedures involved in preparing for a frozen embryo transfer are much simpler and less expensive. Freezing only embryos that survive to the blastocyst stage maximizes the chance for success in a thaw cycle.
We have a strong preference for sons. Could we use sex selection?
- Genetic testing on preimplantation embryos - Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) - may be indicated for patients who are at risk for genetic disorders such as Cystic fibrosis or Thalassemia and for patients with infertility related to chromosomal abnormalities such as recurrent pregnancy loss or repeated unsuccessful IVF. Please always take into account that PGD reduces considerably chances for IVF success. We do not recommend it unless it's vitally necessary due to mentioned medical reasons.
What constitutes positive medical confirmation that the surrogate is pregnant?
- It's an official ultrasound test result made in the authorized medical institution. It will bear the name of the surrogate on it and date.
When IVF attempt is considered failed?
- An attempt is considered failed if 1st pregnancy test after IVF attempt is negative.
How are we kept informed of the pregnancy and how often will we be updated?
- Normally all our clients are kept informed of the progress achieved on a monthly basis (detailed report), unless you request a weekly report.
How is the surrogate's health monitored?
- It's done on a weekly basis in authorized clinic. You'll be informed about the results. To tell you more, our managers contact the surrogates over phone or personally on a daily basis to check everything and send them to see a doctor, whenever it might be needed.
What tests does the SM have to ensure she and the baby are healthy?
- Normally we use ultrasound tests when it's prescribed by the physician. Any additional tests can be done if prescribed by the physician or if it's your wish. It's up to you to decide, because some tests can be quite dangerous for the pregnancy.
Myself and my husband are interested in taking things further regarding a surrogacy arrangement using an egg donor, we are interested in working with certain clinic in Moscow and as we have had a donor cycle there before. Would you be willing to work with this clinic as well?
- We would work with any clinic chosen by our clients, it's up to you to decide, we can only give you some orientation. As for Moscow clinic, we've previously worked with AltraVita, Deti iz Probirki, Ma-Ma, Mat' i Dit'ia, Moskvorechje and some others.
If we chose traditional surrogacy is there any possibility that my name can go on the birth certificate of the baby or is this only with gestational surrogacy?
- If you chose traditional surrogacy, your husband will be considered as an individual sperm donor for the surrogate who would be in this case the client of the clinic, not your husband.Her name will go on the birth certificate. To get your husband's name on the birth certificate it will be necessary to sign a joint statement of the surrogate and your husband as for the fathership establishment. After that his name will go on the birth certificate.
Is it better for us to do egg donor and gestational surrogacy? In this case is it possible to put my name on the birth certificate?
- If you are an officially married couple, it's better for you to do gestational surrogacy. In this case according to the Clause 51-4 of the Family Code of the Russian Federation your name and your husband's name can be put on the birth certificate. You'll be legal parents.
If we chose gestational surrogacy, do we have to provide our own egg donor or can this be organized for us?
- If you choose gestational surrogacy, we can provide our individual egg donor candidate. It means that you'll get full description of the candidate including her photos and photos of her children, parents and relatives. We are the only company in Europe that provide this special service. Clinics can send you only very approximate description of donor without any photos, as their donors according to the law should be anonymous. And our company deal with individual egg donor candidates, so we can disclose their personal data having their written consent. You just precise your requirements as for the egg donor candidate and we send you a profile that would fit all your requirements. The embryos will be considered legally yours prior to transfer.
Myself and my husband traveled to Moscow last year for an egg donor IVF cycle with certain clinic, and although the cycle was not successful for me, we still have frozen embryos in Moscow. I was wondering if it is possible to transfer these embryos into a surrogate mother before we would start a fresh cycle again with surrogate mother?
- Yes, it's possible. It won't take more than a fortnight to get you a surrogate from our data base ready to proceed with your program. Please let us know your requirements as for the surrogate.
We are concerned about the fees if the Surrogate mother has a miscarriage or fails to get pregnant at all, as we would end up with nothing. What would we be expected to pay in these circumstances?
- There is no amount lost for you except a small fee for finding a new surrogate to continue the program immediately after miscarriage.
Are we able to be there for the birth? As a female, would I be allowed to be there even if my husband was not?
- We'll be glad to arrange that for you, so that you see the birth of your child with your own eyes.
Is the surrogate's name recorded anywhere on the birth certificate?
- Definitely not, only your names and the name of your child are recorded on the birth certificate. There will be no mention of the surrogacy program.
I am wondering if it is difficult to bring a baby back into my country. How long does the process of getting the legalities of the birth certificate take before returning to my country?
- It's not difficult at all. Nobody could prevent you from travelling with your own child anywhere you want. After the birth we get you an official Russian Federation Birth certificate with your names on it - as parents. After that you get legal papers in your consulate and then we get an exit visa for your child. Normally it won't take more that fortnight after the birth.
I have a question regarding gaining the official documents from the consulate in Moscow. What are the usual requirements to obtain these documents, will they know that we have a surrogacy arrangement, as if we say that I have given birth this is untrue and as we will not have been in Moscow for very long will they question this? I would be concerned that they may not allow the baby to leave Russia. If we say that we have an arrangement will this be of concern or what is the usual way to handle this part of the process. We would like to keep everything private and do not want any trouble regarding legalities.
- Legally speaking, after you get the Birth certificate, it will be you who delivered from the legal point of view, not the SM. And it will be true. Nevertheless we'd recommend you to come to Moscow for the delivery time, to avoid any questions at the consulate. You have the right to deliver in any country and you are not supposed to explain to anybody reasons for that. The child will be legally yours, so you can travel to any country of the world.
How long does it normally take to arrange for an exit visa for our child, is it usual to stay in the country for a few weeks after the baby is born or is there a set time frame?
- To get an exit visa - normally it takes up to 2 weeks. It's normal to stay for any time you wish if your visa is valid, we could arrange a long-term multiple entry visa for you.
Have there ever been cases where the SM or egg donor have wanted contact with any child born? Would they be informed of our identification or where we live?
- In our almost 4 years practice we had just one case when the surrogate wanted to contact with the parents and child born/ The parents were against it, so we were unable to disclose this sensitive information about their personality and whereabouts. After a legal consultation in our company the surrogate understood that she had no legal right to require such information.
Your identification is a strictly confidential information, to be disclosed only to the clinic and to the State Registration authority (ZAGS) when registering your child.
From internet research, we have located your company and seen that you assist with surrogacy procedures. We have several questions, but also wonder if it would be possible to speak to somebody directly on the telephone. What number can we call and will it be possible to speak with someone who speaks English?
- Our managers can speak English, German, Spanish, we have French and Italian-speaking interpreters, so there won't be any problem in communication. You can contact us daily by +7 495 225-55-95 from 10 am till 6 pm, Moscow time.
Moscow: +7 495 225 5595, Saint-Petersburg: +7 812 448 4717, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org