(Photo: Matt Rainey/New York Times)
Paulo and João, who are pictured above, wanted to start a family. But as a same-sex couple, they could not produce a child on their own. They wanted to hire a woman to be a surrogate mother for them, but in their homeland, Portugal, that's a crime.
So Paulo and João traveled to the United States and hired a surrogate mother. It's legal in the US, Thailand, Mexico, Ukraine, and India. The United States, however, has a certain edge--a reputation for quality service and an open market. That's why the American surrogate pregnancy business is rapidly growing and increasingly international. Tamar Lewin reports for the New York Times:
Together, domestic and international couples will have more than 2,000 babies through gestational surrogacy in the United States this year, almost three times as many as a decade ago. Ads galore seek egg donors, would-be parents, would-be surrogates. Many surrogates and intended parents find each other on the Internet and make their arrangements independently, sometimes without a lawyer or a formal contract. […]
Four years ago, according to Stuart Bell, the chief executive of Growing Generations, a Los Angeles surrogacy agency, only about 20 percent of its clients came from overseas, but now international clients are more than half. Other agencies report the same trend.
-via Glenn Reynolds