Top fertility agencies scramble to meet foreign demand for the States’ surrogate moms as new wealth and the end of one-child laws bring baby seekers willing to spend $200,000.
Kalee Thompson reports: The first time Dianna Barindelli carried a baby that wasn’t her own was in 2012. “We were done having kids, but I still wanted to be pregnant,” says the Modesto, Calif., stay-at-home mom, whose own daughters are 6 and 9. Barindelli signed up with the Center for Surrogate Parenting in Encino, one of the most exclusive surrogacy agencies in the world. In 2014, she matched with a Chinese couple.
“If they can afford to, they’ll demand a California surrogate because they’ve heard they are the best. It’s a supply-and-demand issue and has raised the prices of surrogacy in California.”
— Sam Everingham, founder of nonprofit Families Through Surrogacy
Unlike many agencies, CSP first shows parent applications to the surrogates, rather than the other way around. “It’s little things that you’ll connect with people over,” says Barindelli, who was attracted to pictures of the couple’s extended travels and their traditional wedding photos.
The embryo transfer took place in late 2014. Barindelli emailed the mom weekly, sending updates and ultrasound pictures with WeChat, an app that offers instantaneous translation. The intended parents (IPs) planned to be there for the birth, but the baby boy arrived two weeks early, 24 hours before they arrived. Says Barindelli: “I texted and made sure [the mom] was OK with him staying in my room. I cleared everything with her. I didn’t want her to feel bad that she wasn’t there.”
“We’ve seen a surge. There’s a lot of money in China that’s being put into the second child.”
— Christene Anthony, who matches Chinese IPs with American gestational carriers
Barindelli, who used her surrogacy fees to set up a college fund for her girls, is pregnant again, this time with the baby, due Feb. 1, of a Taiwanese couple. She may not be done: Her first Chinese couple emailed her recently, soon after their son’s first birthday. They still have frozen embryos and hope that Barindelli, now 40, will carry their second child.
Commercial surrogacy is banned in most parts of the world, as well as in many U.S. states. Until recently, infertile couples, singles and gay would-be dads had a handful of options to turn to when it came to finding a surrogate, among them India, Thailand, Nepal and Mexico, where surrogacy services have cost a quarter of the $100,000 to $200,000 bill typical in the U.S. But in the past few years, those countries have started enforcing laws banning international surrogacy. Meanwhile, China — the world’s most populous country, with a growing wealthy elite and where some doctors believe infertility is more common than in the U.S. — lifted its decades-long one-child policy. The result is a soaring Chinese demand for U.S. surrogacy services, one that is flourishing particularly in California, with its culturally friendly enclaves, excellent physicians and favorable state laws that regard IPs as a baby’s legal parents even before birth, if proper court documents are filed. “We have more legal firepower in terms of the statue and case law than anywhere else,” says Lesa Slaughter of The Fertility Law Firm in Woodland Hills, whose own twins were born via California surrogate.
“We’ve seen a surge,” says Christene Anthony, who matches Chinese IPs with American gestational carriers for CSP, which has facilitated more than 2,300 births since 1980 and is responsible for helping Elton John, Elizabeth Banks, Angela Bassett and Mitt Romney’s son Tagg become parents. “There’s a lot of money in China that’s being put into the second child,” she adds, noting that it has become common for reproductive endocrinologists, fertility attorneys and surrogacy agencies to hire Mandarin-speaking staffers to cater to Chinese clients. Despite CSP’s Southern California location, 51 percent of its clients now are foreigners, up from 15 percent a decade ago. Rival agency Growing Generations (clients have included Sarah Jessica Parker and 30 Rock director Todd Holland) also sees half of its clients coming from overseas, as does Gifted Journeys, a boutique agency in Pasadena. At San Diego’s Expect Miracles Surrogacy, international clients account for 80 percent of IPs. And of foreigners participating in this permutation of California’s birth tourism, the number of Chinese IPs is growing the fastest, making up the most common single foreign nationality for many agencies right now. Read the rest of this entry »
No one has found out how to help Denmark’s falling birth rate. Until now. Spies Travels announces a competition where you have to make a baby to win.
Denmark faces a crisis. Our birthrate is at a 27 year low. At Spies we’re concerned. Fewer Danes mean fewer to support the ageing population – and tragically, fewer holidaying with us. Research shows that Danes have 46% more sex on city holidays and since more sex equals the chance of more kids, we are prescribing a romantic city holiday to save Denmark’s future. Let’s save the future of Denmark with romance!.
Paglia Tells Educators to Get Real. When public schools refuse to acknowledge gender differences, we betray boys and girls alike
Camille Paglia writes: Fertility is the missing chapter in sex education. Sobering facts about women’s declining fertility after their 20s are being withheld from ambitious young women, who are propelled along a career track devised for men.
“Too often, sex education defines pregnancy as a pathology, for which the cure is abortion.”
The refusal by public schools’ sex-education programs to acknowledge gender differences is betraying both boys and girls. The genders should be separated for sex counseling. It is absurd to avoid the harsh reality that boys have less to lose from casual serial sex than do girls, who risk pregnancy and whose future fertility can be compromised by disease. Boys need lessons in basic ethics and moral reasoning about sex (for example, not taking advantage of intoxicated dates), while girls must learn to distinguish sexual compliance from popularity.
[Download Paglia’s book “Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars” from Amazon]
Above all, girls need life-planning advice. Too often, sex education defines pregnancy as a pathology, for which the cure is abortion. Adolescent girls must think deeply about their ultimate aims and desires. If they want both children and a career, they should decide whether to have children early or late. There are pros, cons and trade-offs for each choice. Read the rest of this entry »
(CNSNews.com) – Terence P. Jeffrey writes: The fertility rate of women in the United States fell to a record low for the second year in a row in 2012, according to data released last week by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Also for the second year in a row, 40.7 percent of the babies born in the United States were born to unmarried mothers.
The fertility rate is the number of births per 1,000 women aged 15-44. In 2012–according to the Dec. 30, 2013 CDC report “Births: Final Data for 2012“–the U.S. fertility rate was 63.0. That was down from 63.2 in 2011, the previous all-time low.
“The 2012 general fertility rate (GFR) for the U.S. was 63.0 births per 1,000 women aged 15–44, down slightly (less than 1%) from the record low rate reported for the nation in 2011 (63.2),” said the CDC report.
America’s embrace of low fertility rates is becoming a problem.
Mollie Hemingway writes: Last week Deadspin ran six sentences and a picture under the headline “Philip Rivers Is An Intense Weirdo.” The final two sentences about the San Diego Charger quarterback were blunt:
And he’s also about to have his seventh kid. There are going to be eight people with Rivers DNA running around this world.
Ah yes. How “intensely weird” it is for an NFL player to be having his seventh kid. Except that it isn’t weird at all for an NFL player to have his seventh kid. It’s only weird for an NFL player to have seven kids with his one wife.