Having helped our first international family nearly 20 years ago with egg donation and gestational surrogacy matching, A Perfect Match, Inc. works with clients from most continents. The staff of APM relishes working with people from many different cultures—and believes that working together for your success is a wonderful experience for us, too. We want to help you during your journey to parenthood.
A Perfect Match provides the same high-quality gestational surrogacy and egg donation matching services to our international families as we provide to our U.S. families. In fact, our experience has been so positive with our international families that we’ve never felt a need to charge an "international surcharge" merely because a gestational surrogacy or egg donation involves international families. We match our international clients with surrogates and egg donors according to their needs and we work closely with all the professionals involved to make your journey successful.
Egg Donor Program
A Perfect Match recruits egg donors from across the U.S. We focus on educational achievement by verifying test scores and transcripts. Thanks to our no-charge, online database, APM makes it easy for international intended parents to view our donors, including donor submitted profile, genetic questionnaire, and photos of donors and their families. Our donors represent most ethnicities and nationalities and most of our donors provide a video so you can get to know her better. Many of our donors are willing to meet via phone call, Skype meeting, and some are willing to meet in person. We never charge an agency fee until you find a donor who meets your needs and you request a phone or Skype meeting. To view our database of donors, contact us.
Gestational Surrogate Program
A Perfect Match recruits gestational surrogates who live primarily in Southern California in order to easily maintain a close and personal relationship with them. Our surrogate matching services are deeply personalized in that we offer you the profiles and photos of surrogate candidates whom we feel match your needs as international intended parents. Some countries have specific requirements for unmarried surrogates in order to protect the legal rights of the intended parents when they bring their child back to their home country. No one is ever obligated to accept a candidate simply because we think she is a good match—we want you to feel she is a good match, too. If you desire more information about our surrogacy program, contact us.
Clear communication between you and your surrogate is critical for the success of the pregnancy. Due to time differences and possible language barriers, it may require a bit more effort by the agency, the surrogate, and the intended parents to develop and maintain a mutually respectful, caring, long-distance surrogacy relationship. Yet with APM’s facilitation, communication has been successfully achieved by our international families. With Google Translate, Skype, Facetime, email, phone, and text messaging, all parties can communicate easily despite time and cultural differences. Translation services may be required when working with the IVF center or birth hospital. As you think about working with a gestational surrogate carefully consider the method and frequency of communication you want with your surrogate. Our intended parents and surrogates find mutually respectful and easy natural rhythm in their communication.
Visits To Your Surrogate
U.S. intended parents are generally able to attend some or most of the surrogate’s doctor appointments during the surrogate pregnancy; whereas, international intended parents are less likely to have that same opportunity. If intended parents are unable to join their surrogate’s appointments, our internet-savvy surrogates gladly update their intended parents after every appointment. They will give you baby measurements, lab results, ultrasound images and any recommendations made by the doctor. Because our surrogates understand that this is your pregnancy too, our surrogates will treat you as the parents from the moment there is a confirmed pregnancy.
Of course, if you can attend any of the appointments during the pregnancy, it will immensely deepen your relationship with the surrogate and the surrogate’s Obstetrician. We find the optimal OB appointment is the very first appointment so you can understand the plan for care of the surrogate, you can discuss prenatal testing available, and determine how you may be able to communicate with the OB during the pregnancy. Approximately during the 18-20 gestational week of pregnancy there will be a full anatomical scan and second trimester screening results should be completed so the OB can determine if the child is developing properly. If any test results come back showing an issue with development the OB may recommend additional testing (amniocentesis is most common) and the legal contract will cover the terms under which the surrogate will do this, as well as she may or may not terminate.
A Perfect Match makes every effort to match you with a surrogate as soon as possible, but due to your personal requests or your country’s legal requirements (single vs. married surrogate) a match may take three months or longer from the time you choose to work with us. You will be required to attend initial appointments at the IVF center in order to meet FDA requirements for use of your own eggs or sperm. Depending on the IVF center, this could be anywhere from 30 days to six months prior to the time the center can use your genetic material or conduct the egg retrieval and embryo transfer.
Once the surrogate is pregnant, APM expects international intended parents to arrive at least two weeks before the expected birthdate so they can be present when the child is born and can take immediate legal custody and responsibility for the child. Parents should also plan to remain in the U.S. for a few weeks after the birth in order to obtain the child’s birth certificate and passport, and to ensure that the child is healthy enough to travel abroad. Of course, babies don’t always follow our preferred timeline to enter the world, so parents need to be prepared to arrive within 24 hours of a surprise birth. Parents are expected to take immediate custody of their children and to make all medical decisions regarding the care of the child.
Legal Contracts For International Intended Parents
International families receive the same legal treatment within the U.S. that a U.S. parent receives regarding the establishment of their parental rights to a child born through surrogacy. International parents are advised to make sure their surrogate lives in a surrogate-friendly state, such as California. Children born to international families will receive U.S. citizenship at birth, and your parental rights within the U.S. will be established without issue. However, because the international family will take their child out of the U.S. and back to their home country—a country in which surrogacy may be illegal or at least may be treated very differently than the U.S.—international families will also want to establish parental rights in their own country. It is best to understand the laws that may apply in your own country and what you need to do to protect the child and your rights before you even begin the process. For example, a number of European countries do not recognize the international father’s parentage if the surrogate is married, because they view the surrogate’s husband as the legal father of the child despite any contracts or agreements you have with the surrogate. This is why APM recruits both married and unmarried surrogates in order to accommodate the specific legal needs of clients from various countries.
A Perfect Match works closely with Reproductive Law Center (RLC) which has provided legal parentage services to international families for nearly three decades. RLC understands the nuanced legal procedures that ensure our international families are treated as the legal parents immediately upon the birth of the child. RLC attorneys have a thorough understanding of other countries’ laws, and they work closely with international attorneys in order to create the legal documents necessary for your success.
The following information is provided by permission of Reproductive Law Center and is subject to change. Consult an attorney before entering into any agreements with a gestational surrogate.
Steps For International Intended Parents To Take After a California Birth
Following are the general steps for post-birth procedures within the state of California after a child is born through surrogacy. These steps may or may not fulfill the requirements that will allow you to apply for your surrogacy-born child’s citizenship in your home country. Each country has its own laws and requirements for its citizens who choose a U.S. surrogate. Before entering into any surrogacy arrangement or legal contract, international clients are strongly advised to seek legal advice from an attorney within your own country to determine what documents or items are required in order for the child to have full citizenship and complete rights as a citizen in your country. The steps you will need to take when your surrogate gives birth are as follows:
- The hospital will require you and the surrogate to complete the birth certificate form. You will give them a copy of the Certified Judgment of Paternity/Judgment of Maternity & Paternity (obtained from Reproductive Law Center at approximately 20 weeks gestation.)
- The hospital will send this completed paperwork to the Office of Vital Records in the California county in which the child was born. You must ask the hospital to expedite the birth certificate (although this is not possible in all California counties). You will receive the birth certificate in in 7-10 business days.
- When the Office of Vital Records has completed the birth certificate, it will call you to pick up the birth certificate, so you need to make sure the hospital has provided them with your correct contact information. (Otherwise you will need to call the OVR several days after the hospital sends the documents in order to inquire if the birth certificate is ready.) You will need to purchase several copies of the birth certificate.
- If you need to get Apostilles for the birth certificates you can go to the Secretary of State’s office. Your government may require Apostilles to prove that the document is a valid U.S. document. http://www.sos.ca.gov/business/notary/notary_authentication.htm
- After you pick up the birth certificate from the Office of Vital Records, you can then apply for the child’s U.S. passport. We recommend using an expediting service in order to quickly receive a passport, in 3-5 working days. This is the company many of our clients use:
- Marc Gilland, Senior National Accounts Manager
A Briggs Passport & Visa Expeditors
- Marc Gilland, Senior National Accounts Manager
- If you placed your surrogate’s name on the original birth certificate, our office will send you a Letter of Consent to Travel (usually after the birth), which your surrogate should sign and which you should have notarized before you fly home.
- If you have placed your surrogate’s name on the original birth certificate, your surrogate will need to either go with you to apply for the passport, or sign one of the passport documents in front of a notary (you can do this at the same time as the Letter of Consent to Travel). The passport agency can explain which form this is when you start the passport process.
- Once you receive the child’s U.S.passport, you will be able to fly back home.
- If you need to amend the California birth certificate for any reason (for example, removing the name of the surrogate, adding a partner, or moving your name to the “father” box), you must fax or scan and email a copy of the birth certificate to RLC as soon as possible. Once the amendment is complete, RLC will mail you the new birth certificate to you. This process can take several months.