INTERVIEW | Dr Gad Lavy, The Surrogacy Doctor
Following on with our detailed surrogacy articles we chat with Dr Lavy from the New England Fertility centre who assists LGBT families from the UK to find a Surrogate in the US.
What is you’re involvement in the surrogacy process for couples?
The third party reproduction team at New England fertility institute and I have been assisting LGBT families for over 15 years to have babies. I usually meet with couples initially either in person or via Skype.
How would a gay couple who’ve decided they would like to have a child go about starting the process?
We explain the entire process, and how the couple will find both a surrogate mum and an egg donor. A good start would be to attend one of our group meetings.
How many couples from the UK each year start the surrogacy process?
We have many couples from all over Europe, including the UK, travel to the US every year.
Does it become a more complex process for UK couples who wish to have a Surrogate from the US?
We always work side by side with an attorney versed in reproductive law. This attorney will assure the couple that the baby can be brought home safely and within the legal requirements of the home country of the intended parent dads
What would happen to the couple’s rights if the surrogate decided to keep the baby?
It is not possible for the surrogate to keep the baby. Hundreds of babies are born through surrogacy every year in the US. There has never been a case where the surrogate can become the legal parent.
If two men wished to have a child yet not know which was the biological father are they allowed to mix deposits in a kind of lottery?
Usually the biological dads each create a set of embryos. In many cases, the couple chooses to put an embryo from each dad into the uterus of the surrogate. 40-50 percent of those cases produce twins. It is sometimes necessary to do a DNA test on the child(ren) for legal purposes and birth certificate. An attorney must be consulted in all cases.
At what age does the child need to reach before the couple are allowed to bring him or her back to the UK?
The couple can usually bring their baby home no more than 30 days after the birth.
Is it harder for gay couples to find a surrogate in the US?
No it is not harder for gay couples to find a surrogate in the US. We work very closely with Circle Surrogacy, a gay friendly surrogacy agency located in Boston mass. They match up to 100 gay couples every year with American surrogates.
You cannot pay a woman to have a child for you in the UK whereas you can in the US. Is there an average price or donation for a surrogate mother?
The average compensation to a US surrogate is 20,000 dollars.
Does this increase if you require an egg donor and a surrogate mother?
The average cost to do the medical procedure using an egg donor and surrogate is about 40,000 dollars.
Once the child is delivered and the new fathers are back home in the UK, is there a support system to help answer the inevitable questions on how to raise the child?
Yes, both New England fertility and circle surrogacy have a network of gay families that can be of assistance with any questions regarding raising of children in a gay family home.
Do you ever keep in touch with the new families you’ve helped to create?
Yes of course we keep in touch with our families!
Where can people go to read more information about what you do and your services?
We always refer perspective parents to our website for more information: www.nefertility.com
Dr Lavy will next be in London on the 15th March 2013 where a group meeting will take place. To book your free place at the meeting click here.