How far would you go to have a biological child?

The World
Surrogacy clinic

Pregnant surrogates are pictured at a clinic in Kiev, Ukraine. 

Anastasia Vlasova/PRI 

Surrogacy is a multimillion-dollar, global industry. People who face infertility have tough choices when it comes to deciding whether to keep trying to get pregnant via infertility treatments like in vitro fertilization — only to experience disappointment when it doesn’t take — or resort to surrogacy, which can get complicated.

Surrogacy is the act of implanting fertilized eggs in a healthy woman’s uterus. Oftentimes, couples spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on fertility treatments with no success. While surrogacy is legal in the United States, Russia and Sweden, it’s expensive, especially after numerous IVF treatments.

One woman who runs a California-based surrogacy agency told us the starting price for the service in the US is $100,000. That can be daunting, especially if people aren’t guaranteed a child. That’s where countries like Ukraine come in. It’s fast becoming the go-to place for people around the world who want a baby. Ukraine is home to many fertility clinics, including some that guarantee people will bring home a baby.

The latest series from our Across Women’s Lives project examines questions around the ethics of this growing industry. We will be looking at how surrogates are treated in Ukraine and examine the health care they receive during their pregnancy and during the delivery. How does that compare to the United States? We’ll also be looking at California, where commercial surrogacy is becoming a big business. We want to hear from you and what your experience has been like either trying to get pregnant or using a surrogate. With your permission, we’ll feature some of your answers online and on the air.


Allison Herrera
Reporter, Across Women’s Lives