Thursday, November 29, 2012

DADsquared Interviews Co-Founder of Surrogaycy

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Rudy Rupak,
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Surrogaycy (clever spelling!) and PlanetHospital.


Rudy and I discussed his companies origins, history and long term goals with respect to helping the gay community grow their families.

Not only did we delve into surrogacy in India but in Panama as well.

I hope you enjoy reading this interview as much as I did writing it.





Mr. Rupak





















DADsquared:
How and why did you start Surrogaycy?

Rudy Rupak:
In 2006, our founder did the first surrogacy overseas for a US couple.  After 3 successes, he was approached by a friend who was a gay couple and although they knew it was risky their desire for having a child was so strong they decided to go for it.  We stood by them.  Since then we have several hundred gay parents.

DS:
Many of my readers have been hearing a lot about surrogacy in India, are you working with any other countries as well?

RR:
We work with Panama however they do run about $25,000-$30,000 more than India

DS:  (fan question)
How would one actually go about becoming a surrogate? I have two children of my own already and would love to help another family, gay family, realize their dreams.

RR:
Surrogates must be thoroughly screened, including psychological, medical and family history. As you mentioned surrogates must have had a child/children before.  The surrogate must be willing to bear this child for a couple and be willing to sever all attachments to this baby once it is born based on the couples wishes.

DS:
How much does it cost to have a baby with Surrogaycy?

RR:
It depends on the scenario.  We customize all surrogacy plans around the clients specific needs.  Most often no two cases are alike.  Basic surrogacy can start at under $30,000 dollars not including an egg donor.

DS:
What is the process, sperm, eggs, surrogate?

RR:
One parent needs to be genetically linked to the baby in order to get a passport for the baby to leave the country.  The sperm donor can make a deposit in the US and have the sperm shipped to India, or the sperm donor can travel to India/Panama to make their sperm deposit.  Sperm can be safely shipped to India/Panama and so can embryos however we do not recommend shipping eggs to India/Panama as it greatly depletes the quality.  The egg donor would require stimulation before egg retrieval which can be done either in the US or India/Panama however it best to do the IVF process at same time as the egg retrieval.  The success rate is slightly higher doing a fresh transfer in India or Panama vs a frozen transfer.  Sperm and Egg Donors are available both in the US and in India/Panama.

DS:
What are the legal issues that a same gendered couple might face using a surrogate in a different country?

RR:
In India and Panama same sex relationships and marriages are not recognized, however it is not considered illegal.  Therefore, same sex couples who want to have children are labeled as single parents in order to make the exit process simple.  We encourage no communication with the client and surrogate until the baby is born and in the clients possession.  This way the client will not be put in a position of being pursuaded by the surrogate to provide more money or gifts.

DS:
How soon after birth can we bring our baby home?

RR:
First of all you are dealing with a newborn baby so you want to make sure the baby is healthy enough to travel.  Secondly is the exit process which includes a DNA swab to confirm there is a genetic link between the parent and the baby.  Once confirmation is received the embassy issues a passport for the baby to leave the country. When the client goes to India they already going to have a Visa in their passport but the baby will not.  Therefore we arrange for the client to go to the Exit Visa office to apply for a visa for the baby.  We recommend the client plans on staying in India for 4 weeks to be safe.

DS:
What sort of "in country" time would we be looking at?

RR:
Same as above.

DS:
How many visits? Duration of visits?

RR:
This will depend on if the client ships their embryos/sperm to India or if client does their deposit/egg retrieval in India.  If the client makes there deposit in India they would need to make two trips to India.  If the client makes their deposit in the US, this would only require one trip to India.

DS: 
What is your screening process for your surrogates?

RR:
All surrogates have had to have children before so we are able to know that they are able to carry a baby to term successfully.  The screening process includes full medical screening, family history and psychological testing.

DS:
Can we choose our surrogate or see a picture or have any contact?

RR:
We encourage no communication with the client and surrogate until the baby is born and in the clients possession.  This way the client will not be put in a position of being pursuaded by the surrogate to provide more money or gifts.  The client will not be able to see pictures or choose their surrogate.  The clinics are experts when it comes to choosing surrogates. 

DS:
What sort of compensation do your surrogates receive?

RR:
The surrogates are financially compensated and what they receive in 9.5 months is equivalent to what a person would make in about 3 years.

DS:
Who handles their medical care during the pregnancy?

RR:
The doctors will oversee the medical care of the surrogates throughout the entire process.

DS:
Are attorneys fees included in the Surrogacy fees or are they extra?

RR:
The attorney fees are included for handling the contracts between the clinic and the surrogate as well as the client and the clinic/surrogate.  The attorney will also help in coordinating the documents for the exit visa.

DS:
What if the pregnancy doesn't take, what next?

RR:
Planet Hospital's surrogacy packages include a second frozen attempt at no additional charge assuming there are additional embryos remaining.

DS:
How many Gay Families have you helped to date.

RR:
Several Hundred

DADsquared:
Rudy, Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us and share some valuable information with our readers.

Rudy Rupak:
It was entirely my pleasure.


For more information on PlanetHospital or Surrogaycy simply click on the links.

Namaste

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Disclaimer:
The hiring of a surrogate is a personal and extremely important decision.
DADsquared has not worked with or knows of any individuals that have used either of Mr. Rupaks companies and therefore can not be held liable. 
We strongly recommend all parties to make extremely informed decisions, and as always consult with an attorney.