'Having a child doesn’t fit into these women's schedule': is this the future of surrogacy?
US doctors are seeing an increase in patients avoiding pregnancy or time off work by paying someone else to carry their baby – with no medical need to do so
The Pacific Fertility Center on Los Angeles’ Wilshire Boulevard is the place where the people who have it all make their babies. With its crystal chandeliers and plush velvet and leather upholstery in shades of cream and mink, you’d be forgiven for thinking the waiting room was the changing room of a high-end bridal shop. But the pictures on the flatscreen on the wall give it away: digital photos of newborns in scratch mittens, thank you notes, family Christmas cards, tiny heads cradled in grateful hands. The images float upwards and disappear like bubbles in champagne.
In the 25 years Dr Vicken Sahakian has been practising, he has made families for thousands of the most privileged people in the world. He has worked with Hollywood stars, although he says he is too discreet to tell me names. (“You won’t hear it from me, but of course you would have heard of them.”) His clients are straight, gay, young and old, and they come to him from across the globe, particularly from China, or parts of Europe where surrogacy is either illegal or very tightly regulated. In the UK, surrogacy is legal, but surrogates can claim only expenses for carrying a child for another person. California law allows surrogates to earn a profit, and upholds the rights of intended parents over anyone else who is involved in the creation of their babies. It’s given the state a reputation as the most surrogacy-friendly place in the world.Continue reading...