Number of Turkish women illegally seeking surrogate mothers online, abroad on rise: Report
The number of Turkish women illegally seeking surrogate mothers abroad, especially in countries where the practice is common and legal, such as in Greek Cyprus, Georgia and the United States, or women offering to become surrogates for money has been on the rise, daily Habertürk reported on Feb. 5.
Women who want to become mothers and women who want to become surrogates both put up advertisements online for surrogacy - a practice forbidden by Turkish law, the report said.
The reason why women subject themselves to such attempt tend to differ, with some not being able to conceive due to the lack of a uterus, and some due to other medical complications.
For women who want to bear others’ children, the reason for the exchange tends to be financial.
Reasons differ, however, a solution is sought to find surrogate mothers through the services of surrogacy agencies in Turkey which promote “package deals” and brand the process as “health tourism.”
Going through the process, the surrogate and the mother-to-be meet before any procedures, but never again after the conception.
After the baby is conceived and registered abroad, he or she is brought to Turkey. And giving the baby away is not a huge concern for the surrogates, the report said.
Like in the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process, an embryo is formed using male sperms and female eggs in surrogacy. The embryo is then placed in the surrogate’s womb and a fetus is developed after the sperm and the egg fertilize with the genetic coding embedded in them.
“That’s why I don’t feel any discomfort giving the baby away,” an unidentified surrogate from the Aegean coastal province of İzmir told the daily.
“It is not going to carry my genes,” she added.
The surrogate, separated from her husband and already a mother of one, said she would demand 150,000 Turkish Liras for the exchange.
Lately, social media has also become a common medium for such exchange, even growing into a so-called “surrogacy market.”
“I want to become a surrogate because of my financial troubles,” one online advert said.
“I live in Istanbul, am 30 years old... I do not have kids and we are not planning on conceiving for a few more years,” another one added.
“I want to be able to offer my son a good education,” another advert read, adding the details of their financial troubles, too.
Surrogates, usually between the ages 20 and 46 and who are mostly unassigned teachers or foreigners living in Turkey, tend to receive up to 300,000 liras for bearing someone else’s child, yet still risk the danger of paying the price - legally.