Be Parent was established in 2017 on the philosophy that everyone deserves to have a family. The ‘Be Parent’ surrogate team includes women who are already mothers themselves and who are looking to share the joys of parenthood. To find out more, GEORGIA TODAY talked to Naia Adamia, founder of Be Parent.
“It was important for me to build a company that could provide surrogacy options for intended parents worldwide, regardless of their status and without a significant wait time; as many intended parents have already experienced a long delay in starting their family,” she tells us “We have a branch here in Georgia for married heterosexual couples, and others in Cyprus and Mexico for single and same-sex couples. We keep a stable low intended parent to coordinator ratio, in order to provide quality support and responsivity, so that intended parents can participate in their surrogacy journey feeling secure and in real-time.
“Our surrogate partners are the most valued members of our team, and we’ve implemented triple-screening measures to ensure their optimal heath from the get-go. We’ve also put in place an extended team of staff members to ensure regular health checks, accompaniment to medical appointments, as well as routine support for any and all of their daily needs,” Adamia notes.
“Be Parent’s aim was to establish a holistic framework for surrogacy; focusing on wellness, ethical practices, as well as emotional care. This extends as much to intended parents as to our surrogate team. We incorporate doula services and prenatal classes to help expectant parents prepare for the birth of their baby, as they require this preparation just as much as any parent having a child naturally. Counseling services are also core to our programs and are available for all surrogate carriers as they experience pregnancy and post-partum challenges. For intended parents this is also beneficial in order to help them process infertility and the toll this can take on mental health and in relationships,” she says.
How does the surrogacy process work?
Our surrogate team includes women who are already mothers themselves, who are looking to share the joy of parenthood while simultaneously benefiting by being able to do something positive for their own families. After extensive screening, our surrogate carriers are matched with intended parents who are in mutual alignment, and it’s important for this to happen in a timely way so neither party has to wait too long for the program to start. If an intended mother cannot provide her own gametes for IVF, then an egg donor must be used, as we only handle gestational surrogacy, not traditional. We have our own IVF clinic onsite in Georgia – InVitroLife – where we can handle all IVF processes in-house. Our medical team in Georgia provides all pregnancy, delivery and post-birth care. We also have an in-house legal team to handle the document issuance for the intended parents’ after-birth exit home. Our Be Parent coordination staff keeps our intended parents in the loop, providing consistent communication and updates pertaining to all medical records and journey developments, as well as hands-on help with logistics for a memorable stay in Georgia. A typical surrogacy journey would be between 12-18 months, start to finish.
What steps do future parents have to go through in order to use your services? Who do your clients tend to be?
We have intended parents from central Europe, Australia, Canada, the US and Asia. They range from same-sex couples who have always factored surrogacy into their family-building plans, to couples who have experienced medical trauma, or those suffering from underlying conditions or years of unexplained infertility. Just like our surrogate team, we have certain base requirements for our intended parents and cover this in our initial assessment. We guide intended parents from the beginning as to the documents we need to start a program, and these differ from branch to branch.
What are the prospects for development of the field in Georgia/the region? What challenges have you faced/do you face?
Due to Georgia being so experienced, as one of the earlier pioneers in surrogacy, as well as being such a legally sound country for surrogacy law, I really see a bright future. With Ukraine being unstable, and with potentially years of reparation still to come, Georgia offers a similar and familiar framework which intended parents find comforting. Also, the fact that Georgia is so progressive and modern yet affordable, also makes it a very easy country for foreign intended parents to adapt to.
I see surrogacy in Georgia growing even more popular than it already is. All agencies have their own particular philosophy and structure, so, as in any country when negative publicity surrounds an agency that operates very differently to us, it’s really challenging when all of Georgia surrogacy is painted with that same brush.
We have taken exceptional care to implement safeguards to prevent some of the mishaps other agencies have experienced, and I just hope that intended parents do their due diligence so they can recognize the agencies that use safe and ethical practices. To prevent this, we’ve founded an association to regulate agency standards and have been very selective with admission: Hand-picking only those Georgian agencies who have proven to have the same core values that we do. Our goal with this is to standardize best practices in regards to ensuring agencies are providing transparent services and the proper education and training to their surrogate teams.
Tell us about the future plans of the company.
Our plans are to expand a bit but not too much – we have a couple of additional branch locations which are of interest. Part of Be Parent’s popularity is due to our family-like feel. The success we’ve experienced is helping us to grow and understand the elements that our surrogate team and intended parents best respond to. Our aim is to keep providing a top level ratio of care, service and communication and to keep adding benefits to make the surrogacy journey as well-rounded and affordable as possible. In the next couple of years, we also hope to provide financing options in order to help those struggling to meet the budget goals needed for surrogacy.
Interview by Mariam Mtivlishvili