Marianas Variety

Last updateThu, 21 Mar 2019 12am

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    Wednesday, March 20, 2019-6:11:11P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Fertility clinic seeks surrogate mothers

PACIFIC Fertility Institute-Saipan, located at Marianas Heights I in Lower Base, is looking for women between 21 and 40 years old who have had at least one natural child birth and are interested to be a surrogate for couples who want to have a child.

The compensation for qualified women ranges from $25,000 to $35,000.

In an interview, Karen Buettner, Pacific Fertility Institute-Saipan manager, said the clinic opened in 2013 and has been offering different services, including in vitro fertilization, intrauterine insemination, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, assisted hatching, embryo freezing and storage, sperm freezing and storage, semen analysis, surrogacy and pre-genetic screening.

She said their surrogacy program started in 2015, and since then, they have about 30 live births under surrogacy process.

“When I saw ladies coming from the U.S. who were paid to be a surrogate, I thought why not put money into the hands of the local women here as well? Why can’t that be an option for them?” she added.

She started making inquiries in 2014. She said she consulted with lawyers to make sure that the surrogates would have legal representation and are advised of their rights.

Buettner, who has over 30 years of experience as a registered nurse in women’s health, said several local and Micronesian women have participated in the program. They also have had surrogates from Guam and from the U.S.

To be a surrogate, Buettner said a woman must be a U.S. citizen. She said most couples require that the surrogate can travel to the U.S.

In a separate interview, Sen. Vinnie Sablan said if a woman of Northern Marianas descent would bear a child, “the child would be an NMD.”

He added, “What are the chances that this child, 18 or 21 years later, would come back here and buy property invoking his or her right as a person with NMD lineage?”

According to Buettner, “By definition, you have to have Chamorro or Carolinian blood to be considered NMD. Under the surrogacy program, there is no way the child would get Chamorro blood.”

She said “a gestational surrogate mother is not biologically related to the child as embryos are created within the laboratory using the eggs and sperm of another couple and safely transferred into the uterus of a gestational surrogate mother.”

The baby’s birth certificate will indicate the names of the biological parents — the surrogate mother’s name will not be in the document, she added.

“We work with the court so that the biological parents are the legal parents of the child.”