Importing embryos for surrogacy

Importing and exporting is the movement of embryos outside of the country (exporting) or into the country (importing).

Embryo import for surrogacy

This could be for storing or to use infertility treatment like surrogacy.

If you’re moving embryos between clinics inside the country, then it is not considered as import-export.

Importing of embryos in surrogacy requires for following cases:

In case of hiring a foreign surrogate or she is unable to visit the home country of the intended parents.  

Intended parents want to go abroad for surrogacy, but they have frozen embryos in their home country that they want to take with them to use in surrogacy.

However, the duration of storing of imported embryos depends upon the country-specific regulation. 

Process of embryo import 
Intended parents need to find country-specific licensed fertility clinics to ensure embryos are moved safely.

Similarly, clinics, where embryos are imported, must be followed all those requirements to receive and store embryos safely. 

How long does it take to import/export?

It depends on whether the clinic has earlier imported to/exported from the pertinent clinic abroad.

If they have, it may be faster for them to transport all the relevant authorizations than if they haven’t worked with the clinic abroad before.

How are the sperm, eggs, or embryos transported?

The cryopreservation technique can be used for importing embryos for surrogacy.

Cryopreservation technology helps to build the road of success in maintaining the animal kingdom.

The novel advancement in the Cryopreservation technique limits the scope of frozen cellular damage as it maintains the cellular physical characteristics, which is essential for viability.

Cryopreservation technique maintains the viability of the cryopreserved cells and tissues without altering functionality or genetic sequence for centuries, which highly increases the significance of this technique in the fertility and embryo cryopreservation, are two approved female germplasm preservation techniques that can preserve female genetics.

But importing embryos for surrogacy has country-specific restrictions.

Different countries have their own legislation for importing embryos for surrogacy.  

US-FDA recommendation for the importation of embryos into the United States
An import permit is compulsory for the importation of embryos into the United States.

Animal embryos may not be imported into the United States from a county other than where it was collected.

Embryos originating from Canada do not want a permit for importation into the United States.

An official health certificate, written in English, is required for the importation of embryos. 

Generally, importers will use a broker/shipping agent to bring embryos into the United States.  

References:

  • https://www.hfea.gov.uk/treatments/explore-all-treatments/importing-and-exporting-sperm-eggs-and-embryos/
  • https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/importexport/animal-import-and-export/equine/bring-semen-and-embryos-into-us

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