Announcing a new medical tourism hot-spot. For same-sex couples the world over seeking to have children, Portland, Oregon has become the go-to destination thanks to its gay-friendly surrogacy options.
Couples that cannot legally pursue surrogacy in their native countries make the trip to Portlandia where the world’s top clinic, Oregon Reproductive Medicine, is based. Ten years ago, ORM might have seen one gay couple in a year but now, according to marketing director Jonathan Kipp, “it’s absolutely a normal day to have gay couples in our hallways every week.”
ORM is ranked tops in the world due to its egg and sperm donor options, quality of medical service, and most importantly, high success rate — 85% of ORM’s surrogacy attempts result in childbirth.
“They are really very highly rated,” Ron Poole-Dayan, executive director of Men Having Babies, told USA Today. The group, a non-profit support network for biological gay fathers and fathers-to-be, has some 1,000 couples — 40% of which are European.
“They all, without exception, cannot do surrogacy or egg donation in their countries,” said Poole-Dayan, himself a father — along with his husband — of 12-year -old twins through surrogacy.
Portland also loves them some gays, having scored a perfect 100 on the HRC’s Municipality Equality Index, measuring cities’ LGBT-friendly laws and policies. International travelers therefore can feel welcome and safe there.
The small Oregon town of less than 600,000 also makes dollars and sense for prospective parents. In places like New York or Los Angeles, making a baby costs $130,000 to $170,000, but in Portland, it’s only around $90,000. Only being a relative term, obviously. Coupled with the abundance of healthy young women with healthy young eggs and healthy young wombs, Portland has a lot to offer to same-sex couples looking to star in their own real-life versions of The New Normal.
Let’s just hope they have better luck.