Children, it’s been said, are our greatest blessings. They make our lives important. Yet for many would-be parents, bringing children into the world is a real struggle. That’s where science comes in.
CGTN’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports.
“What I do here is help folks from around the world create one healthy baby,” said Dr. Paul Magarelli, the founder of Magarelli Fertility.
The Colorado Springs, Colorado reproductive medicine practice has helped some 4,000 babies be born. His patients, impressed by American success, increasingly travel here from China.
“They are sincerely, sincerely wanting help,” Magarelli said. “It’s a fundamental true desire. There’s no politics to it.”
Meanwhile, Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine or CCRM has now made more than 50,000 babies possible through fertility treatments. Chinese residents, many with ovarian issues, represent a growing part of its clientele, like one woman whose embryo was created there.
“She’s saying that a lot of people, because of the advanced maternal age, they didn’t have much time to waste so they wanted to come here directly for our more advanced technologies,” said an interpreter for the woman, who spoke via WeChat from China.
While birth rates are on the decline these days in the U.S., China and other countries, the demand for advanced fertility treatment remains strong. In fact, more and more Chinese patients are coming to America for reproductive care.
In vitro fertilization is not widely available today in China. With the relaxation of the country’s one-child policy and its growing middle class, more and more people have the means and the desire to seek this sort of treatment in the U.S.
The use of gestational carriers or surrogates as well as egg donors are largely off-limits in China, a problem, said CCRM nurse Jing Zhang, for women who want children later in life.
“We’ve seen the rise of single women coming here wanting to freeze their eggs to preserve their fertility and with those frozen eggs in possession, they don’t have to worry about finding Mr. Right anytime soon,” Zhang said.
Comprehensive chromosome screening, or CCS, also draws patients to the U.S.
“CCS testing will give them an idea if an embryo is a female or a male and they can choose which one to transfer,” Zhang said. “And that’s not allowed in China.”
“America is a little bit more cowboy in the fact that as long as we’re not hurting anybody people can have a choice,” Magarelli said. He added that his more affordable model of IVF treatment has attracted significant Chinese investment in his practice.
“The Chinese New Year’s break, you can get a hundred couples coming, not just to me,” Magarelli said.
Clinics use Chinese translators, even concierge services, to help patients manage their U.S. stays. WeChat consultations with American doctors are popular too.
“They were very calm, wise and efficient,” said another woman from China, referring to her doctors. “Fortunately, I got several high-quality embryos.”
“If this is the only place someone can create a family let’s help them create a family,” Magarelli said. “There’s never a downside to creating a family I don’t believe.”
Even if people have to travel halfway across the world to do it.