The surrogacy agency Tammuz Nordic will this autumn start offering Icelandic gay male couples to arrange surrogacy in USA or Ukraine. Their spokesperson, Mikkel Raahede, has himself had three children with his husband through surrogacy and he strongly recommends it.
But is surrogacy not illegal in Iceland? “It is illegal to do it in Iceland, yes,” Mikkel explains. „But it’s completely legal for Icelanders to do it abroad and bring the child home with them. I’ve spoken to Icelandic lawyers about it and they all agree that there is nothing illegal in the process.”
The service is offered to straight couples, gay male couples and single men, but Mikkel says that the Icelandic law makes it harder to assist lesbian couples and single women.
“According to Icelandic law the child is registered to it’s birth mother and if the father is not Icelandic women could have a hard time being allowed to bring the child to Iceland as their own. We would of course really like to be able to help them too, but there does not seem to be a way around that law, so there is little we can do.”
“Our focus is on the surrogate mother and the intended parents and we offer them complete support throughout the process.”
Tammuz is a Israeli company that has been working with clinics in USA and Ukraine for ten years. The reason they choose those countries to work in is, according to Mikkel, that they follow a very strict procedure regarding surrogacy.
“I know that some people are against surrogacy as they consider it a business of making money by exploiting poor women and selling children, which it is in some places, but at Tammuz we have a very strict procedure in choosing the surrogate mothers and those procedures are followed very tightly in the clinics we choose to work with. The mothers are carefully chosen and have to undergo a thorough examination, both physically and mentally, before we hire them. They have to be
mothers already, have to have carried and given birth to a child without complications, they have to be physically fit and mentally stable and neither drink nor smoke. We screen for narcissism and other disorders in their psyche and interview them many times to see how they are as persons. They also have to have a strong supporting network, we do not want them to be alone in going through this.
Our focus is on the surrogate mother and the intended parents and we offer them complete support throughout the process. The intended parents are of course allowed to follow the pregnancy and attend the birth and we are always available to help them with anything they need.”
Surrogacy is expensive, Mikkel admits, but he says that Tammuz is among the most affordable agencies in the USA so in his opinion they are a good option if people are looking for a surrogacy agency. Besides he says they are one of the most respected agencies in this field in the world.
“Tammuz has been operating for ten years and there are thousands of children that have been born with their help. They have never come under scrutiny and never had any lawsuits, and as I said our emphasis is on the human factor not the business side of surrogacy. We really want to help people have their own biological children, which I think is a fundamental need in most human beings.”
Mikkel and his husband have three children that were born through surrogacy and as his husband has a heterosexual past, as Mikkel puts it, there are two more children from his previous relationship in the family. Something that Mikkel considers his biggest luck in life.
“I really wanted to have children of my own and I am the biological father of our three children,” he explains. “It’s one of the most fulfilling and profound things I have experienced. We did not have our surrogacy through Tammuz, as they were not in business then, but the reason I wanted to work with them was that I wanted to give more people who could not have children the opportunity to experience this. I’m really doing this job as a kind of calling.”
“… our emphasis is on the human factor not the business side of surrogacy. We really want to help people have their own biological children, which I think is a fundamental need in most human beings.”
Mikkel is in Iceland for the weekend to take part in the Reykjavik Pride and talk to people about the things that Tammuz Nordic is offering. In the beginning of October he will come back here and hold a seminar about the process and Tammuz policy. The date for the seminar has been set as the 6th of October but the location is yet to be found. “It will be announced in due time,” Mikkel says. “But I’m always open to discuss this matter with interested parties so if you are considering surrogacy you should look up our website and be in touch. I will assist you in any way I can.”