tv America Tonight Al Jazeera February 14, 2015 2:30am-3:01am EST
off the top of my head hug in the world. someone has unearned 5,000 human remains having a couple. the scaltons of a man and woman thought to be young adults came up in southern greene grease. now, trying to find out how they died. ♪ the baby business going global. >> people go to all ends. >> searching for surrogates. >> we put our wishes out into the universe there. >> some get babies. others heart break. >> that's the thing with surrogacy. >> there's no guarantee. >> we lost $20,000. >> between the expenses of travelling, it was $50,000. >> both of you were involved with that organization, why should anybody trust you with a surrogacy?
>> in "america tonight" investigation - making babies. >> good evening, thanks for joining us, i'm adam may with an "america tonight" special report, "making babies". not the old-fashioned way, but what is a booming multibillion dollar industry. sometimes it's a success. other times a suspicious failure. tonight's special report begins with outsouring. the desire for a family can lead would-be parents on a chase around the world, with global surrogacy taking couples to some unexpected places. >> mommy! >> for crystal travis, her small business building families is very personal. >> your business title is ... world of surrogacy. >> does it take a world to make a baby? >> people will go to all ends if they want a family. >> reporter: she has three children born half a world away
conceived using an egg donor and surrogate mother from india. >> i don't like those. >> reporter: becoming a mother was not easy. like many, crystal's career delayed having a family and fertility issues led her to look for an egg donor. finding the cost of surrogacy prohibitive, she and her husband herd about a cheaper alternative, india. >> first trip to india was very difficult for me: i was not prepared for what we saw. it was hard to imagine the poverty, and the way people had to live. this was very disconcerting to me. it was just really hard to take in without becoming emotional. >> reporter: still, the travis'
saw india as a best option. they moved forward quickly, less than a year later mark came into the world in india. >> mark was born. our surrogate was here. in the operation room, sure surrogate was here for days. >>you were there when he was born? >> we were there when he was born. >> what was that like? >> the one thing i remember when mark came out they said "he's beautiful he looks like you." and i said thank you. >> reporter: where are you guys at right now? >> well, i am in baltimore maryland. >> and megan. >> london, england. >> and it takes a world to make a baby these days. crystal helps others build their families, more than 600 couples, like ed and his partner, bringing together people from five cities on three continents
to get a baby, including a friend donating her egg from london. >> i have an extra super cool aunt and the child can visit me in london and i can expose them to another side of culture in another part of the world. >> tony johnson and his partner tried to adopt through foster care but found the process frustrating and slow. >> i feel fortunate. i'm 46. there was a time when i was living where this was impossible. i just feel fortunate that this is possible now. >> they hope international surrogacy helps them to become dads fast. >> you guys are in florida. egg donors in london, surrogate in india, delivery in nepal, medical procedures in new york. this does take somebody from almost every corner of the globe, doesn't it. >> absolutely. the world is global. the village is global.
it feels like we are going to another pleas, and happens to require a few more play runs. >> knows destinations have changing rules. india banned same-sex couples and single men looking for surrogates, so agencies are moving some procedures to nearby line. >> why not do this domestically where it's legal in the u.s.? >> in india you find a doctor that will allow a single tonne berth from 35,000 to 40,000 or 50,000. in middle america you can say 80,000. cox - i have clients who paid over 200,000. >> 200,000. >> $200,000. >> people can say a lot of money going overseas. >> correct. when we started the process 6.5 years ago it wasn't a
billion dollars a year industry, you didn't have the players in the pot. now it's a different story. industry. >> correctment probably more -- correct. probably more. it's a cash and carry industry. >> travis says when money is no object global surrogacy can go in the other direction. 7500 miles away is shanghai china. with 24 million people, nearly three times that of new york city, shanghai is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. it's here we found tony jang. he and his wife couldn't have children, so they turned to surrogacy. it's mapped in china. they travelled to a suppressing place for help. >> i checked with service from india, ukraine, thailand, then the solution in california. >> jane has fully children, a daughter and twin boy and girl
from the same surro date in california. all three born in the u.s., so they are american citizens. having three children would be agaups the law in china. it's an incidentive attracting many parents like jane to the u.s. >> so it means they are getting new babies with foreign passports. they don't register the new born as chinese citizens. it gets around the one-baby policy. >> after the children were born friend asked jane for help. before long, this young father was in the business of babies, agency. >> eventually the solution from the u.s. is the best one. poem this have been doing this for more than 25 years. >> surrogacy in the u.s. is only available for the chinese who can afford it. a basic package, including one
ivf cycle costs between $120-$170,000. another advantage to the american spooerps - gender selection. many chinese clients cheeking american surrogates request boys. it's possible in the u.s. where gender selection is straightforward through ipp vitro fertilisation. >> it's not opened or allowed in china. >> the u.s. is the gold standard for sur gassy. >> some critics would say the women in third worlds delivering the babies are exploited. what do you say to that? >> i think they should ask the surrogates. my surrogate. if she felt she was exploited, she wouldn't have asked 24 hours later if she could be a surrogate again. >> yes, the same surrogate gave the travises twps. >> i think it's neat we are a
>> welcome back to "america tonight"s making babies. a growing number of couples are heading south of the border. it's a cheaper alternative to the u.s., but as we found out, it can be very risky. dozens of couples say they were deceived. their dreams of parenthood crushed and their check books drained. cancun mexico - surf, sun and surrogacy.
>> it was a disaster >> an absolute disaster. >> it un-raveled. the whole process. >> yes. >> crash and burn. >> johnah and chris wanted children since they started dating since in college. finally they thought they found a solution in cancun. mexico is the newest destination for americans seeking international surrogacy. chris went south of the border visiting an agency called planet hospital. >> you see the caribbean and the blue waters. it was amazing, gorgeous. we put our wishes out to the universe there. >> planet hospital helped to select an egg donor, arranged a visit and promised them a willing mexican mother to carry their child.
all at the fraction of a cost of surrogacy in the u.s. >> so you didn't see a red flag initially or... >> hindsight is 20/20. you know. there were red flags. >> it turned out starting a family in paradise was a nightmare. >> the clinic pulled out. we had to switch clinics. we ended with a u.s. egg donor who was homophobic and basically left us in the lurch. >> they say after sending planet hospital tens of thousands of dollars the company failed to deliver. we lost over $20,000 from planet hospital trying to do surrogacy in mexico. it was devastating. >> you put so much money and emotion into the process and you are so close, so close, and then it just explodes. >> who do you guys blame for the problems in mexico? >> rudy rupax, certainly.
rudy rupax was the ceo of planet hospital. he was the master of diplomacy at making you feel warm and fuzzy about planet hospital. >> jonathan daly is a d.c. trial lawyer and would-be father, also burned in cancun. he sent more than $30,000 to planet hospital and rudy. i never saw the level of victimisation where you take someone's hopes and dreams of childhood which are imperative and private and outright steal their money and provide nothing in return. that leval of fraud. >> daly launched his own investigation, stunned to discover 40 couples like him. people left with a pile of bills and no babies.
coming up, despite the uncertainty, more and more desperate couples are heading to mexico. it's a different kind of match making. "america tonight" goes along for the eye-opening process and discovers a surprising twist. >> more than 30 couples claim they have lost around a million dollars when they worked with planet hospital, and both of you were involved with that organization.
why should anybody trust you with the surrogacy? >> abducted. imprisoned. tortured. we talked to a cia insider... >> what is our definition of torture, and what are we allowed to do? >> and a former prisoner who was never charged. >> he was beaten, he was denied sleep. >> find out what really happens in a cia black site. >> you will do whatever it takes to get this man to talk. >> an "america tonight" in-depth report: prosecuting torture. tuesday, 10:00 eastern. only on al jazeera america.
in our investigation of the international baby business, we saw how the promise of parenthood through surrogates can go wrong. we found would-be parents are so desperate for a child they'll take a chance even if they have been burned before. we went with one couple on their journey. >> at first glance it may look like a reality dating show. >> how are you? >> i'm doing good.
one after another these mexican women dressed to the nines are trying to impress. >> what do you do for fun? how long have you been modeling for? but carmine and jody from miami are not looking for romance. they are shopping for an egg donor, and will pay $2500 for a crack at one of these women's eggs. with its turquoise waters and soft as sugar beaches cancun has been a hot spot. americans are coming here for another reason, seeking surrogacy at a fraction of the going rate we see in the u.s. >> how did it describe your experiences so far? >> emotional. >> a failure.
>> a failure. gut wrenching. >> since this florida couple got married. starting a family has been a top priority. mexico is the last hope for fatherhood. it's the latest frontier in international surrogacy. new agencies are over the internet. many advertising surf, sun and surrogates at a bargain price. we are a hands on programme. we walk the client through the process. >> jeff and lily launched surrogacy beyond borders in 2014. joint enterprise. >> generally you at best spend $100,000. with the surrogacy programme in mexico, the best case is 47,000. >> why is it more affordable to do a surragacy in mexico. >> it's the cost of living. it's less money.
in comparison we were able to do it for less money. >> in a country where the average salary is $1,000 a month, bearing a child for a foreign couple is an attractive economic option for mexican women, and an enticing business opportunity. the company wanting to match u.s. couples with surrogacy in new mexico. >> this is a clinic you use. >> yes, one of three. >> inside the doctor shows us where she harvests eggs from donors, and transfers embryos into surrogates. surrogates like torres and others. they have been selected by surrogacy beyond borders to live in a villa in a gated community in cannes coup. it's the next stop for carr mine and jody. having met egg donors, the
country is introducing them to surrogates. these two are single mothers. living here for nine months. neither has a genetic connection to the trial. both will receive $13,000 for renting their wombs. >> why have you decided that you want to be a surrogate for an american couple? >> i really didn't know that there were so many couples that couldn't have a babies. >> the 27-year-old says she needs money to pay off her student loans and raise her own child, carmela. >> translation: i'm in charge of raising her and concerned about her future and education. >> beautiful, nice apartment. >> carr mine and jody were impressed by what they saw.
>> it's clean, organised. the women are happy. they are cautious. this is not the first time they have gone international in search of a child. the last time left them with a bill and crushed hopes. >> a lot of money out, no baby. >> how much money? >> between the expenses of travel it is about $50,000 by the time it was done. >> you lost $50,000 working with planet hospital? >> correct. >> that's right, planet hospital, the same surrogacy agency used last year is upped federal investigation, according to documents seen by "america tonight". up to 40 couples claim they didn't get babies, instead they lost hundreds of thousands of dollars. in a surprising twist jeff and lily frost, running the new agency in cap coup have ties to -- cancun have close ties to planet hospital. more than 30 couples claim to
have lost $1 million when they worked with planet hospital. both of you were involved with that organization. why should anyone trust you with a surrogacy? >> i think we learnt from the mistakes of plapp et hospital. we have put together an ethical programme that the parents involved through the process. >> lawyer jonathan daly is a disappointed client. he remembers mosses role. >> i describe him as a cf ox. he was the one that solicited the wire from me at a time when he knew or should have known the operation was over. i have an issue with that. >> a lawyer in washington dc says, however, because you were so hands on with acting him for the money, that you are kind of complicit. what do you say to that? jonathan? >> yes. >> okay. i did solicit the money from him. at the end of the day when he
came aboard as a client, he was moving forward. there was a little rockiness. forward. >> rudy was the ceo of plapp et hospital. moss and frost claim they are victims of planet hospital too and have nothing to hide. did you not see the operation falling apart? >> rudy has made bad business decisions, at the end of the day he prevailed and worked things out. even though i saw things getting rocky, i gave him the benefit of the doubt, they have in the past. >> if you google your names the connection to planet hospital shows up. >> yes. we are starting out of the running blocks with a 500 pound weight on our backs. >> one thing that surrogacy has said is that it would be an open surrogacy, which means come on down, meet the girls, meet the egg dopers.
we'll let you know where the money was going, it's in an escrow account. come down any time you want to. you can skype, call, everything is totally opened. >> jody and carmine gave up. >> there are no guarantees. it's not babies are us. it's not - you may this money and you walk away with a child. i would love to say yes, send us this money and you'll get a baby, it's not how it is. >> surrogacy is not that clean. >> no. the global business of babies can offer heart break. sometimes hope. one thing is constant. couples are willing to go as far as it takes if it means coming home with a baby. i'm "america tonight"s adam may. thanks for watching.