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Routes to Parenthood: Where To Go For Fertility Treatments and Adoption in the Philippines and Abroad
A primer on the methods and processes you need to know.
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While many women have no trouble getting pregnant, some find it difficult to carry out a successful pregnancy. With the help of advances in science and technology today, however, women are now able to seek alternatives. Many couples consult with fertility clinics in the Philippines and abroad for assisted reproduction. Traditional medicine has also gained word-of-mouth reputation as an effective hormone therapy. For other couples, adoption is the viable option. Here are the different ways you can go about each route to parenthood.

FERTILITY CLINICS
Fertility clinics provide infertility testing and diagnosis, as well as a variety of options that can help you get pregnant, including in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Egg cryopreservation or embryo freezing is another method of assisted reproduction that has become a popular option for young women who wish to increase their chances of getting pregnant in the future. 

Center for Advanced Reproductive Medicine and Infertility (CARMI), St. Luke’s Medical Center, Philippines
CARMI, headed by Virgilio Novero, Jr., is the first hospital-based facility in the country that specializes in assisted reproduction. While it’s only been around for three years, Dr. Novero says the clinic has already had two successful pregnancies after egg freezing—one of the couples even had twins.

G/F Medical Arts Building, St. Luke’s Medical Center Global City, 32nd St. Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. For more information, call 787-7700 ext. 2111 or visit stlukescarmi.com.

Kato Repro Biotech Center, Philippines


Since its opening in 2012, the Philippine branch of this Tokyo-based clinic has had a 47 to 56 percent success rate for positive pregnancies and a 32 to 50 percent success rate for positive pregnancies resulting to live births. Television host Sam Oh chose to have her eggs frozen at this clinic.

8/F Tower 1, The Enterprise Center, 6766 Ayala Ave., Makati City. Call 822-1209 or visit katoreprobiotechcenter.com.

KL Fertility Clinic, Malaysia



Malaysia has one of the highest fertility treatment success rates in the world, and KL Fertility Clinic’s Medical Director, Dato’ Dr. Prashant Nadkari, has been in practice for almost 25 years. The clinic boasts of a 76.6 percent total pregnancy success rate for both fresh and frozen embryo transfers in women below 35 years old.

Suite 604, 6th Floor Wisma Perintis 47, Jalan Dungun, Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. For more information, visit klfertility.com.

UZ Brussel Centre for Reproductive Medicine (CRG), Belgium



Established in 1983, the CRG claims to be a pioneer in the development and application of reproductive techniques. Expect a long waiting period before you can book your first appointment—it typically takes one to two months or even longer, as in the case of fashion designer Mich Dulce, who waited three months. Overseas patients are also encouraged to prepare in their own country. (Learn how to prepare your body here.)

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Avenue du Laerbeek 101, 1090, Jette, Belgium. For more information, visit brusselvif.be.

Fort Worth Fertility, USA


Fort Worth was established only in 2004 by Dr. Robert Kaufmann, but the clinic’s fertility doctors have over 25 years of experience. Apart from the usual assisted reproduction technologies, the clinic offers preimplantation genetic diagnosis (where you can identify genetic defects and even choose the gender in the embryo before it is transferred into the uterus). Fort Worth is where Cristalle Belo-Pitt chose to have her eggs frozen.

1800 Mistleto Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas. Visit fwivf.com.

ACUPUNCTURE



The ancient healing method taps your body’s natural channels of energy, known as Chi, to stimulate points in your body that can release hormones and promote your body’s healing. Each channel is connected to an organ, like the heart, stomach, or kidneys. Numerous studies have shown that the practice affects hormonal levels positively and thus promotes fertility. Even licensed doctors recommend acupuncture when you’re trying to get pregnant.

Sister Regina Liu
Sister Regina Liu is a Catholic nun who has helped a number of women, including Summit Media president Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng, conceive through acupuncture. She has practiced Chinese medicine for more than 20 years and has a master’s degree in traditional Chinese medicine from the Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences in Oakland, California. She helps women who find it difficult or even impossible to get pregnant.

St. Francis Health Care, 19 Panay Avenue, Quezon City. Call 373-5503 or e-mail [email protected].

ADOPTION CENTERS
Hollywood celebrities have adopted children from all parts of the world—it cannot be denied that adoption remains to be one of the most viable ways of having a child. But the process can be arduous and expensive, and it’s not at all like the movies—you can’t just decide to keep the baby you find at your doorstep. Instead, you have to go through a lengthy legal process and prove your worth as a parent and provider before a child is entrusted to your care. This is probably why many adoptive parents still recommend that you go through the proper route, which is to adopt through the help of local government units. This will not only ensure that the child is going to a good home, but also inspire other families to adopt abandoned children.

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
The DSWD has various regional offices scattered around the country and social workers who can brief you about the adoption process. You can also visit various orphanages and organizations, but make sure they are accredited by DSWD so that the process will be faster and more secure.

The first step is to attend the Adoption Forum (a short primer on adoption) and to register as Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs). Once this is done, DSWD will schedule a home visit within two weeks and a social worker will assess the PAPs to see if they can provide for a child. You can then prepare for a home study report and complete the requirements needed for adopting a child. After a month or so, the regional director will have to approve the PAPs before endorsing them to the central office for “matching,” or finding a child that matches your preferences.

If you are not matched to any local children, DSWD may issue a clearance for intercountry adoption. Once you have been matched with a child, you will be issued a pre-adoption placement authority that will secure the child to your care. You will look after the child for six months, after which the social worker assigned to you will recommend issuance of consent to adoption. Once the consent has been signed, notarized, and approved, the adoptive parents can finally file a petition for adoption in court and prepare for a final home study. If all goes well, the court will decide to let you adopt the child.

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Intercountry Adoption
Should you wish to adopt a child from another country, touch base with a primary provider or adoption agency first, and allow them to help you with the legal process in their country.

South Korea has one of the oldest and most efficient international adoption programs in the world, and does not require you to travel to the country to adopt. Actress Katherine Heigl was successfully able to adopt a child from South Korea in 2009 (she later adopted another child in 2012, from the U.S.).

Countries with very high extreme poverty rates also have the most need for adoption, so consider adopting from places like Ethiopia (where Angelina Jolie adopted daughter Zahara), Malawi (where all of Madonna’s children were adopted from), and Haiti. European countries like Kazakhstan and Ukraine also have friendly adoption processes, but may require you to travel to and even reside in the country while you complete the adoption process. Other Asian countries like Thailand, China, and India are also feasible choices for adoption.

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Kitty Elicay for SmartParenting.com.ph
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