Office 108, Ahad Ha’am, 1st Floor
Members: Guy Tatsa, Lilach Evrany, Or Lipetz, Betty Ezri, Xiomara Hernandez, Yishai Eliason
Founded: February 2010
These expressions of thankfulness is quite a common thing at Babybloom’s offices, located on the first floor of Mindspace Ahad Ha’am, as they help couples and individuals who can’t, bring babies into this world. “Watching ordinary people turning into parents, helping them cope with all the difficulties and fears and see their babies grow is the most satisfying thing in my job”, says Lilach Evrany, who walks hand in hand with the parents to be during the whole process.
Babybloom was founded 7 years ago, by Guy Tatsa, who at that time, ran a very successful PR company focusing on the bubbly Tel Aviv food scene. “Me and my partner just had our first baby, after a long and really expensive surrogacy procedure”’ he says, “I then realized that if I had someone to guide me through this very intense process, it would have probably been a bit easier to go through”. Tatsa soon became a surrogacy guru, focusing mostly-but-not-solely on the LGBT community. “The more I talked to more couples eager to become parents, the more the need to walk them through this process became evident”.
Guy and Lilach describes the surrogacy process as a very complex one – both emotionally and in terms of the procedures and bureaucracy one has to go through, and just as other companies do, Babybloom also seeks constant improvement in its services. “Our procedures are done in North America only and mostly in the U.S. as we are looking for the best possible results in the lowest possible cost. Over the years we established a warm working relationship with several clinics across the U.S., that now guarantees a successful treatment”.
With four very busy employees, Babybloom’s Tel Aviv branch is the biggest but they also have two branches in London and Madrid. So far, Babybloom helped the creation of more than 150 families in Israel and a few dozens more in Europe, and they don’t seem to get enough of it. Lilach, who previously worked as a project manager at a high-tech company, kept saying that “no money in the world can replace the satisfaction of my job”.
It seems that Babybloom’s team is also quite aware of their role in educating the society in which they are active. “The train has already left the station”, says Guy, “LGBT families are here to stay and now the focus should be on making this option more accessible, to increase the numbers of families living in cities that are less progressive in term of LGBT rights and to allow those who want to raise children to do so anywhere they choose”.
Although most of Babybloom’s clientele are LGBTs, they also help many straight couples become parents. “We had an ultra-orthodox jewish couple, a 45 year-old woman after 10 years of fertility treatments and many others”. They say, “all of them are now raising children and that’s the beauty in it. We are part of such a meaningful process and it is a privilege”.
One can not talk about surrogacy without mentioning the moral issues raised in this process, for example, forming socially and economically unequal relationships in this regard. Some claim that surrogates are “a womb for rent” and are usually women in a low socioeconomic status whose main motivation to take part in the process is their economic inferiority. “this is not a matter of black or white, of right or wrong”, says Guy, “the question of the right to parenthood for LGBTs is a moral issue just as the issue of the sweatshops in China in which almost everything we wear and consume is being manufactured”.
Babybloom’s team emphasizes that they only work with surrogates that enter this process from their free will and go through a strict screening process – that’s one of their reasons for not looking to carry out the procedure in eastern countries. “We found the best partners in the U.S so we could guarantee that the surrogates are in it for good reasons, that they don’t come from poverty and are aware of what it means to carry someone else’s baby”, says Guy and adds, “Personally, my surrogate has become part the family. After carrying my first daughter, she also carried my younger twins. She and her husband did so because they had a dream of buying a vacation apartment in Mexico. They Helped my partner and me, and we helped them”.
Even in the varied community of Mindspace Tel Aviv, Babybloom are rather unique, but just like any other member, they too are making the best of it. “This a good place to be at. The vibe and the working atmosphere reflects on us as well”, they say. “When our customers come for meetings, they look at this place and immediately feel they are in the right place”. But it’s not just the design that keeps them here, “we’re assisted by other members of the community in almost everything we need – design, marketing, development, and that’s a big perk”.
One tip for a starting entrepreneur?
Follow your passion, it’s worth it! And surround yourself with people you love!