"This site is provided as a public service to intended parents considering medical tourism. Surrogacy in India is a very good options for building your family, but it is imperative to know the history of any provider you are considering working with."
below are a whole host of reasons why you should not work with RUDY RUPAK Acharya and planet hospital.
An unscrupulous surrogacy operation in Mexico has left clients thousands of dollars out of pocket, and dozens of would-be surrogates abandoned, a Foreign Correspondent investigation has revealed.
Some of the clients are believed to be Australians.
At least one among the surrogates tracked down by Foreign corresponded miscarried after being fertilized with twins and received only a fraction of the cash she was promised.
The man behind the operation, Rudy Rupak, has done the same issue antecedently in 2 other countries, according to one among his former staff.
Earlier this year, Foreign correspondent exposed India's money making surrogacy industry, following two Australian couples on their own odyssey to make a baby.
Clinics giving an array of affordable fertility services are developing in cities, towns and villages across the landmass.
But despite urgent calls to the Indian government to legislate, the multi-million-dollar trade continues to control in a very restrictive vacuum, creating it terribly troublesome for would-be parents to navigate the system and avoid rouge operators.
It may be even riskier when would-be parents – those who are currently prevented from victimization surrogacy services in India because they are single or gay - begin to seem at the so called- "new frontier" countries wherever Commercial surrogacy continues to be in its infancy.
Would-be parents heading to Mexico for surrogacy services
Mexico is simply such a Minefield. Planet Hospital is a US-based surrogacy brokerage firm offering a variety of fertility services in Cancun, Mexico.
When Foreign correspondent was 1st invited to examine Planet Hospital's Cancun operation last year, everything appeared rosy.
We were asked to go to the surrogacy house where women from poverty-ravaged components of Mexico and near countries were surrogates for childless couples from the U.S.A., Europe and Australia.
They were happy to supply their services and even happier with their prospective pay day.
We were introduced to clients like Massimo DE Lucia, a gay from California, who was excited regarding the prospect of a child, denied him in different surrogacy centres like India.
And we met Planet Hospital's founder and director in chief, Rudy Rupak, who claimed to supply sun, sea, sand and a baby via affordable surrogacy services to clients who perhaps couldn't afford it elsewhere.
"I'm the uncle to about 750 children round the globe," he said.
"It's an excellent feeling. To grow an organization that brings joy to people's lives is almost as near being Walt Disney as I will ever get."
Planet Hospital clients fleeced out of tens of thousands of Dollars
A subsequent tip-off from a really discontent Planet Hospital client shortly reveal that the Cancun dream was quick turning into a nightmare – clients fleeced out of tens of thousands of bucks each, surrogates abandoned, and a trail of unpaid bills that lead all the way to Mr. Rupak's up market home in a easy gated community in Los Angles.
We were put in touch with Catherine Moscarello, a US citizen and former worker of Planet Hospital, who had organized to commission her own surrogacy via Mr. Rupak and Planet Hospital.
Despite her best efforts to try to do correct due diligence, Ms Moscarello was horrified to discover she had been lied to about her own surrogate.
"We were told she was a 22-year-old single mum and she had a little boy. That is all we were told," she said.
"She was barely 18. Her son wasn't a boy, he was a baby. He was less than 9 months old and he had breastfed for a minimum of six of those nine months.
"In addition, she had uterine cysts which they did a procedure to remove the day before our transfer.
"I feel like we wasted 2 embryos. She wasn't qualified to be a surrogate. She ought to have not passed screening."
Ms Moscarello's personal experience prompted her to take a closer look at Planet Hospital and its processes.
She quickly realized that Mr. Rupak was less a Walt Disney and more in the mould of fraudster Bernie Mad off.
"Planet Hospital was run like a Ponzi scheme. With Rupak, its stall, it's stall, stall, and stall.
"He just puts you off and puts you off and puts you off."
Embryos locked away as bargaining chips in demand for more cash
Foreign Correspondent returned to Cancun, and as we dug deeper, a far more sinister picture emerged.
The surrogacy house was padlocked and disgruntled intended parents were out of pocket tens of thousands of dollars, some with their embryos stuck in limbo.
Fertility clinics, which had been employed by Mr. Rupak, were refusing to release the fertilized eggs because he had apparently not paid his bills.
Foreign Correspondent spoke to Mr. de Lucia back home in San Francisco, who said he had lost $US22, 500.
Three embryos were produced, but they are still locked away in a Cancun clinic.
The clinic is refusing to release them unless Mr. de Lucia pays another $US5, 000 to cover some of Planet Hospital's unpaid bills.
Mr. de Lucia says he is furious with Mr. Rupak.
"He's cheated too many people. [It is] one thing being cheated when you're doing a business transaction, but a very different thing is when you're playing with people's feelings and dreams," he said.
"It's really hard for a gay couple to have a kid and going through the surrogacy is a mess, and you're playing with that."
Surrogate struggling to cope with fallout of miscarried twins
Adriana Rincon, one of the surrogates Foreign Correspondent first met at the Planet Hospital surrogacy house, was couch-surfing in Mexico City, all but destitute, as she grappled with the emotional fallout of having miscarried twins in Cancun.
She received virtually no support when she lost the pregnancy and was clearly grieving the loss of babies she had never quite known how she would give away.
To add insult to injury, Ms Rincon had been paid only a fraction of the money promised.
Mr. Rupak had gone to ground.
Foreign Correspondent traced him to California, where he was still operating out of an office in Calabasas, a celebrity enclave outside Los Angeles.
He agreed to an interview to set the record straight, he said.
At once charming and apologetic, Mr. Rupak was still determined to put his point across.
For the people he has let down, it just does not compensate for the harm he has done.
"I for one believe he's a thief. There's no question in my mind," Mr. de Lucia said.
"Everything he does is calculated to preserve his interests and if other people are injured or harmed or scarred - not a big deal, no interest."
Mr. Rupak is now being forced into bankruptcy by former clients.
The FBI is also investigating Planet Hospital's surrogacy operations.
Mr. Rupak admits to making bad business decisions, but nothing more.
However, we were reporting a surrogacy story without seeing a single baby.
The largely unregulated new frontier of this international trade is a risky place to be - a Wild West for conmen willing to exploit people on both sides of the equation.
The game might be up for this rogue operator, but how many others are waiting in the wings?
And what is to stop them preying on the next crop of unsuspecting parents?
Surrogacy is currently a multi-billion dollar international business; however there are only a couple of nations wherever it’s expressly legal to rent a lady in reality your kid. Some couples have gone south of the border to seek out surrogates. However in associate degree business wherever the shoppers are desperate, the surrogates are poor and therefore the profits for the middlemen agencies are immense, there is a heart-wrenching result.
Commercial surrogacy has been legal in India since 2002, obtaining it’s begin for the most part because of unproductive couples of Indian origin within the U.S., U.K. and Middle East. Even factorization in pricey plane rides, seeking facilitate at one in every of India's over 1,000 fertility centers will be a relative cut price. India's surrogacy costs of $18,000 to $30,000 are roughly one-third of the price in America, in keeping with Time magazine. Sudhir Ajja, who co-founded urban center clinic Surrogacy Asian country, told basic principle News that almost his purchaser’s entire are from overseas – several returning from the U.S., Australia and Sweden. The precise size of India's business is unclear, with estimates starting from $450 million to $3 billion a year.
The Bay Area newsperson said Planet Hospital closed its surrogacy services in December 2013. Following the fulminate halt to services, associate calculable 30 sets of meant parents are out of cash and scrambling to secure an area within the “mothering by proxy” method and move forward with coming up with their families, Catherine Moscarello, former director of shopper services for Planet Hospital’s services in city, Mexico, told the newsperson. Planet Hospital not lists surrogacy among the services on its web site, however continues to cite help for patients seeking international medical business opportunities.
Rupak “Rudy” Acharya, founder and chief officer of Planet Hospital, told newsperson that he removed surrogacy services from the company’s web site in Jan, however hadn’t in public proclaimed the closure of offerings.
The Bay Area Reporter said Planet Hospital closed its surrogacy services in December 2013. Following the sudden halt to services, an estimated 30 sets of intended parents are out of money and scrambling to secure a place in the “mothering by proxy” process and move forward with planning their families, Catherine Moscarello, former director of client services for Planet Hospital’s services in Cancun, Mexico, told The Reporter.
Planet Hospital no longer lists surrogacy among the services on its website, but continues to cite assistance for patients seeking international medical tourism opportunities.
The Bay Area Reporter claims three former Planet Hospital clients filed an involuntary petition against the medical tourism company under Chapter 7, in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, Feb. 18, 2014. The petitioners are asking for a combined $79,000 in refunds of fees for services that Planet Hospital has allegedly failed to perform.
Rupak “Rudy” Acharya, founder and chief executive officer of Planet Hospital, told The Bay Area Reporter that he removed surrogacy services from the company’s website in January, but hadn’t publicly announced the shutdown of offerings.
“Unfortunately, I made some very, very, very bad decisions, which resulted in a lot of people not getting their services at the moment, but I’ve been working diligently to fix that,” said Acharya.
The forced bankruptcy proceedings could remove control of the company from Acharya and his management team and liquidate the assets.
Moscarello allegedly has accused Acharya of stealing eggs from an unnamed single homosexual man through an unauthorized splitting of donor eggs among other clients; clinic and donor mishandling; falsifying medical documents; mismanaging company finances; and making false and fraudulent claims to clients.
Renée-Marie Stephano, president of the Medical Tourism Association®, said Planet Hospital’s alleged mishaps are uncommon within the health travel industry, but not isolated.
Concerns about the booming cosmetic surgery business in the Dominican Republic were enough to precipitate a U.S. State Department warning last week related to several cases in which American citizens suffered serious complications or died following treatments in the Caribbean nation.
“The internet is flooded with advertisements from companies that lack the necessary experience, education and training in medical tourism,” she said. “It’s is extremely important for patients contemplating travel abroad to do their homework and research the hospitals, clinics, doctors and related medical tourism companies and facilitators that may promise the world, but may – in truth – not be qualified to. A little due diligence will go a long way toward achieving the desired cost-savings and quality care that motivates patients to seek medical tourism opportunities in the first place.”
I know that international surrogacy can be a very controversial topic, so I apologize for it being the topic of my first posts.
My husband and I turned to international surrogacy primarily because as much as we wanted to do surrogacy here in the US, we were extremely worried about being able to afford it.
We thought we had done our research. We specifically asked Planet Hospital about negative reviews we found. We were given tons of assurances and linked to the numerous interviews this company had done with mainstream media outlets. We were told our surrogate was going to have the same level of representation she would have in the states, that we would have documentation on every level of the process.
After almost ten months, we've spoken to the doctor in India and many other clients of this company. We've been forced to accept that not only did he not pay the doctors in India (and he has done this at numerous clinics apparently), he has a history of not paying surrogates. The only satisfaction I have about the fact that we did not get pregnant through this company is that he was not able to use us to completely exploit the surrogate. Because the company is so disorganized, there is no way to tell if my husband's specimen was even the one used to do the alleged transfers.
It's been a very hard, very painful lesson. The money isn't the worst part of it (although I admit, we aren't wealthy people. This is a lot of money and I don't know if we will be able to go forward with our surrogacy plans now.) The worst part is that we have spent the last year being lied to, manipulated, emotionally blackmailed and now threatened if we talk about our experience.
Rudy Rupak may have taken our hope to have another child. However, I am not going to be silent and allow him to continue to exploit intended parents and surrogates alike.
Stay far, far away from Planet Hospital. More than 20 couples have been robbed of their money by them.
Enough of those bylines constantly used by worldwide advertisements. By lines such as SATISFACTION GUARANTEED or CONTROL. These words are strategically placed to attract willing and trusting clients to jump into their scheming plot! Planet Hospital has been assuring guaranteed achievement in their surrogacy program thru their clinic provider,. May fertility centers and plenty of couples are into it because of their so called assurance. We ,as couple, enrolled in their program together with another set of couple and we were so devastated by the results!.
That was in November when we went to India and deposit our semen and initially cash out the primary payment|. As of this writing, no word arrived yet from the Planet Hospital about updates on how our case had stand!. We are so desperate now and concluded that we were tricked together with other 20 couples who were blinded with their sweet promises.
Recently, our course of action is to legally ask for a full refund which until now has stayed unheard by the company! Basing on our experience, we would like to inform other couples who are planning to consider this surrogacy program to think twice before approaching and with Planet Hospital.
More than 20 couples have been robbed of their money from planet hospital, promising surrogacy through Kiran Clinic in India but never produced any results. We started this process with another couple last November, went to India and gave our initial payments and sperm deposit; to this date, planet hospital have lied to us about the progress and the surrogacy mothers profiles. We are in the process to file suit and request for full refund, and to this date, no money has been refunded. We want to warn other couples who are wishing to have children to STAY FAR FAR AWAY from this company.
We, the former staff of Healthcare International Network LLC, dba PlanetHospital (HIN/PlanetHospital), would like to take a few minutes to address the Surrogacy Program you are involved in.
As you know, it has been a difficult time at HIN/PlanetHospital for the past several weeks. On March 4th, the shareholders asked CEO/Founder Rudy Rupak to take a leave of absence while several allegations were investigated. This process has taken over four weeks to determine their validity and seriousness. As a result, the shareholders have decided to not continue supporting their association with Rudy Rupak and HIN/PlanetHospital. Rudy is a minor shareholder; therefore, the majority shareholders are deciding how to wind down the company. The actual specifics as to the future of the company and Rudy are still being negotiated, but all of the former HIN/PlanetHospital staff are no longer employed. We, the Case Managers, Kelly Jenkins, Peter Elson, and additional support personnel have not been paid since February 15. As such, we have had no responsibility to continue working cases; however, we sincerely care about our clients that have been wronged and we, collectively, decided to remain available to provide as much information and support as possible. We were hoping that HIN/PlanetHospital could rebound and that we could continue as HIN/PlanetHospital staff, even if it meant without Rudy. However, that is not the case so we officially ended our relationship with HIN/PlanetHospital as of 4/1/11.
Rudy has told our team, the shareholders and attorneys that he will not be involved in surrogacy going forward and will be responsible for all liabilities incurred as a result of his actions while at HIN/PlanetHospital. To that end, all inquiries regarding promises made to you by Rudy, as well as complaints, claims, refund requests, lawsuits, etc. can be directed to Rudy's attorney, Karl Schlecht. Mr. Schlecht's information follows:
We wish that we could facilitate complaints more, but we are not in communication with Rudy and have been advised to direct all communication through his attorney. What we can do is to continue providing service in the manner we know best.
To that end, the core group of HIN/PlanetHospital staff that serviced surrogacy clients (seven, in total) have decided to remain intact and have just recently formed a new entity, 360 Global Health, LLC, in an effort to take care of clients going forward as best we can. 360 Global Health is officially registered as an LLC with proper EIN numbers and corporate formation documentation as of April 5, 2011. We were stuck in an impossible situation at HIN/PlanetHospital and the only way we could move forward with any progress was to form this new entity.
This has, understandably, led to some confusion as to which company is helping you and who you should address for refunds, status updates and information on next steps. As stated, above, all concerns regarding refunds, lawsuits, promises made by Rudy, etc. should be directed to his attorney. Or you can call Rudy directly. For those who are continuing service with Kiran Infertility Clinic (KIC), we have been instructed by KIC that all communication and coordination is to go straight to them (as per April 1 emails). For those wishing to go forward other than with KIC, we will try to help facilitate that through 360 Global Health and you may contact us directly. Some of our emails have been disabled, so we will be using interim emails until 360 Global Health is complete (also communicated in April 1 email).
We truly believe the surrogacy program we are developing will help make our clients' families whole. Our first objective in creating this company is to help the clients that did not receive service they had paid for while working with HIN/PlanetHospital. Although this obligation is not legally 360's, we have formed our company with the objective of paying the Kiran Infertility Centre the money that is still owed to it from HIN/PlanetHospital, as documented between KIC and HIN/PlanetHospital. We wish we could absorb all of the refund requests and liabilities owed, but we simply cannot. As individuals, we have not been paid for over 8 weeks. Yet, we have worked with many of our clients for a significant amount of time and developed strong bonds that we cannot walk away from.
Because of the damage that has been done, we have been unable to make this as smooth a transition into the new company as we had hoped. We realize we have not been able to provide answers to all the questions that you have. It is not from lack of intent; we simply do not know the answers yet. 360 Global Health's team is well experienced, but the process of building a new entity while wading through legalities has proved troublesome and time consuming. We want our company to have a solid foundation, so with that in mind, we are holding off on offering existing clients treatment until May 2nd. At that time, we will officially launch 360 Global Health.
At that time, we will be prepared and ready to offer you the customer service that you deserve. We realize many of you have been in this process for well over a year and the thought of waiting longer is distressing, but please know that it is in your best interest. We are taking this additional time to raise the funds required to continue existing services and to put the correct processes in place. Our team knows how to service our clients extremely well – both from an operations point of view, as well as a customer service viewpoint. We will now be able to do a much better job since all negative communication and actions have been stopped.
Please know that despite a horrible situation, you have a great team of people that will enable you to move forward if you choose to let them do so. We hope that you will trust us with your services from this point on.
|Jeffrey Waters||Peter Elson|
|Jenna Glancz||Solomon Acosta|
|Jennifer Allaire||Whitney Baker|