Surrogacy in Georgia – Legal Requirements & Cost
Surrogacy arrangements are permitted by law in the country of Georgia since 1997. The costs and the legal requirements are the main reasons why foreign citizens choose the country as their destination for having a baby via surrogacy.
What does the law say?
The following are the conditions established by the Georgian law on surrogacy:
- Only married heterosexual couples are allowed to use this method. In other words, same-sex couples and single parents cannot have a baby using a surrogate.
- Heterosexual couples can use it as long as the woman does not have a uterus or suffers from a medical conditions that prevents pregnancy or makes it very difficult. Medical justification must be provided.
- Consent from the intended father is required as well. This document will be used to register the commissioning parents as the legal parents of the child following birth under Georgian law.
- Egg donation, sperm donation, or both options are permitted. However, sperm donation may not be an option in the case of British intended parents for the reasons described below, or for American couples where the intended mother must use donor eggs.
- Known donations are allowed as well: Intended parents can get to know and receive identifying information about the donor(s).
- The names of both intended parents are put directly on the child’s birth certificate, without even having the relinquishment of the surrogate to her maternity rights. Under Georgian law, no other person but the IPs has legal rights to the child. Unfortunately, this is valid only in Georgia.
As for the requirements to become a gestational carrier in Georgia, they must have at least one child of their own, be less than age 35 years, and be in the upper-middle socioeconomic level. The monetary compensation they receive for their effort cannot be higher than $12,000 (£8,900).
Contrary to what happens in the United States or Canada, there is not court ruling in Georgia that determines parentage in cases of surrogacy. However, even if it was given as well, it would be useless for both IPs from the UK and USA.
While in the case of British citizens, it is required that the intended father contributes the genetic load, the American law requires that at least one US intended parents has a genetic connection to the child. As one shall see, the options for British citizens when it comes to using donor gametes are more limited.
Once the baby is born, they have to apply for parentage. Under UK law, what they need is a Parental Order, which should be applied for 6 weeks following birth, and not earlier. A primary requirement for a Parental Order to be granted is that the intended father has a genetic link to the baby.
On the other hand, American IPs have to apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of an American Citizen (CRBA) and a US passport at the US Embassy or Consulate in the country where the child was born.
How much does it cost?
The average cost of surrogacy arrangements in Georgia ranges between $45,000 and $65,000 (£33,700-£48,700). It depends, however, on the particular needs of each couple of intended parents, as well as on the unforeseen events and potential accidentals that may arise throughout the surrogacy journey.
The following are some factors that are likely to add to the overall cost of surrogacy in Georgia:
- Using donor eggs
- IVF failure on the first attempt
- Multiple pregnancy
- Type of labor (natural childbirth or Caesarian section)
- Additional techniques, such as PGD/PGS
As for the required travel documents to travel to Georgia, British and US nationals do not need a visa to enter the country. You can enter and stay in Georgia for up to one year, visa-free. In case you needed to stay longer than one year, you would need a long-term visa.
Need more help? We recommend that you chat with our virtual assistant Lucy, who is able to answer a wide range of questions about surrogacy, including regarding the best destination country for you and the companies that would fit your needs.
Surrogacy in Russia – Cost & Laws
Surrogacy arrangements are permitted by law in Russia. The primary reasons that turn it into an attractive destination country for international intended parents is related to the costs that they can find there.
However, it is important to keep in mind that surrogacy is not allowed to all kinds of family structures in this country. For this reason, one should pay close attention to the legal requirements established under the Russian law, which you can find explained in detail below.
Laws and requirements
In Russia, surrogacy is allowed for single women and opposite-sex couples, irrespective of whether they are officially married or not. Conversely, it is strictly forbidden for same-sex couples.
Moreover, it is necessary for the prospective mother to be able to provide medical proof of her inability to get pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term. In the case of single females, it is required for them to use their own egg cells.
Who can become a surrogate?
The following are the legal requirements established by the Russian law on surrogacy arrangements:
- Age between 20 and 35 years old
- Having given birth to at least one genetic child previously
- Being physically and mentally healthy
- If married, consent from husband is required as well
Traditional surrogates, that is, impregnating the surrogate by means of intrauterine insemination (IUI) and therefore use her oocytes, are not allowed in Russia. The intended mother has to necessarily use her own eggs or turn to an egg donor.
It is very important that everything is addressed in full detail in the surrogacy agreement. Anyway, one should not forget that a surrogacy contract is not a “purchase order” of a baby, but a transfer of the rights and obligations from the surrogate to the intended parents.
Also, intended parents must understand that it is crucial that they understand both the Russian law as well as the regulations governing the transmission of citizenship and legal parentage in their home country.
It should be noted that the regulations governing surrogacy in Russia (as established in the Law “On Basics of Health Protection of Citizens of the Russian Federation”) do not change the formalities or have an influence on the requirements of your home country.
In this sense, we should keep in mind that such regulations are different for British intended parents and American intended parents who decide to pursue surrogacy abroad:
- British IPs
- It is required that at least the intended father uses his own sperm for the creation of the embryo that will be implanted into the uterus of the surrogate. If the intended father is genetically linked to the child, though it depends on the marital status of the gestational carrier, the process to apply for a Parental order in the UK will be easier.
- American IPs
- In accordance with the INA (Immigration and Nationality Act), a child born by surrogacy in a foreign country can acquire US citizenship provided that one US intended parent is genetically linked to him or her.
It is quite clear from this that sperm donation is not an option for American or British intended parents who undergo surrogacy abroad. Given that in both countries, paternity is proved by DNA testing, if they use donor sperm, they may encounter serious problems when trying to be recognized as the legal parents of the child on their arrival to their home country.
The Russian Law grants access to single women as well, but we recommend them to be very cautious, especially in the case of British single women. Even though they may be able to apply for a British passport for the child and to obtain legal parentage, the most likely is that they obtain so by means of an Adoption Order, due to the absence of a male partner.
Surrogate’s parental rights termination
It is material for the surrogate to relinquish all her parental rights to the baby in favor of the intended parents.
According to Article 51 of the Family Code of the Russian Federation:
Couples, who have given their written consent for the implantation of an embryo to another woman for the purpose of carrying it to term, can be registered as parents of the child only with the consent of the woman who gave birth to that child (the surrogate mother).
In short, surrogates are obliged to relinquish their parental rights to the baby after birth and give consent to put the names of the intended parents on the birth certificate. However, this step is only valid in Russia, which is to say, further formalities are required in your home country to become the legal parents there as well.
How much does it cost?
The average cost of surrogacy arrangements in Russia ranges between $60,000 and $95,000 depending on the case (£45,000-£71,300). However, before getting started, commissioning parents should take into account that incidentals and other unforeseen events may occur at any point of the process. For this reason, you should include an extra amount in your budget plan in order to be prepared for anything that may occur during your surrogacy journey.
For example, it the surrogate does not achieve pregnancy on the first attempt, if she gets pregnant with twins, or if complications occur during pregnancy, the overall costs of the treatment are much more likely to rise.
It is also very important to pay attention to what’s included and what’s not in the initial quotation given by your agency or the company you are working with. This allows you to ensure that the overall cost does not increase once you get yourself started.
International Surrogacy – Laws & Options for Surrogacy Abroad
Surrogacy is not a legal procedure in all countries, which leaves intended parents no alternative but to travel somewhere else, to countries with a well-defined legal framework that governs this infertility treatment.
Each destination country has its pros and cons, which should be considered very carefully before making up your mind.
What follows is a comprehensive guide to the main destination countries for undergoing surrogacy abroad. It should be noted that this list only includes those countries where surrogacy is allowed to international patients by law.
The first thing to keep in mind before choosing the USA as our destination country for surrogacy is that there is no federal law that governs surrogacy arrangements across the country, but it varies by state. For this reason, our advice is that you pay special attention to the legality of this treatment in the US state of our choice according to our family type.
States where surrogacy is allowed
Currently, surrogacy arrangement are legal in the following territories: Nevada, California, Texas, Arkansas, Illinois, Virginia, Florida, New Hampshire, Delaware, New Jersey, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington.
By surrogacy-friendly states we refer to those US states where no law governs surrogacy arrangements currently, but case law indicates that courts are usually favorable to their performance. We recommend that you pay special attention when doing it in one of these states, as the risk for complications to arise is higher. Alaska, Georgia, Colorado, Idaho, North Carolina, Minnesota, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, and Wyoming are included in this group.
States where surrogacy is not allowed
Those states that have not been mentioned in none of the sections listed above are the ones that ban surrogacy arrangements, including Arizona, Michigan, New York, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, and Nebraska. Surrogacy is even considered a criminal offence in some of them.
The US states classified into the first and the second groups gran either post- or pre-birth orders to establish the parental rights of intended parents. They are key items when undergoing surrogacy in the USA.
In the USA, a birth order is the legal document used to assign parentage to a child.
The function of pre- and post-birth orders is the same, but differs in the moment when each is issued. So, while pre-birth orders can be started in the fourth month of pregnancy, post-birth orders are granted on day 3 or 5 following birth.
Even if the name of both intended parents appears on the US birth certificate, British intended parents must apply for a Parental Order in the United Kingdom within 6 months following birth, and no earlier.
How much does it cost?
Perhaps the main disadvantage of the USA as a destination country for surrogacy overseas is the high cost of this treatment there, which ranges from $95,000 to $290,000. The fact that the US healthcare system is run by private businesses contributes to this.
Canada is a valid destination for all kinds of family structures as well: opposite-sex couples, same-sex couples, and single parents. What’s more, legal parenthood is determined by a court ruling, which makes the process easier for intended parents.
Only altruistic surrogacy arrangements are allowed in Canada. This means that the only pay given to surrogates is a reimbursement for the expenses incurred during pregnancy. Also, intermediaries cannot accept any kind of financial compensation for their services.
On the other hand, the main disadvantage of this destination is that, given the impossibility of compensating the surrogate financially, finding a surrogate can be difficult. This forces intended parents to be on a waiting list for Canadian surrogates.
How much does it cost?
The fact that the Canadian healthcare system is publicly funded and surrogates do not receive any kind of payment makes the price lower than in the USA. It can range from $55,000 to $72,000.
In Russia, surrogacy is allowed only to straight couples and single females, as long as they they provide a medical certificate that proves their inability to carry a pregnancy to term.
Firstly, one should take into account that, even though the Russian law permits it, single females have to be very careful when choosing Russia as their destination country for a surrogacy arrangement, as legal parentage might not be assigned to them in their country of origin.
This is the case of British single women, who have no option but to turn to an Adoption Order if they undergo surrogacy abroad, as there is no father to whom parentage would be assigned as in the case of single males, heterosexual couples, or gay couples (man and man) as long as they have a genetic link to the child.
Conversely, there would be no problem for intended mothers from the USA who want to become single mothers by choice, provided that they are able to use their own egg cells.
How much does it cost?
Russia is cheaper than other countries, as the cost of surrogacy there varies from $42,000 to $54,000.
The situation of surrogacy in Ukraine are quite similar to those of Russia, yet it is regulated with an even stricter law — only married heterosexual couples have access to this fertility treatment.
Moreover, the intended mother must prove that there is a medical reason behind the need for a surrogate pregnancy, preventing her from either getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term.
As in the case of Russia, if a British heterosexual couple undergoes surrogacy in Ukraine, the intended father has to be British, and have a genetic link to the baby born as a result. This will allow them to apply for a Parental Order in the UK — within 6 months after birth and not earlier — and become the legal parents of the child.
US intended parents have fewer restrictions in legal terms. As long as at least one of them contributes the genetic load, there will be no problem when applying for the child’s US passport.
An advantage of Ukraine is that we can choose a family member or a friend as our egg donor. Unless is not a relative or a friend, the donor must remain anonymous by law. Moreover, gender selection through PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis) is permitted. Surrogates cannot claim maternity rights even if they wanted to following birth.
How much does it cost?
In Ukraine, the cost of surrogacy is $33,600-$48,100. However, this price does not include the fees of surrogacy consultants, and other professionals involved in the surrogacy process.
In the country of Georgia, located in Eastern Europe, only married heterosexual couples can have a baby via surrogacy, where the partner has to provide consent beforehand.
The intended mother must provide proof that there is actually a medical condition that prevents her from getting pregnant. A valid medical certification is required to this end. The Law includes as medical causes the absence of uterus, or uterine malformations.
After the birth of the child, the name of the intended parents is automatically included on the baby’s birth certificate. However, this is useless under UK law for the reasons listed below:
- UK law will consider the gestational carrier as the legal mother of the baby, and her husband (if she is married).
- If the gestational carrier is single, widowed, or divorced, the process will be easier as the baby will be considered a British citizen automatically, as long as the intended father is British and genetically linked to him or her.
- Irrespective of the marital status of the gestational carrier, a Parental Order must be applied for within 6 months following birth to become the legal parents under UK law.
In the case of US commissioning parents, the Georgian birth certificate with the names of the intended parents is useless as well. Children born abroad from US citizens are granted a US passport only if at least one of the intended parents provided the genetic load for the creation of the embryo.
How much does it cost?
Georgia is also a cost-affordable option: the price of a surrogacy process in this country can range from $36,000 to $48,000.
Surrogacy is allowed to foreign patients since July 2014. The average cost is $42,000-$60,300, and payments to the gestational carrier above $14,400 are forbidden.
Currently, only heterosexual couples and single females can access surrogacy in Greece. However, a new law that would allow gay marriage is envisaged, which might allow this fertility treatment for this family type as well.
The Greek law specifies that the age limit for intended mothers is set at 50 years. Moreover, to be accepted into a surrogacy program, women have to provide medical justification to prove that they are infertile or experience trouble getting pregnant.
Also, one should keep in mind that a person failing to comply with the law can be sentenced to 2 years of imprisonment, and a fine of $1,800 or more.
On the other hand, a Greek court must authorize the embryo transfer to the gestational carrier beforehand. This court ruling can include the acknowledgement of legal parentage in favor of the intended parents, yet it is useless for patients from the UK and the USA for the reasons we list below:
- Intended parents from UK
- even if their names are included on the Greek birth certificate of the baby, a Parental Order has to be applied for within 6 months following birth and no earlier. Failing to do this would mean that the surrogate and her husband, if any, are the legal parents of the baby under UK law. Single females must apply for an Adoption Order.
- Intended parents from USA
- The only way for a child born abroad to US parents to be considered a US citizen is if at least one parent is genetically linked to him/her. Single women can have a baby via surrogacy in Greece as long as they use their own oocytes.
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We recommend that you ask Lucy, our intelligent virtual assistant, about anything and she will solve any FAQs you may have. Lucy will understand anything you tell her and determine the best destination for you, showing you the companies that best fit your needs.
What is Surrogacy? – Process & Basic Concepts
Surrogacy is an infertility treatment that involves a surrogate, commonly referred to as surrogate mother, who carries a child for someone else who receives the name of intended parents or commissioning parents.
In the majority of cases, the embryos are created by means of in vitro fertilization (IVF using the eggs and the sperm cells of the intended parents, although donor gametes can be used as well). Once created, the resulting embryos are transferred to the surrogate’s womb.
Family building through surrogacy
Surrogacy is an option for all family types – both opposite- and same-sex couples, as well as single males and females. In short, it allows those families who could not become parents naturally to have a baby.
As long as it is possible, the eggs and the sperm from the intended parents will be used for the creation of the embryo(s). Should you have no alternative but to use donor eggs, the donor and the surrogate or gestational carrier should not be the same person. The goal is to avoid the creation of an affectional bond between her and the baby, or at least to minimize it as much as possible.
In fact, many countries have forbidden this practice, which is a type of surrogacy known as traditional surrogacy, genetic surrogacy, partial surrogacy, or straight surrogacy.
Understanding the terminology
Surrogacy is the most commonly used term as well as the most appropriate and neutral one when it comes to referring to this infertility treatment. The word is a noun that was born after the union of surrogate + -cy, so we have to look into the meaning of the word surrogate to understand its use. The term surrogate comes from Latin surrogatus and literally means “put in another’s place, substitute”. It started to be used with the meaning of “woman pregnant with the fertilized egg or another woman” in 1978 approximately.
Taking into account the original meaning of the word surrogate, we would like to clarify which terms are considered correct, and which ones are incorrect or even offensive. Terms such as “womb for rent”, “womb to rent”, “womb on rent”, “rent-a-womb”, and similar phrases are rude forms that should be avoided. Firstly, because the verb rent means, according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
To grant the possession and enjoyment of in exchange for rent.
The intended parent or parents do not possess the womb of the surrogate: she decides to enter into an agreement with the fundamental motivation of helping a couple that would not be able to have children by their own means. These forms are considered offensive and using them to make reference to this treatment is totally unadvisable.
On the other side of the coin, there exist various forms which use is much more neutral and non-offensive for any of the parts involved. Aside from surrogacy, which has been explained earlier and is the general name given to this technique, we should learn to distinguish between a surrogate and a gestational carrier, two terms that are often used interchangeably but actually do not mean the same. What follows is the definition of each:
- Someone who donates her egg and subsequently carries the child. In other words, she is genetically linked to the baby. It should be used only if you enter into a partial or traditional surrogacy arrangement (i.e. surrogacy using IUI).
- Gestational carrier
- Someone who carries the pregnancy but is in no way biologically related to the baby she is carrying. Instead, eggs and sperm from the intended parents or donors are used (i.e. surrogacy using IVF).
So, even though both are correct, we should use them appropriately depending on the type of surrogacy we opt for. However, despite the widespread use of the term surrogacy, perhaps we should refer to it as gestational surrogacy to ensure that everyone understands that she will not be the genetic mother of the child. In this sense, we recommend to take into account the definition offered by the World Health Organization (WHO) back in 2001:
A gestational carrier is a woman in whom a pregnancy resulted from fertilization with third-party sperm and oocytes. She carries the pregnancy with the intention or agreement that the offspring will be parented by one or both of the persons that produced the gametes.”
Our classification includes a third group: those forms that are actually incorrect, that is to say, mistakenly used. Examples include surrogate mother, surrogate motherhood, surrogate mom, and so on. The problem of these terms lies with the concept of motherhood, which actually means something different from that we are making reference to. Motherhood is not what is being substituted or replaced, but the pregnancy. Because we believe that the concept of mother goes beyond the mere fact of giving birth — it involves rearing and taking care of a child.
What are the reasons people might opt for surrogacy?
In the case of male same-sex couples and single males, surrogacy is the only option to have a child for obvious anatomic reasons. As for heterosexual couples, lesbian couples or single women, the reasons often are related to health problems that prevent a pregnancy, including:
- Absent uterus, either congenital (Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome, also known as MRKH syndrome) or acquired (hysterectomy).
- Severe uterine abnormalities: severe endometriosis, uncorrectable Asherman’s syndrome, or severe adenomyosis.
- Uterine malformations that would be incompatible with a pregnancy
- Previous IVF failure
- Pre-existing medical conditions that might become worse during pregnancy, or even cause death if the woman gets pregnant, including autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular diseases (CVD), and certain types of cancer.
- Medications that could lead to complications during pregnancy, or might have teratogenic effects (drugs that can cause abnormal fetal development). If the intake of these medications cannot be stopped, pregnancy is not possible.
Information for parents from the UK and USA
Gestational surrogacy arrangements are legal in both the United Kingdom and the United States of America. However, the regulations governing this treatment in each country are markedly different. In fact, it is common for British intended parents to travel to the USA to have their child via surrogacy. As for people from the USA, the main reason why they decide to pursue surrogacy abroad is related to the considerable costs associated there.
Situation in the UK
Surrogacy has been regulated in the UK for over 20 years after the Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985 entered into force. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 added further regulation as regards the creation of the parental order mechanism, though. Even though surrogacy arrangements are legal in the UK, it involves a lot of complicated legal issues that should be considered beforehand:
- The surrogate (and her husband, if she is married) is considered the legal mother of the child until the intended parents get a Parental Order, which can be applied for within 6 months after the child’s birth and no earlier.
- Once intended parents get a Parental Order, the surrogate (and her husband, if she is married) has no further obligations or rights to the child.
- If the surrogate is married or in a civil relationship, her partner will be automatically considered the legal parent unless it can be shown that her partner did not consent. However, it is possible for surrogates to nominate a second legal parent before the embryo transfer under certain circumstances.
- If the surrogate is single, then the man providing the sperm will automatically be the second legal parent at birth, provided that he agrees.
- In UK law, surrogacy is treated as an altruistic act. This means that paying a surrogate anything more than reasonable expenses is illegal.
The fact that you need a Parental Order to become the legal parents of the child means that the surrogate can change her mind about the arrangement at any time, and the intended parents would have no right to claim for parentage. In other words, surrogacy agreements are not binding in the UK even though it is a legal procedure.
This is the reason why many UK hopeful intended parents decide to travel to an overseas destination in order to enter surrogacy arrangements for the birth of their child. If you are a British intended parent considering surrogacy in a foreign country, you should take into account that even if you are named on a foreign birth certificate as the legal parents of your child, you still have to apply for a Parental Order when you return to the UK.
Situation in the USA
Surrogacy and its legality fall under state jurisdiction, which means that the legal situation of this treatment in the USA varies greatly from state to state. While some states have written legislation, others have developed common law regimes, and others refuse or even penalize this type of arrangements. According to this, we can classify them into 3 groups:
- Permissive states
- including Nevada, California, Texas, Arkansas, Illinois, Virginia, Florida, New Hampshire, Delaware, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Washington.
- Surrogacy-friendly states
- including Alaska, Oregon, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, North Carolina, Minnesota, Maryland, Wyoming, North Dakota, New Mexico, Montana, and Rhode Island.
- Prohibitive states
- including, Michigan, New York, Indiana, Kansas, and Nebraska.
Moreover, it is important to put emphasis on the fact that traditional or partial surrogacy arrangements are forbidden, that is, by no means can the surrogate be biologically linked to the child. In the USA, thus, when we talk about surrogates, we are actually referring to gestational carriers.
While the main advantage of undergoing surrogacy in the USA is that those states which allow or are favorable to surrogacy grant a pre- or post-birth order to guarantee that the intended parents will be the legal parents of the baby, the main disadvantage is related to its great cost — from USD $90,000 to USD $280,000.
For this reason, and with the purpose of reducing the costs of the treatment, many US intended parents decide to pursue surrogacy overseas. However, they must make sure that at least one of them is the genetic parent of the child. Otherwise, the child will not obtain US citizenship at birth.
Surrogacy in the world: destination countries
Despite surrogacy is allowed in a number of foreign countries, one should be aware of the fact that not all of them are valid for British and American citizens, especially depending on the family type. Moreover, one should not keep in mind the law of the destination country, but also the regulations in the home country.
In general, the following are the most recommendable options for intended parents from the UK and the USA pursuing surrogacy abroad:
The requirements to be met according to the law in each country should be considered as well. Being married or providing a medical certificate to prove that there exists a medical condition that prevents pregnancy in the intended mother are common requirements in various countries.
In the case of same-sex couples, Canada and the United States are the only possible destinations for them, as the law in the rest expressly excludes them from entering into surrogacy agreements there.
Surrogacy professionals involved
Several professionals are involved throughout the entire process to ensure that everything is done as it should, and to avoid potential mishaps:
- Normally, surrogacy consultants work from the country of origin. They provide information to intended parents about the steps involved in the process, put patients in contact with the rest of professionals involved, and coordinate the procedure. They travel with you during your trips to the destination country, and help you overcome any potential linguistic barrier.
- Surrogacy and egg donation agency
- They find the most appropriate woman to carry the pregnancy, and the egg and/or sperm donors, if necessary.
- Fertility clinic
- It is the place where the in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle to achieve a pregnancy in the gestational carrier takes place.
- Their function is to review the surrogacy contract to make sure that every formality required to ensure that the baby is able to enter your country of origin without legal complications is done properly.
- Escrow account manager
- It is strongly recommendable to hire the services of a escrow account manager to supervise all the transactions that are made during the process.
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We recommend that you chat with Lucy, our intelligent virtual assistant, who will clarify as many doubts possible. She has been programmed to tell you what is the most suitable destination country for you, and which companies would be able to help you there.
Surrogacy in Ukraine – Cost & Legal Aspects
Surrogacy or surrogate motherhood is a legal fertility treatment in Ukraine, but under a series of strict criteria. The most important one is that not all family structures can have access to it.
In spite of the current political situation, this country has become increasingly popular over the past few years as a destination for international intended parents, especially from European countries due to its geographical situation and affordable prices.
Surrogacy arrangements are regulated by Clause 2 of Article 123 of the Ukrainian Family Code. The following are the most important conditions and requirements established therein:
- It is allowed only to married heterosexual couples. This means that single women and men are excluded, as well as same-sex couples.
- At least the intended father must have a genetic link to the child. Moreover, even though egg donation is allowed, it is preferably for both intended parents to be the biological parents.
- There must be a medical cause that prevents the intended mother from getting pregnant, either because she cannot actually become so or because she cannot take a pregnancy to term without putting her or the baby’s health at risk.
For this medical cause to be proven, patients have to provide a medical certification signed by a duly qualified physician. A group of Ukrainian specialists will evaluate it to confirm whether the use of a surrogate is actually necessary.
Some examples of situations that would require a couple to have a child by means of surrogacy are:
- Women without uterus
- Uterine malformations
- Endometrial abnormalities that lead to implantation failure
- Having gone through 4 failed IVF attempts previously
- Recurrent pregnancy loss
- Serious conditions that complicate or prevent pregnancy in the patient
The Ukrainian Family Code establishes that gestational carriers have no right to claim any right to the child born as a result of surrogate pregnancy, as well as no obligations.
Moreover, it considers that the intended parents are the legal parents of the baby from the moment when fertilization occurs, both in case they use their eggs and sperm, or when donor eggs are required. This makes it easier for hopeful intended parents who opt for surrogacy abroad.
In Ukraine, legal parentage is established after the surrogate gives birth. To be precise, intended parents receive the following documents following birth:
- Birth certificate with the name of the biological father and the surrogate
- Consent signed by the surrogate through which she waives her rights to the child
With these documents, the baby can be registered in Ukraine with the names of both parents on the birth certificate. This means that the name of the surrogate will not appear on it by no means.
Legal parentage in the UK or USA
British or American intended parents who choose Ukraine as their destination country should know that legal parentage is determined by the regulations governing this issue in their home countries, and not by what the Ukrainian law says.
So, although the names of both intended parents with no reference to the surrogate will appear on the baby’s birth certificate, under UK law they have to apply for a Parental Order to actually become the legal parents of the child in their country.
To apply for a UK Parental Order, the surrogate must give her full and informed consent 6 weeks after the child is born and no earlier. Intended parents can apply for a Parental Order from that moment on, up until the child is 6 months old.
US intended parents have it easier in comparison with UK patients, but they should be very cautious as well. The most important thing for them to keep in mind is that at least one parent must contribute his or her genetic load. Otherwise, the child will not be considered a US citizen at birth.
One of the major advantages of Ukraine is the cost of the treatment. The price of a surrogacy process in this country can range from USD $30,000 to $70,000 on average (GBP £23,000-53.000).
If you hire the services of a surrogacy consultancy in your home country, you should add up to $2,300-5,800 to the range mentioned above (GBP £1,700-4,400).
One must take into account that these costs are an approximation, and that they may vary from clinic to clinic, and also depending on the surrogacy program chosen, the services hired, or the mishaps that may happen.
For example, in patients that need to use donor eggs, or when performing a preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is necessary before IVF, the price of surrogacy will be higher.
In short, before getting started with a surrogacy process in this country, all couples are strongly recommended to have some extra money saved in addition to your initial budget, so that you can be ready cover any unforeseen event should it happen.
Further benefits of Ukraine
Aside from its affordable prices and its favorable law to surrogacy arrangements, this destination has other advantages that one should keep in mind as well.
On the one hand, known egg donation is allowed as long as it is a friend or a family member. If not, egg cell donation must be an anonymous procedure—neither intended parents nor the donor will get to know each other.
On the other hand, gender selection is permitted under Ukrainian law. For this reason, PGD or preimplantation genetic diagnosis can be carried out before the embryo transfer to the surrogate’s womb.
Considering surrogacy in Ukraine? We recommend to complete out intelligent form with Lucy, our virtual assistant, to clear any questions you may have regarding the most suitable destination country for you, and the agencies and other professionals that can help you throughout your journey.