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.
The various sections of this article are assembled in the following table of contents.
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.