Surrogacy: legalization by countries

People from all over the world have diametrically opposed opinions regarding surrogacy. For some, this is a completely unacceptable perception as a commodity of a child and a woman who bore him. Others see it as a huge medical advance, enabling childless people to experience the happiness of parenting and have a genetically native child. These two opinions coexist in every country and are unlikely to come to a common denominator in the near future. Therefore, this article is devoted to the treating of the law of different countries of surrogacy.

Muslim countries are categorically against this procedure, it is legally prohibited. Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia – in these countries, as well as in China and Japan, surrogacy does not exist as a phenomenon. Surrogacy is also prohibited in Austria, Germany, Norway, France, Switzerland and Sweden. In the United States of America, surrogate mothers are banned in several states: Arizona, Michigan, New Jersey.

In a number of countries, surrogate motherhood is allowed, but only for non-commercial purposes. For example, in the UK, the Australian state of Victoria, Canada, Portugal, the US states of Virginia and New Hampshire.

Some European countries allow surrogate motherhood, but do not regulate the service by law. For example Belgium, Greece, Spain, Czech Republic. This situation creates a dangerous situation for future parents: a surrogate mother may keep the baby, and people who paid a lot of money for IVF and were looking forward to their child will end up with nothing.

It is also important to note that laws, in particular those of Canada, the Netherlands and Finland, prohibit anonymous ART. This means that when the child reaches the age of 18, the parents are obliged to inform him about all the characters and the circumstances of his birth.

List of the best countries for surrogacy

In Georgia, Russia and Ukraine, most of the US states, surrogacy is fully legalized. These countries figure prominently on the reproductive tourism map.

Bill Houghton, CEO of Sensible Surrogacy describes the people who use the services of surrogate mothers: “They are mainly citizens of England, Germany, France and Sweden. Half of them are heterosexual couples, half are homosexual.” People of homosexual orientation face great difficulties – they can easily use the help of a surrogate mother only in Canada and the USA. Also in Belgium, the Ghent University Hospital is accredited to attract surrogate mothers to reproductive programs for same-sex couples and single people of homosexual orientation.

The advantages of the USA and Canada in the context of surrogate motherhood are offset by a high price – in the USA, restrictions on surrogate motherhood (exclusively non-commercial) – in Canada. Not every couple or single person can afford this.

In Europe, surrogate mother services can also be used in Greece and the Czech Republic. But here, too, there are problems: in the Czech Republic a surrogate mother can keep the child for herself, if she does not abandon it officially in writing. Even after signing the refusal, future parents will face paperwork with the adoption of their child. And this despite the fact that the procedure is called simplified. In Greece, obtaining full parental rights is possible through the courts. Until the decision is made, the surrogate mother is considered as a mother of the child.

Surrogacy is also legal in Kenya, but the specific phenotype, level of medicine and service, and geographic location make Kenya not very popular in terms of reproductive tourism.

Surrogacy is legal in Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine. And there are also many different buts here. In the first three countries, there is insufficiently high-level reproductive medicine, a specific phenotype and conservative orders.

Russia is a rather loyal country to surrogate motherhood, but even here it cannot do without legal collisions. The signed contract between the parents and the surrogate mother does not guarantee strict compliance with all agreements. For example litigation on parental rights between the Frolov family and the surrogate mother T. Suzdaleva. Despite the satisfaction of the claim of biological parents, Suzdaleva initiated repeated proceedings during the year in order to keep two boys for herself. And from January 1, 2021, a new law of July 31, 2020 N803n “On the procedure for using assisted reproductive technologies, contraindications and restrictions on their use” came into force, complicating the work of reproductive clinics with surrogate mothers so that some refused to work with surrogate mothers.

Based on the above, Ukraine seems to be the most suitable choice: a convenient geographical location, a high level of reproductive medicine and guest service comparable to the United States, health and cleanliness of Ukrainian women, well-developed legislation that reliably protects the rights of biological parents, prices are several times lower than American ones and guaranteed healthy baby birth programs.

Thanks to all these points, Ukraine has been included in the world TOP of reproductive tourism for many years.

A number of Ukrainian clinics offer high-quality reproductive services through partnerships with US clinics. At the same time, the cost of the contract will be significantly lower than with direct contact to a US clinic.

When working with Ukrainian surrogate mothers, future parents can be absolutely sure of obtaining parental rights for a newborn.