THE ALTRUISTIC PROPOSAL
WHEN THERE IS INABILITY TO CONCEIVE
SURROGACY: A PRACTICE AS OLD AS MANKIND
Using a surrogate mother to bear a child through pregnancy for an infertile couple or person is as old as the story of Abraham and Sarah in Genesis chapter 16. Sarah’s maid was conceived by Abraham and then gave the baby to Sarah because she was unable to have children.
Surrogacy has been practiced since ancient times in various parts of the world. However, the case of Sarah in the Old Testament is a “traditional” case of motherhood where the surrogate mother is biologically related to the baby.
Nowadays, a surrogate mother is a woman who carries the embryo intended for a childless couple in which the partner is unable to carry the embryo herself. The surrogate mother carries an embryo that is the result of IVF with the eggs and sperm of the couple. The role of the surrogate mother is procedural – that of ‘carrier’ – and is not biologically related to the embryo.
In Greece and the UK, there is clear and unambiguous legislation allowing surrogacy for couples from any country in the world. It also sets out the framework under which it can be carried out, unlike in other countries where the legal framework is either unclear or explicitly prohibits surrogacy. The institution of surrogacy is quite widespread abroad and is gaining ground in Greece as well. Surrogacy is a one-way street for women who are unable to conceive for health reasons. It mostly concerns women who have undergone hysterectomy, radiation or chemotherapy, suffer from chronic diseases (e.g. kidney failure, heart disease, etc.), have an increased risk of miscarriage or have a history of multiple miscarriages, suffer from congenital absence of the uterus, congenital abnormalities of the uterus or have multiple fibroids. Menopause, however, is not an indication of surrogacy.
SURROGACY IN GREECE
There are some prerequisites if a couple desires to have a child with a surrogate mother in Greece. Which are these?
CONDITIONS FOR SURROGAΤΕ MOTHER
- She must be perfectly healthy.
- She must be willing to sign the private agreement between herself and the future parents and to fully comply with its terms.
- She must have the consent of her husband in case she is married, which must be written and given to the court that will be held in order to obtain the decision that will legalize the procedure.
- The eggs to be fertilized must not belong to her, to avoid any future claim to the maternity of the child she will give birth to.
CONDITIONS FOR THE COMMISIONING MOTHER
- She must be less than 50 years of age.
- Her husband must agree with the surrogacy procedure for their child.
- She has a proven health problem that prevents her from getting pregnant and carrying a child.
- She will give her eggs. Otherwise, donor eggs can be used.
- As a couple, undertake to cover all the costs of the surrogate mother during her pregnancy as well as the cost of any tests required for her and the foetus.
STAGES AND PROCEDURE
The surrogate mother or a couple of the intended parents must be permanent residents of Greece. According to the law, the agreement between the couple and the gestational carrier is made on a pro bono basis and without any consideration.
However, on the part of the couple the following obligations do not constitute consideration:
- Payment of the costs of the necessary tests.
- The costs of notarial fees for the signing of the private contract.
- The fees of the lawyers who will handle the procedure.
- Court fees.
- The medical evaluation of the surrogate mother and the couple.
- The psychological evaluation of the surrogate mother and the couple.
- Payment of the costs required to achieve pregnancy (drugs, services, and IVF procedure), gestation (pregnancy monitoring and prenatal tests), childbirth, its possible complications, the need to hospitalize the newborn in a premature birth unit and postnatal care.
- Any consequences borne by the surrogate mother as a result of her absence from work, as well as remuneration for dependent work which she was deprived of as a result of her absence in order to achieve the pregnancy, pregnancy, childbirth and delivery.
- In addition to the medical costs of the surrogate mother, a couple also bears additional costs, such as those of her maintenance, accommodation and even travel, always depending on the agreement reached beforehand. Therefore, a couple who choose the surrogacy option must be aware that they will be spending a certain – perhaps high – amount of money to have a biological child.
THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK
In the case of a child born from a surrogate mother, the relevant judicial authorization is presented to the registry office and given to the mother who wishes to have the child, so that she can be registered as the lawful mother by the registrar. Once the baby is born, the surrogate mother no longer has any requirements. The couple is obliged to take the child, even if it is born disabled.
Once the baby is born, the surrogate mother is no longer relevant. The new parents on their part, are required to take the child, even if it is born with disabilities.
Medimall IVF Clinic provides extensive surrogacy-related consultancy services. The latter cover all potential aspects of this practice, including the emotional and psychological impact on both couple and surrogate mother, as well as all medical tests recommended for surrogate mothers, and advice for the most appropriate artificial insemination method, always in compliance with the legal framework in force.
TO SUM UP
- We believe that the decision to participate in surrogacy is extremely important. You must be fully informed about surrogacy and understand the psychological and financial parameters before joining our program.
- The most important thing is that the transfer to a woman’s body of fertilized ova other than her own and her ensuing pregnancy is permitted exclusively by court authorization.
- Surrogacy is also allowed in couples where the woman’s inability to conceive coexists with the need to use genetic material (eggs or sperm) from a donor.
- Couples who meet the requirements of the law can apply to the IVF unit of our clinic to have a child.
- The legal advisor of our clinic, having both the scientific training and experience of similar cases, will provide you with the maximum possible support in every step of the process, so that your wish can be realized as soon as possible and without any delay.
- Our long experience in the fields of gynecology, genetics, and assisted reproduction, together with doctors and a fully-qualified scientific and medical staff, following all modern methods proposed by the medical community and approved by Greek legislation, can make your wish to become parents come true.
SURROGACY AT MEDIMALL IVF CLINIC
Our clinic offers extensive counselling on surrogacy. Covering all possible aspects, from the emotional and psychological effects to the tests that surrogate mothers must undergo, it also offers the appropriate options for the ideal in vitro fertilization method in each case, always in accordance with the current legal framework.
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