A surrogate mother is a woman who carries an embryo for a couple in which the woman is not biologically able to fall pregnant
In this case, the surrogate mother becomes pregnant with an embryo that is the result of IVF using the eggs and sperm of the couple or an anonymous donor. The role of the surrogate mother is very important, but clearly procedural, meaning that she carries the embryo without being biologically related to it.
Clearly, surrogacy is a one-way street for women who cannot become pregnant for medical reasons. It mainly concerns women who have undergone hysterectomy, radiotherapy or chemotherapy, suffer from chronic disease (e.g. kidney disease, heart conditions, etc.), run a higher risk of miscarriage or have a history of multiple miscarriages, suffer from congenital absence or malformation of the uterus, or have multiple fibroids. However, menopause is not an indication for surrogacy.
Surrogacy in Greece – Legal implications
For a couple to have a child through surrogacy in Greece, certain condition must be met by both sides.
For the surrogate mother:
- The surrogate mother must be aged between 25 and 45
- She must be of sound health.
- She must be willing to sign a private agreement between herself and the future parents and fully abide by its terms.
- She must have her husband’s consent if she is married and said consent must be submitted in writing in the upcoming court hearing.
- The eggs that will be fertilized must not belong to her, so as to avoid any future maternity disputes over the child she will bring to life.
For the woman who wants to become a mother:
- She must be younger than 45 years.
- Her husband must agree with the surrogacy.
- She must have proven health problems that do not allow her to become pregnant.
- She must surrender her eggs n the context of IVF treatment. If deemed necessary for medical reasons, donor eggs may also be used.
- She, along with her husband, must cover all of the surrogate mother’s expenses.
The surrogate mother or the couple of prospective parents must be permanent residents of Greece. According to the law, the agreement for another woman to carry the embryo (meaning surrogacy) must be altruistic and without any compensation.
However, the following obligations on the part of the couple are not considered compensation:
- Covering the cost of necessary tests.
- Paying the notary for the signing of the private agreement.
- Settling the fees of the lawyers who undertake the procedure.
- Paying the court fees.
- Getting a medical evaluation of the surrogate mother and the couple.
- Getting a psychological evaluation for the surrogate mother.
- Covering the expenses required for achieving pregnancy (drugs and IVF process), as well as the expenses associated with the pregnancy (pregnancy monitoring and prenatal screening), labor, possible complications, hospitalization of neonate in the preterm unit, and postpartum period.
- Covering any consequences suffered by the surrogate mother due to absence from her work, as well as remuneration for dependent employment she did not receive due to her absence for the purpose of becoming pregnant, carrying the embryo, going into labor and going through the postpartum period.
- Covering, apart from the medical expenses of the surrogate mother, any additional expenses, such as food, accommodation and even travel, always depending on the agreement signed. Therefore, the couple that chooses surrogacy as an alternative must understand that they will spend a specific and usually high amount of money to have a biological child of their own.
The legal framework between the surrogate mother, parents and child after the birth:
If a child is born by a surrogate mother the relevant court permit issued to the mother who wishes to have a child must be submitted to the Registry Office, so the latter may be registered as the mother. From the moment the baby is born, the surrogate mother has no say on the matter.
Surrogacy at the Institute of Life:
Our clinic offers extensive counseling on the issue of surrogacy. We cover all the possible aspects, from emotional and mental implications to the tests surrogate mothers must undergo, offering the right options for the ideal artificial reproduction method each time, always pursuant to the legal framework in force.
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