Surrogacy Laws and Regulations in Tbilisi
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Surrogacy Laws and Regulations in Tbilisi

Surrogacy is the process where a woman who is known as the surrogate agrees to get pregnant and carry a baby for an individual or a couple that is referred to as the intended parent or parents. The surrogate carries the baby to term and then delivers and hands the baby over to the parents, who then get parental rights to the baby. It is important to understand the surrogacy laws and regulations in Tbilisi Georgia, and they will be discussed here. Two types of surrogacy are widely practised globally, they include:

Gestational surrogacy 

This is the most common and widely practised form of surrogacy. In this type of surrogacy, the baby is created in vitro, using the sperm and eggs from either the intended parents or donors. After creation, the baby is then transferred to the uterus of the surrogate who carries it to term and delivers. In this form of surrogacy, the baby has no biological or genetic relationship with the surrogate. This is important as the surrogate cannot lay claims to the baby in the instance that she changes her mind about giving the baby up after delivery. This form of surrogacy is the more expensive and more complicated form of surrogacy as well.

Traditional surrogacy 

This form of surrogacy makes use of the eggs of the surrogate and the sperm of the intended parent in creating the embryo. The fertilization is via artificial insemination and is less complicated than that seen in gestational surrogacy. In this form of surrogacy, due to the method of fertilization, the embryo is genetically related to the surrogate. This relationship can be problematic in the instance that the surrogate changes her mind about giving up the baby to the intended parents after the delivery. 

Surrogacy Laws and Regulations in Tbilisi
Picture courtesy: Freepik

Surrogacy Laws and Regulations in Tbilisi

The global commercial surrogacy scene has been greatly impacted by the war in Ukraine. Ukraine served as Europe’s surrogacy capital prior to the outbreak of war. This was due to the presence of good medical care, regulations that were flexible, and also an abundant supply of young, impoverished and willing surrogates. But while surrogacy agencies in Kyiv and elsewhere in Ukraine are still operational, international intended parents are on the lookout for less risky and more suitable countries where they can carry out their surrogacy needs.

Ukrainian surrogates themselves are also travelling to other countries like Greece, Georgia and other countries in order to get pregnant and carry their baby to term in relative safety. Georgia is a country that had welcoming surrogacy laws just like Ukraine, and seemed to absorb most of the intended parents who were looking for Ukraine alternatives. In this article, the laws guarding surrogacy in Georgia and the recent changes in their surrogacy laws will be discussed.

Regulations of Surrogacy in Tbilisi Georgia

Since 1992, Georgia has been a legal destination for commercial surrogacy, along with the donations of eggs and sperm. This helped to boost their global medical tourism industry, as parents who were seeking solutions to infertility came to the country for solutions. The industry was also advertised by medical travel agencies (meditour agencies), and they created helpful packages for international intended parents, where the process of getting surrogate babies was made easier for them. Commercial surrogacy was the only type of surrogacy that was allowed in Georgia, with it only being available to heterosexual married couples, or those that had lived together for at least a year prior. The country also had laws that protected the intended parents against the surrogate changing her mind about giving up the baby after the delivery. Some of the other laws that regulated surrogacy in Georgia include:

  • Traditional surrogacy while not being popular in the country could be practiced but had to be governed by strong and specific contracts beforehand. This is to ensure that all parties would stick to the original agreements and prevent conflict after the delivery of the baby.
  • The intended parents will be granted full custody of the baby after delivery, making them the legally recognized parents. They will also be granted the full rights and responsibilities that the position entails.
  • After delivery, the surrogate will have no rights over the infant. She will not be recognized as the mother and will have no responsibilities to the infant.
  • The infant’s birth certificate will be issued within 24 hours after the delivery of the infant. The names of the intended parents will be the registered names on the birth certificate.
  • The surrogate has no contribution to the creation and the issuing of the birth certificate and is also not required to consent to the naming of the intended parents as the legal parents.
  • The donation of eggs and sperm is legal and is available to couples that need it. The identity of the donors can also be disclosed if the intended parents so wish. There can even be provisions for face-to-face meetings where desired.

These laws were made to make surrogacy as seamless and attractive to international intended parents as possible. It was crafted to help couples have a successful surrogacy in Georgia.

What are the changes to the surrogacy laws?

Georgia had recently been trying to restrict surrogacy in their country, following what they termed as abuse of the practice from international intended parents and travel health agencies. The Georgian authorities proposed a ban which was intended to restrict the international surrogacy practice in the country. This decision was announced by Georgian Prime Minister Iraki Garibashvi in 2023. The reasons that she provided in the announcement for the ban include:

  • The concerns about the safety of the surrogates and the infants
  • Real concerns about the duplicity of the intended parents who after getting the infants willingly gave them up to same-sex couples, a practice that is banned in Georgia
  • The increased child trafficking risk and abuse in the surrogacy industry

The minister of health, Zurab Azarashvli, also in a separate briefing stated that unethical practices which had arisen due to the laxity of surrogacy laws were the reason that the practice had to be restricted. He stated that the industry had created room for the proliferation of vices like organ trafficking, child selling and improper tracking of the infants taken by internationally intended parents. The minister revealed that the restriction would be in place by 2024. The ban was intended to not only restricts the international intended parents from accessing surrogacy services but they will also be restricted from accessing other assisted reproductive techniques.

Although the ban was announced in 2023, surrogacy programs have continued legally without restrictions. Reach out to us here and we will facilitate your surrogacy journey.

The information provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. It is not intended to replace professional medical consultation, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making any decisions regarding your health. Read more

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