Where is Surrogacy Legal?
International surrogacy is a complicated process in terms of the legal aspects as well as the logistics surrounding it. It is therefore important for intended parents to make enough research before embarking on the surrogacy journey; this can make the journey smooth and less stressful than it would have been if they went in ignorant. The intended parents should research the countries where surrogacy is legal, and based on the results of this research, choose the most suitable country for their surrogacy journey. Since the last few years, there has been an increase in the trend for international surrogacy. This may be due to the benefits of reduction in cost, less legal hassle as well as the opportunity for leisure travel for intended parents.
What is International Surrogacy?
International surrogacy simply refers to the desire for intended parents to have a baby via a surrogacy process in another country. This can be due to several factors like the high cost of surrogacy as seen in the USA or not having a favorable legal framework as seen in China.
Countries where surrogacy is legal
Gestational surrogacy is legal and possible in the following countries:
Surrogacy is legal in some states in the USA, but not in all of them. In most of these states, there are no laws governing surrogacy. The child’s parentage is recognized by the judge during the surrogate mother’s pregnancy. The judge bases their decision on the previous agreement of the parties as well as the past decisions made by the courts on the same issue; this is why it is important to research the state where the surrogacy is to be done. The USA is a pioneer country in surrogacy; it was the first country to recognize intended parentage in the surrogacy process. Any kind of parent can carry out the surrogacy process in the USA, they do not discriminate, and it is not necessary to provide genetic material.
Ukraine is one of the countries where surrogacy is regulated by national law. In Ukraine, married heterosexual couples with fertility problems may carry out the process provided that they can contribute genetic material. The male is the one normally required to provide the genetic material while the female provides evidence of the serious risks or the impossibility of pregnancy, usually with a medical certificate.
Georgia has the same surrogacy conditions as can be found in Ukraine.
Surrogacy was previously only legal for Greeks. However, the process has been recently opened up for foreigners. Greek law grants only women the right to surrogacy; single men do not have the right. Surrogacy is open to only heterosexual couples and single mothers. It is also not necessary to contribute genetic material. Parentage in Greece is also by judicial decision; it is possible therefore to recognize the parentage of either the intended parents or just the single mother.
In India, surrogacy is only open to heterosexual married couples whose home country has granted the right to surrogacy. For this reason, it is not really an option for most couples.
In Russia, surrogacy is regulated by clear and detailed law, both in its compensated and altruistic forms. In addition to Russian citizens, foreigners also have access to gestational surrogacy. They offer legal security as well as ample medical guarantees, the quality of the clinics is very high, and patients can request exclusive and personalized treatment. Surrogacy is also regulated by law, and there is constant and amicable jurisprudence on the subject.
There is also a need for the intended parents to be able to demonstrate infertility to access the program, but it is not always necessary. Although the law allows the practice only for heterosexuals and single women, there have been some subsequent rulings of some Russian courts which recognize the parenthood of single men. This is to protect the principle of equality and non-discrimination between sexes.
The legal situation is quite similar to that seen in Russia. However, the cost is more similar to what is seen in the USA. This fact makes the surrogacy pursuit in there less attractive, leading to hardly any cases of surrogacy.
Mexico is a federal state, which means that each state has its civil, criminal, and prosecution code. Surrogacy is not regulated in all states. However, in Sinaloa and Tabasco, it is restricted and available only for Mexican citizens. Before starting a surrogacy program in Mexico, it is necessary to request judicial authorization and obtain a favorable sentence. This favorable sentence is usually obtained without any problem despite the factors surrounding the intended parents like their sexual orientation, typology, etc.
Some important factors needed to obtain a favorable ruling include the absence of a criminal record and possession of a decent economic level which would guarantee a decent life for the child. Mexico is similar to the United States in that the child obtains a passport as they are born in Mexican territory. It also guarantees the same results and advantages that an individual would get in the United States but at a cheaper price.
Countries where surrogacy is restricted
Some countries may allow surrogacy but only on some conditions that may make the process more complicated. Many countries do not allow compensated surrogacy. This means that the intended parent must not pay the surrogate mother any amount apart from reimbursement of any medical charges she may have incurred. This implies that the intended parents must have a close friend or a family member in that country that is willing to complete an altruistic surrogacy for them.
In some other countries, surrogacy may be banned entirely for non-citizens making it impossible for international intended parents to pursue surrogacy there. Choosing a surrogacy-restricted country may result in legal complications for intended parents that try to bring their baby back to their home country. On the other hand, certain restrictions on surrogacy may end up making the process safer than what can be obtained in unrestricted countries. This is why it is important for thorough research by the intended parents to choose the best option for their situation.
Countries where surrogacy is prohibited
Some countries completely ban all kinds of surrogacy or make the surrogacy process impossible by making the contracts unenforceable. While it is still very likely that some form of surrogacy is done in those countries, it is highly advisable for intended parents to not consider those countries in their search for a suitable country. This is due to the possible legal repercussions that they may face. The countries to avoid when considering surrogacy include: