BIOMATERNITY Fertility and IVF Specialsts-GESTATIONAL SURROGACY-Pregnant women

Gestational Surrogacy

Gestational surrogacy” also known as “IVF surrogacy” or “full surrogacy” is a treatment option for infertile women with certain clearly defined medical problems, for which they are unable to conceive or carry a pregnancy and the only option for parenthood for gay male couples.

The parts involved in a “gestational surrogacy” are the “intended parents” and the “gestational carrier” and a “surrogacy arrangement” is necessary.

The “intended parents”, “commissioning couple” or “genetic couple” may both be using their own gametes – egg and sperm (and are thus both genetically related to the child), they may be using one donor gamete (egg or sperm from a donor, in which case they are partially genetically related to the child), or they may be using donor sperm and egg (in which case they are both genetically unrelated to the child).
The gametes (cells involved in sexual reproduction) are used to produce embryos and those embryos are subsequently transferred to a woman who agrees (“surrogacy arrangement”) to act as a host for these embryos, the “gestational carrier”, “surrogate mother”, “surrogate host” or “surrogate”.

The “gestational carrier” is therefore a woman who carries a pregnancy for another couple or woman and is genetically unrelated to any offspring that may be born as a result of this arrangement. After the child’s birth, the birth mother gives the child to the intended parents.

At BIOMATERNITY we are able to advise you and assist you with all the necessary procedures regarding gestational surrogacy.

Medical Indications for Gestational Surrogacy

The main indication for treatment by “gestational surrogacy” is the absence of uterus (congenital absence – müllerian agenesis – or absence following hysterectomy due to benign or malign conditions) whereas congenital müllerian anomalies, repeated failure after IVF treatment, recurrent abortion or severe medical condition incompatible with pregnancy (such as severe heart or renal disease, systemic lupus erythematosis, history of breast cancer, cystic fibrosis, severe diabetes mellitus, and a history of severe pre-eclampsia with HELLP syndrome – Haemolysis, Elevated Liver enzymes, and Low Platelet count) are other major indications.

Legal Aspects of Surrogacy in Greece

The only type of surrogacy arrangement that is permitted in Greece is the altruistic arrangement (non-commercial arrangement) and the only legal expenses for the gestational surrogacy are the reasonable expenses related to the surrogate motherhood according to Law 3305/2005 Application of Medically Assisted Reproduction, Article 13 Surrogate Motherhood, § 4:

The agreement for the surrogacy should be made without financial compensation. The following are not considered as financial compensation: 

  1. The payment for any expenses necessary for the artificial insemination procedure, the pregnancy, the delivery and the childbed (puerperal).
  2. The restitution for any damages incurred and lost wages by the surrogate be
cause she left her work or she took an unpaid leave of absence during the periods (and because) of insemination, pregnancy, delivery and childbed.

Surrogacy is regulated in Article 1458 of the Greek Civil Code introduced with Chapter 8 of the Law 3089/2002 as in Article 13 of Law 3305/2005:

Law 3089/2002 Medical Assistance in Human Reprodution, Chapter 8, Article 1458.

The transfer of a fertilized ova into the body of another woman (the ova should not be hers) and the pregnancy by her is allowed by a court authorization granted before the transfer, given that there is a written and, without any financial benefit, agreement between the persons wishing to have a child and the surrogate mother and in case that the latter is married of her spouse, as well. The court authorization is issued after an application of the woman who wants to have a child, provided that evidence is adduced not only in regard to the fact that she is medically unable to carry the pregnancy to term but also to the fact that the surrogate mother is in good health and is able to conceive.

Law 3305/2005 Application of Medically Assisted Reproduction, Article 13. Surrogate Motherhood

  1. Surrogate motherhood is permitted only under the conditions of the art. 1458 of Greek 
Civil Code and art. 8 of Law 3089/2002.
  2. The woman who is going to carry the child should be medically examined (according 
to art. 4) (art.4 §2: HIV1, HIV2, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Syphilis) and should incur a thorough psychological evaluation.
  3. Art. 4 §§2 and 3 are also applied for the examination of the health of prospective parents (art 4 §3: if those involved in medically assisted reproduction are positive to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus then appropriate permission from the National Independent Authority for Medically Assisted Reproduction is mandatory).
  4. The agreement for the surrogacy should be made without financial compensation. The 
following are not considered as financial compensation: 
    1. The payment for any expenses necessary for the artificial insemination procedure, the pregnancy, the delivery and the childbed (puerperal).
    2. The restitution for any damages incurred and lost wages by the surrogate because she left her work or she took an unpaid leave of absence during the periods (and because) of insemination, pregnancy, delivery and childbed.

The amount of the expenses covered is going to be regulated by the National Independent Authority for Medically Assisted Reproduction. 

Therefore, surrogacy is only permitted after a judicial decision is issued by the district court where the surrogate mother resides. The commissioning mother should apply to the court and the insemination procedure can only take place after the publication of the judicial decision.

The court will issue the authorization to surrogacy under the following conditions:

  1. The commissioning mother should prove that she is unable to carry the child to term.
  2. The commissioning mother should not exceed the age of fifty (50).
  3. The surrogate mother should prove to the court that she is medically and mentally fit.
  4. The parties should submit their written agreement to the court.
  5. The agreement could allow for compensation of expenses. The payment for services 
and any kind of financial benefit is strictly prohibited.
  6. In case that the surrogate mother is married, her husband should also consent in writing by signing the written agreement.
  7. The fertilized ova should not belong to the surrogate mother.

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