If you think that all your fertility treatment options have failed and you are not ready for an adoption, you may start considering surrogacy. Surrogacy is when another woman carries and gives birth to a baby for a couple who cannot have a child on their own. Many countries have different laws regarding surrogacy so EggDonationFriends recommend you seek legal advice before proceeding with this option. This article will help you understand the key provisions of surrogacy in Ukraine and will focus on questions most frequently asked by intended parents.
What are the key regulations of surrogacy in Ukraine?
Ukrainian legislation is very loyal to surrogacy issues and is aimed at protecting the rights of biological parents. It also allows using assisted reproductive technologies. These include methods of infertility treatment involving manipulations with reproductive cells, selected or all stages of the reproductive cells preparation, fertilization and development of embryos before transferring them into the uterus of the patient in vitro. One of such assisted reproductive technologies is surrogacy.
In this article terms such as biological parents, intended parents and spouses mean married heterosexual couples who are looking for surrogacy in Ukraine.
Key facts to know about surrogacy treatment in Ukraine
Surrogacy can only be practiced by medical institutions such as fertility clinics duly licensed and equipped with the appropriate facilities.
Conditions for applying surrogacy treatment are:
- the existence of medical indications to surrogacy treatment as defined by the Ukrainian legislation;
- documents required for using the surrogacy treatment as defined by the Ukrainian legislation;
- two intended parents (or one of the intended parents) in the interests of which the surrogacy is used, must have a genetic link with the child;
- a surrogate mother must not have a direct genetic link with the child.
In Ukraine surrogacy is allowed for married heterosexual couples (intended parents) who meet medical requirements for surrogacy treatment established by Ukrainian legislation. What does it mean for you? If you have any of the below mentioned medical conditions, surrogacy may be an option for you.
Medical indications for surrogacy treatment are:
- absence of uterus (congenital or acquired);
- deformation of cavity or neck of uterus because of congenital malformations or surgical interventions, benign tumors which prevent pregnancy;
- morphological and structural changes to endometrium if such changes result in infertility or Intrauterine adhesions, which cannot be cured;
- severe somatic disease, in which pregnancy threatens the future health or life of the recipient, but which does not affect the health of the unborn child;
- repeated unsuccessful IVF attempts (4 and more times) with resulted in repeatedly obtaining high-quality embryos, however the transfer of embryos has not led to pregnancy.
Who can be a surrogate mother in Ukraine?
A surrogate mother must be an adult capable woman, who has given birth to her own healthy child. The surrogate mother shall provide a voluntary written statement of a surrogate mother in the form set forth by the Ukrainian legislation. The surrogate mother shall not have any medical restrictions to act as the surrogate mother.
The intended parents should provide the following documents to use surrogacy treatment:
- statement of patient/patients on willing to use surrogacy treatment;
- copies of national passports;
- copy of their marriage certificate;
- notarized copy of the joint written agreement between the surrogate mother and the intended parents.
What does the process of surrogacy look like?
- the choice of a surrogate mother;
- the synchronization of menstrual cycles of recipient and surrogate mother for the preparation of embryos;
- the procedure of embryo transfer into the uterus of a surrogate mother;
- the cryopreservation of unused embryos;
- diagnosis of pregnancy;
- monitoring of the course of pregnancy;
- defining the method of delivery, place of delivery, method of feeding of the newborn (in consultation with the doctor overseeing the pregnancy).
If you wish to be present during the birth of your surrogate child, you can do so! The biological parents can be present during childbirth by the surrogate mother. Many couples choose that option as it means a lot to them to be with their baby from the moment they are born.
In case the biological parents of the newborn child are foreign nationals, they should inform maternity hospital about their temporary accommodation for the period necessary for documenting their rights to the newborn before leaving Ukraine.
In accordance with the Ukrainian legislation a human embryo conceived by the spouses (man and woman) as a result of application of assisted reproductive technologies and transferred into the body of a surrogate mother, is considered the child of the couple which conceived the embryo. This is very important piece of legislation you need to be aware of. In certain countries law recognizes the woman who gave birth, that is the surrogate, as the legal mother of the child.
The state registration of the child born by a surrogate mother is made upon the request of the child’s biological parents. They should submit the following documents to the state authorities:
- a document which confirms the fact of the childbirth by the surrogate mother;
- surrogate mother’s consent to record the biological parents as the parents of the child. The authenticity of the surrogate mother’s signature on such consent shall be duly notarized.
- the statement of genetic relationship of the biological parents (mother or father) with the child in a form determined by Ukrainian law.
All the documents necessary for surrogacy treatment and state registration should be made in Ukrainian and in the form established by appropriate Ukrainian legislation. If any of the documents you have is in English or any other language, use translation services. A professional translator will provide you with a notarized translation (which is simply certified translation signed by the translator in front of a notary).
To protect your interests and rights if you plan to use surrogacy treatment in Ukraine, EggDonationFriends highly recommend consulting it with local lawyers who are authorized to advise on Ukrainian law issues at all stages of the surrogacy treatment.
If you have incurable fertility and you and your partner want to make your dream come true, surrogacy seems like the ideal option for you. Remember: there is always hope! Check our Instagram for the inspirational story of surrogate Rachael (and also IVF warrior) and mother-to-be Jennifer.
The article has been prepared by Yulia Stusenko, attorney, associate partner of Skliarenko, Sydorenko and Partners, Attorneys at Law