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Surrogacy: why are we afraid of it?

Many couples today face the problem of infertility. Some families are completely incapable of giving birth to a healthy child. Their only chance to become parents is reproductive medicine. The successful development of modern technologies for combating infertility allows finding a way out of those situations that were previously considered hopeless. But at the same time, one cannot ignore the moral and legal aspects. Discoveries, as a rule, outpace the adaptation of society to the new possibilities of science. This also happens with reproductive technologies.

According to statistics, every fifth family in Ukraine is sterile. Such a diagnosis is made in 15-25% of cases. And in almost every situation, it is possible to bypass the problem with the help of one or another assisted reproductive technology.

In especially difficult cases of infertility, it is indicated surrogate service mothers. It became available after the discovery of artificial insemination. In surrogacy, the genetic material of the parents is used. The mother’s egg is fertilized with the father’s sperm in the laboratory. The embryo obtained in vitro is implanted into the body of the third participant in the procedure – surrogate mother. Donors of of genetic material can also be other people if the parents have serious reproductive pathologies.

From a medical point of view, this is common IVF pregnancy with the only exception that the surrogate mother has no biological connection with the fetus. Therefore, although the surrogate mother carries and gives birth to a child, legally his parents are those who provided the genetic material.

In Ukraine, the surrogacy program has been developing since 1994. But despite the long period and widespread use of this method of combating infertility, society perceives the service of reproductive clinics in two ways. On the one hand, surrogacy is associated with trade and exploitation. On the other hand, this is seen as the only chance for infertile couples.

You can look at the issue from different points of view: medical, social, legal, psychological and, of course, ethical. But you need to understand that the final decision is made by the parents themselves. It is they who determine how suitable this method of overcoming infertility is for them. Become a surrogate mother for them can be either a relative or an acquaintance, or a completely stranger woman. In any case, the procedure will be controlled not only by medical means, but also legally.

Why is surrogacy dangerous? First of all, because many people do not fully understand the features of the procedure. To clarify and prepare future parents, consider the legal tools to protect their rights. In Ukraine, surrogacy is regulated by the following regulatory documents:

  • Civil Code as amended on January 21, 2010 No. 1822-VI, art. 281;
  • Family Code of December 22, 2006 No. 524-V, paragraphs 1-3;
  • The Law “Fundamentals of Ukrainian legislation on health protection” dated February 12, 2008 No. 121-VI, art. 48;
  • Order of the Ministry of Health No. 787 “On approval of the Procedure for the use of assisted reproductive technologies in Ukraine” dated September 9, 2013.

Such legislative support guarantees the legal security of reproductive technology for both a married couple and a surrogate mother. In particular, this determines a number of legal advantages of such fertility treatment.

  1. The amount of remuneration for the surrogacy service is not limited. The amounts and nature of payments are not included in the commercial agreement.
  2. The procedure is carried out without permission from special departments. For example, when adopting, you must contact the relevant authorities, obtain certificates and draw up many documents.
  3. No need to go to court. The procedure is exempted from mandatory review by the legal authority.
  4. Biological parents are also from the point of view of legislation. Their names are indicated on the birth certificate. The baby is born a legitimate child of genetic mom and dad. There is no need to carry out the adoption procedure.
  5. The surrogate mother has no parental rights. A child born after a reproductive program has nothing to do with it in terms of legislation. The genetic parents of the baby are legal.

Professionals in the field of reproductive medicine are aware of the social issues associated with surrogate programs. At the same time, doctors emphasize that such treatment is most often the only way to help an infertile couple. If assigned, it should be used.

Experts give recommendations on how to organize a surrogacy program correctly.

  1. Get the support of competent lawyers. With the help of professionals, conclude a legitimate contract with the surrogate mother, which will clearly describe the scheme for transferring compensation payments. The Lada Clinic has been successfully cooperating with the Yubikon Law Firm since 2009, that is, since its establishment. Thanks to this, clients receive comprehensive legal support and full support in all procedures that require it.
  2. Obtain the correct written consent from the reproductive mother legally confirming her participation in the program.
  3. Conclude an agreement with the clinic with obligatory due diligence of the agreement.
  4. Make sure all documents are completed and signed by program participants before the baby is born.

Negotiations with a surrogate mother are best done through lawyers. At a minimum, the presence of specialists is desirable when communicating between the parties.

Surrogacy is used by couples with infertility who have no other opportunity to have children. Therefore, this program is socially significant and important for the development of society.

Kaleeva Alla
Kaleeva Alla
Reproductive specialist, obstetrician-gynecologist of the highest category

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