Guide to Surrogacy Laws in Ukraine
In the field of gestational surrogacy, Ukrainian legislators have proven to be far more progressive than many of their European colleagues. Nowadays, Ukraine is one of the very few surrogacy laws friendly countries in Europe. Unlike other nations that limit or even, ban a surrogacy, in Ukraine the intended parents of a child are considered as biological parents since the moment of conception, and they are specifically named as biological parents in the birth certificate without any mentioning of their gestational carrier.
Importantly, a gestational carrier cannot legally keep a child after the birth. On the contrary, a child is considered to belong legally to the intended parents from the very moment of the conception. In fact, in the legal history of Ukraine, there has not been a single reported case of a disputed custody claim arising over a surrogacy parenting arrangement or the validity of a surrogacy agreement entered into under Ukrainian surrogacy laws. In sharp contrast, the surrogacy laws in several U.S. states (and in Russian Federation too) allow a gestational carrier to keep a child after its birth, regardless of the agreements between the intended parents and a gestational carrier.
In general, applicable Ukrainian surrogacy laws lack almost all prohibitions that are commonly found in other European countries and offers the following advantages:
- No limits on a surrogacy related payments,
- No additional legal procedures to obtain court order,
- No adoption of your own child is required,
- Ukrainian surrogacy laws allow issuing birth certificate to the intended parents’ names regardless of their genetic links to the child,
- Donor or a gestational carrier has no parental rights over a child, who is legally a child of the intended parents since the moment of the conception.
Legal aspects of surrogacy laws in Ukraine are regulated by Article 123 of The Ukrainian Family Code (amended December 22, 2006, No. 524-V). A couple can choose between a gestational surrogacy, egg or sperm donation, special embryo adoption programs or their combinations. No specific permission from any regulatory body is required. All that is required is a written informed consent of all parties (the intended parents and a gestational carrier) participating in a surrogacy arrangement and related agreements confirming the arrangement.
Surrogacy is also regulated by the Order 787 of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, which deals with medical procedure of artificial insemination and embryo implantation. Importantly, this Order requires that artificial insemination must be done only in specially accredited medical institutions in accordance with the methods approved by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. It also provides a checklist of information that must be provided to the couple seeking medical assistance, namely: the details of the medical procedure, the results of medical examination of a prospective gestational carrier and medical and legal aspects of the consequences, etc. A written informed consent of the intended parents and a gestational carrier participating in the program is mandatory.
What agreements need to be signed?
Various agreements have to be signed in between the parties, including contracts with (a) the medical institution responsible for the insemination and further medical surveillance, (b) a gestational carrier and (c) a surrogacy agency (if any).
The surrogacy agreement entered into under Ukrainian surrogacy laws is an indispensable tool. It is also one of the most difficult agreements to negotiate and draft. Unfortunately, Ukrainian legislation does not provide any useful guidance, leaving the parties to their own decisions in addressing the key issues. As a result, the surrogacy agreement is usually a “self-contained”, highly complicated document, reflecting many contingencies. This agreement is enforceable legal document that will regulate the relations between a gestational carrier and the intended parents.
The surrogacy agreement entered into under Ukrainian surrogacy laws must be in writing and signed before a notary prior to the embryo transfer. At a bare minimum, the following issues should be addressed: a gestational carrier’s health status; conditions which a gestational carrier should observe; medical institution where the procedure will be performed; a gestational carrier’s remuneration, additional expenses, timing of payment(s); expenses associated with impregnation, pregnancy, act of delivery and registration of a child; procedure of a child transfer and registration; any force majeure provisions, including the delivery of a handicapped child, delivery of more than one child, delivery of a dead child, delivery complications resulting in a gestational carrier’s future infertility; confidentiality provisions and non-disclosure of information to a child or any third party etc.
An agreement with the medical institution deals primarily with the medical institution’s services, including responsibility for choice of a gestational carrier (if applicable) and her full medical examination, obligation to carry out all procedures in accordance with the methods approved by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and the intended parents’ requirements, the terms and conditions of medical observation during the pregnancy, payment structure, confidentiality and non-disclosure of the information to a child or any third party, among others. Some medical institutions request that the intended parents “shall not submit any legal claims against the institution for any reason,” which clearly contradicts Article 3 of the Civil Procedural Code of Ukraine, namely, the individual’s right to defend his or her interests in court.
Since the Ukrainian Family Code presumes that the intended parents of a child born by a gestational carrier is a married couple, a Ukrainian notary must check a marriage certificate of the intended parents, notarized and apostilled (legalized), translated and translation must be notarized.
What about the Birth certificate?
Pursuant to the “Rules for Vital Statistic Registration in Ukraine”, adopted by the Order of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine No. 52/5 on 10/18/2000, foreign citizens may apply for a birth registration to the Ukrainian Civil Registry Office (ZAGS). They have to submit a medical certificate that proves their genetic relationship to a child and a gestational carrier has notarized written consent to record their names in the birth certificate of a child she delivered. The names of the intended parents are written in the birth certificate upon a child’s birth. There is no need to get any special permits from any committee, court or other institution. No adoption procedure is required.
However, it is also recommended to approach the Consular Office of the intended parents’ home country and obtain a child’s passport. It is usually possible when a surrogacy is legal in the home country and the intended parents can prove they are genetically related to a child.
In conclusion, today’s options for family formation extend beyond adoption. Advances in medical science offer the intended parents a number of new pathways to parenthood. Some of these paths, such as sperm donation and traditional surrogacy (that is prohibited in Ukraine by surrogacy laws), have long been in existence. Other procedures, such as egg donation, embryo transfer and gestational surrogacy, are more recent developments in the field.
As with the medical procedures, it is equally necessary to understand Ukrainian surrogacy laws landscape upon which a family will be built, as well as any restrictions concerning a surrogacy in your home country. Before embarking on your surrogacy journey, you should find a qualified Ukrainian legal counsel who is experienced in Ukrainian surrogacy laws also is working with international clients. We will help you with this. In addition, remember that surrogacy is prohibited or restricted in many European countries. Depending on your specific circumstances and citizenship, you may require legal representation both in Ukraine and in your home country.
Are the donors anonymous?
Egg and sperm donation may be used successfully in treatment of multiple causes of infertility and is a delicate process, which requires matching donors with patients. Our team members screen donors physically and psychologically. The tests may include a medical, psychological and gynecological evaluation, complete blood analyses including some related to infectious diseases, and a genetic testing.
Parents Life has no waiting lists and patients are assured of exhaustive medical and genetic testing of donors, and meticulous selection with regard to the physical characteristics of our donors to ensure similarity to the intended parents.
Donations are anonymous by Ukrainian surrogacy laws and as such, we guarantee complete donor confidentiality.
How to find a gestational carrier?
All family couples that need help of a gestational carrier to give birth to a child ask this question. At the same time, many women face the question of how to become a gestational carrier?
The question of where to find a gestational carrier at first does not look too hard. In printed publications and on specialized sites and forums on the Internet lots of announcements from women offering their services as a gestational carrier can be found. However, you should remember that although this search method can seem more financially advantageous, it does not guaranty success. Unfortunately, people who need to find a gestational carrier often become victims of fraudsters that just want to benefit from other’s trouble.
At Parents Life, you can select a candidate fitting all your requirements in a gestational carriers’ database. We carefully select candidates willing to become gestational carriers; this gives substantial guaranties of performing the program successfully. It is clear that you will have to pay for such services, but the result – birth of your child – is worth your expenses! Besides that, you can also find a gestational carrier among your relatives. There are well-known cases when a grandmother was carrying her own grandson – her daughter’s child.
It is required to sign off a surrogacy agreement between the two parties – the intended parents and a gestational carrier. It helps to avoid many risks.
How can a woman become a gestational carrier? First, a woman has to fit certain requirements, which are age limitation (18 to 35 years old), having had at least one healthy child born in a natural way, and physical and mental health are necessary. To get more details about all the requirements to a gestational carrier, women can contact us at any time.
What is the cost of services?
Considering an individual peculiarity of every medical plan performed, either donation plans or surrogacy ones, it is not possible to point an exact cost of each of them – actually, we did let us say the “golden mean” calculation.
Because of this, for your comfort, we are ready to quickly provide you with an exact price point on each of your particular requests, including all the stages of fertility treatments process (from initial diagnostics to registration and legalization of your newborn child).
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