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One of the Most Expensive Directions of Medical Business – Surrogacy

Official statistics do not exist about children born through “in vitro fertilization” (surrogacy) in Georgia, but if you believe clinics, Georgian and foreign stakeholders often use this service.  

The cost of surrogate mother service in Georgia starts from $ 10 to $ 15,000. As the practice demonstrates, the costs for surrogate mothers during pregnancy are added approximately 200 to 300 dollars per month, and the surrogate mother’s salary increases in case of birth of twins.

The first surrogate child was born in Georgia in 2004 through “in vitro fertilization” and many children born in Georgia are born in this way.  “In vitro fertilization” is mainly used by women who aren’t able to bear a child herself because of the health problems or may have other medical problems that are envisaged by Georgian legislation (Ex: if the risk of transmission of a genetic disease by a wife or husband). The embryo obtained from the biological mother’s egg is taken to the surrogate mother’s body, which plays the role of a natural incubator. As doctors explain, there is no genetic link between Surrogate mother and child; But many families face problems with the law. Under Article 143 of the Law on Health Care, the surrogate mother is not considered the mother of the child.

What is the legal regulation of “in vitro fertilization” as a business activity and which countries are mainly descended for surrogacy in Georgia?  Mr. Grigol Mumladze, Partner of GLCC Law Firm talks about these issues. He works on the most cases of legal disputes on surrogacy in law practice.

–  How flexible is Georgia’s legislation for surrogacy for Georgian and foreign citizens?

As far as it is known,“in vitro fertilization” (surrogacy) is not permitted in many countries of the world and at the same time it is not only in the category of low financial value services, and therefore foreigners, who are interested in receiving this service in Georgia, are mostly citizens of the countries, where the fertilization is not allowed and who can pay the relevant financial compensation for this service. Georgian legislation (legal norms) is quite flexible for people willing to enter the child through extracorporeal fertilization (surrogacy), as it concerns both citizens of Georgia and foreign citizens. This indicates that any interested people, if they meet the requirements established by the Georgian legislation, can easily obtain relevant services in Georgia after the agreement with surrogate mother, donor – if necessary, service clinic / doctors etc.).

– How often do clients ask for the settlement of the legal part while using surrogacy?

In recent years, the interest in the child’s emergence as a result ofin vitro fertilization in Georgia is very relevant, although legal problems and disputes have emerged at the initial stage when the emergence of a child as a result of extracorporeal fertilization was innovation for Georgian reality. The scarce legislative base of the time and the impossibility of practical solution to the problem were inadequate to the interested individuals and threatened the normal development of the child. Nowadays, the legislation is being refined by the various types of court precedents, which provides the opportunity for target groups to take advantage of this service more easily, although it is preferable if the competent authorities/officials pay more attention to the problematic aspects of the case, in order the elimination and solution mechanisms to become more flexible and efficient.

What legal procedures are needed for surrogate?

As mentioned above, any interested people, may initiate various procedures for extracorporeal fertilization, if they meet the requirements set out in Georgian legislation. For example, apply to entities whose declared activities are the selection a surrogate mother, finding the medical clinic / doctor and to communicate with them, as well as other necessary procedures for the implementation of extracorporeal fertilization and stakeholders to achieve the appropriate result. The mandatory rule for the extracorporeal fertilization is to submit the different kind of written documents (basic notary agreement concluded before extracorporeal fertilization, as well as various types of treaties, agreements, etc.). At the given moment, the above mentioned activity is carried out in Georgia by various more or less known private companies / individuals who are offered to the interested persons in exchange for the relevant financial remuneration.

Who has the right to enjoy surrogacy? Under the law, is it necessary to be in an official marriage? Are same-sex couples able to enjoy surrogacy?

The Law of Georgia on Health Care explains the extracorporeal fertilization, in particular: 1. For the prevention of infertility 2. When there is a risk of transmission of genetic disease by a wife or a husband 3. If a woman does not have a womb. As we can see, the law accurately defines the cases when interested persons can initiate procedures for the purpose of extracorporeal fertilization. With the exact definition of legal norms defined by the Georgian legislation and taking into account existing / established practices, they do not have the right to use services related to extracorporeal fertilization. Also, the couple who are interested in this service should be in an official marriage (since the law is familiar with the wife of a husband and wife), but the practice in this latter case is somewhat different.

As it is known, in France a person who violates a law about surrogacy is fined by 45,000 euros, while in Germany, children born by surrogacy doesn’t have the right to obtain citizenship. Are there any sanctions in Georgia?

There are no sanctions in the present moment in Georgia for violation of the legal norms related to surrogacy in the legislation, but if the violations are of medical character, the liability of such cases is resolved under general rule.