Surrogacy: Can Happiness Be Arranged?
According to the World Health Organization, between 2015 and 2019, approximately 8% of couples were diagnosed with infertility.
They faced a difficult choice: to accept life without children or to turn to assisted reproductive technology, i.e. surrogacy.
Today we will dive into what you need to know about the procedure of being a surrogate mother and why Ukrainian surrogate mothers are extremely popular among foreigners.

In terms of surrogacy legislation, states can be divided into 4 groups:
Where surrogacy is prohibited
Sweden, Austria, Germany, Norway, etc.
Where non-profit surrogacy is allowed
Israel, UK, Australia, Netherlands, etc.
Where commercial surrogacy is allowed
Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, etc.
Countries where the issue of surrogacy is not regulated in any way
Ireland, Finland, Greece, etc.
Interestingly, in the post-Soviet countries surrogate motherhood was first practiced in Ukraine. In the 90s, in one case a woman carried a child for her daughter.
Nowadays, Ukraine is much more attractive surrogacy-wise for foreigners than its neighboring countries. We have sensible laws that help protect surrogacy services clients and surrogate mothers.
The letter of the law
Even though there is no clear definition of surrogacy in Ukraine, the issue of assisted reproductive technology is mentioned in many regulatory acts such as:
Order of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine No. 52/2 "On approval of the Rules of civil status registration in Ukraine";
Order of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine No. 787 "On approval of the Rules of civil status registration in Ukraine"
Law of Ukraine on "Fundamentals of the health care laws of Ukraine"
Family Code of Ukraine
Civil Code of Ukraine
The essence of all these documents comes down to several basic points:
The law does not specify the amount of payment to a surrogate mother.
The biological parents do not need to obtain permission from the guardianship authority (as in the case of adoption).
In vitro fertilization must be carried out in accredited healthcare institutions by authorized methods.
The biological parents do not go through adoption procedure: after delivery, the surrogate mother gives written consent to a transfer and the clients are immediately recorded in the birth certificate as biological parents.
The age of a surrogate mother must not be less than 18 years and more than 40 years.
The legal matters between a surrogate mother and clients is regulated by the Family Code and agreement, not by a court.
A surrogate mother must have her own children and not have health contraindications.
Parental rights towards the child are completely given to the genetic mom and dad.
When entering into a surrogacy agreement, the surrogate mother must have a letter of consent from her husband.
The surrogate mother cannot claim her motherhood towards the baby.
What if the surrogate mother refuses?
You have probably seen those melodramatic shows, where a surrogate mother takes a baby into her arms and then refuses to give it back.
Such a thing is possible in Russia, but not in Ukraine, where biological parents who provided their biological material to a surrogate mother enjoy parental rights towards the baby in 100% of cases (Part 2 Article 123 of the Family Code of Ukraine).
Money matters
About six months ago, I visited a pregnant friend in a maternity hospital in Kyiv. As it turned out, the majority of patients in the department were surrogate mothers about to give birth. Moreover, most of them had twins.

In practice, maternity hospitals conclude formal agreements with intermediary companies that provide "all-inclusive" services: they look for mothers, order medical examinations, monitor the process of pregnancy, implantation, timely medical tests, preparation of necessary paperwork, etc.

On average, the services of such companies cost 30-50 thousand dollars, of which about 13-15 are paid to the surrogate mother.

For foreigners, this is quite an affordable price and they willingly "order" twins, paying their mother an additional two thousand of dollars.
In the ideal situation, everything goes well and everyone is happy.
But this does not always happen.

Parents may become victims of unscrupulous intermediaries who choose surrogate mothers without proper screening. Or even of surrogate mothers themselves, who blackmail customers demanding more and more money.

The solution for such a situation would be a lawyer and a properly drawn up agreement. Moreover, the subject of the agreement is not a baby but surrogacy, pregnancy, etc.
Checklist: what to specify in a surrogacy agreement
The only correct answer is everything. Each step of the process. Here is the minimum list:
names of medical institutions where the embryo transfer will take place, and subsequent medical care, examination, childbirth
name of the medical professional monitoring the health of the surrogate mother
reimbursement for medical expenses
actions in the case of a failed pregnancy
salary of the surrogate motherЗаробітна плата сурогатної матері
consequences if the surrogate mother refuses to provide consent for the biological parents to be registered as the baby's parents
the mother's place of residence and travel during pregnancy
terms of payment for the surrogate mother's services, etc.
obligations of the surrogate mother to comply with the regimen and to follow doctor's prescriptions, penalties
actions in the case of birth of a sick baby or termination of pregnancy
informing the customers about test results and the surrogate mother's condition
willingness to issue notarized consent to the biological parents to be recorded as the baby's parents
conditions for amending and terminating the agreement
additional services (life and health insurance of the surrogate mother, bonuses from spouses for strict compliance with medical requirements)
The surrogacy service is similar to the work of a lawyer. In both cases we encounter human suffering. That is why spouses often turn off their common sense in the endeavor to experience the joy of parenthood.
Suffering and acute emotions are perfect for scammers. Therefore, you need to protect yourself. Invest into a good lawyer and you will ensure that soon you will hold your baby in your arms.
Feel free to contact me
Olesya Solomina
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