Surrogacy in Greece.
In Greece our surrogates undergo extensive psychological and medical screening and are engaged on a trial basis for about 6 months before they are presented to an IP couple as a potential surrogate mother.
About Surrogacy in Greece.
In Greece our surrogates undergo extensive psychological and medical screening and are engaged on a trial basis for about 6 months before they are presented to an IP couple as a potential surrogate mother. A nurse is made available to monitor and care for the surrogate from the time she first enters the program until at least 2 months after delivery of the child.
Global Surrogacy will be the single point of contact for you but naturally we will arrange for FaceTime, Skype or face-to-face meetings with the doctor, embryologist or surrogate as required throughout your journey.
Our surrogacy program in Greece is directly and closely supervised with the assistance of our local team members on the ground in Chania, Crete and Athens. The program is open to straight couples and single women. The surrogate is permitted to be compensated provided there is a properly executed Gestational Carrier Agreement. The IPs need to sign a simple and short agreement with the surrogate in order to submit that agreement to the Court in Chania for approval of the surrogacy arrangement.
We provide a total solution – recruitment, screening and management of surrogates, all medical services, including prenatal check-ups, births and paediatric services, in-country legal services, administration and coordination of travel and accommodation, registered birth certificate and applications for citizenship and passport for the Child based on IPs nationality. The all-inclusive package will make your journey less stressful. Our program offers an affordable price at a fixed cost. The program includes all medical costs, all necessary embryo transfers from one egg donor cycle and all the Child’s medical treatment at no extra cost.
Our clinic will transfer up to two embryos at a time subject to medical advice in your particular case and considering the medical and physical condition of the surrogate mother, and of course, her consent. Once you have joined the program and completed all documentation, the first step is to obtain the Court approval. This process may take 3 months, or longer if there is a Court holiday period. Although preliminary preparation of the surrogate can commence after the Court application has been made and we are awaiting the Court decision, an embryo transfer can not occur until the written Court judgment is obtained.
All women applying to be a gestational carrier are rigorously screened to assess their psychological, uterine and basic overall health. The surrogates need to have at least one child and the age range varies from 19-35. Only gestational surrogacy (where the surrogate mother does not use her eggs) is permitted. If the IPs are not able to create embryos with their own genetic material, third-party donors are available through our program. In Greece it is allowed for both donor eggs and donor sperm to be used so that there is no biological link between the IPs and the Child.
IPs will complete a profile and biography and a FaceTime or Skype video conference will be held with our team members and the clinic doctors before they are matched with a surrogate. IPs will be asked questions regarding their needs and requirements and we will explain the different financial, legal and administrative aspects of the surrogacy process. Some of the documentation which must be produced and signed needs to be notarised and/or apostilled. We will assist and guide you through that process to ensure the documentation is right the first time.
Once you have approval from the Court your proposed surrogate will be scheduled for medical appointments and a stimulation protocol will commence. The embryo transfer can occur very quickly after your surrogacy agreement has been approved by the Court. Twelve days after the transfer, a blood test will be carried out to determine whether or not the surrogate is pregnant. In case of a negative test result, we will continue to transfer embryos, one at the time, into the same surrogate until it leads to a positive test result.
When pregnancy is achieved, the medical team will monitor the progress of the surrogate and keep you updated every step of the way. There is no need for you to fly over to Greece to check up on the progress of the pregnancy, but of course you are welcome to do so at anytime on reasonable notice. We take care of everything for you. We will update you regularly, all test results and scans will be sent to you and we will organize video conferences with the surrogate with a translator. If you want to fly over to visit our team or your surrogate you will be welcomed by the local team / case manager. We will assist you and make your stay as stress-free and comfortable as possible.
The surrogates do not generally work during the pregnancy and will be compensated during their time off. They will spend their time at home but they will receive weekly visits, or more if necessary, from the nurse and your case manager. All surrogates live close to the clinic and the hospital proposed for delivery.
As your journey approaches its conclusion the doctor will give you an updated Estimated Date of Delivery (“EDD“) and we will coordinate your arrival in Chania. It is important to know that deliveries cannot be calculated with 100% certainty. If the doctor has scheduled a caesarean delivery then you will know exactly when the baby will be delivered. We will have a driver collect you from the airport and take you to your accommodation and thereafter drive you between the accommodation and hospital as required.
After the birth of your child, we will assist you with finding a fully furnished apartment for one month. This will allow you to adapt to your new status as a parent. As long as you remain in Greece, we will ensure you are being taken care of.
If you are requiring an egg donor, the total services necessary to create your embryos are provided by our team.
The egg donors go through an extensive medical screening. They will be tested for STDs, genetic conditions, immunohematology and haematology. They will also be questioned about family medical history, education, specific talents and interests. Most donors have previously given birth to a healthy child and are aged between 18 and 32. The information that will be available to you is the following: eye and hair colour, height, weight, age, blood type and Rh factor. The donor may disclose additional information such as work experience, interests and talents and educational background. Based on their profile, you will be able to make an informed decision and find the most suitable donor. You start the process by completing our “Donor Characteristics Form” so that we can offer you suitable egg donor profiles to consider.
Throughout your journey, all communication is with us and our nominated team members in Chania. We will be the project managers for your journey.
All instalments in the program will be the subject of an invoice from Global Surrogacy Inc, in accordance with the payment schedule we provide to you, and you will be given some options as to the currency in which you pay. We will only accept bank transfers but may accept credit cards with the application of a surcharge.
At around month 7 of the pregnancy we will start talking to you about your travel plans and prepare your citizenship and passport applications.
Immediately after the birth of your child we will assist you in obtaining your birth certificate and will help you to prepare your citizenship application, application for DNA testing and forward the completed passport application to you for your lodgement. You will be given detailed and complete instructions on how to prepare all documentation and the steps you must take.
Passport applications will in most cases need to be lodged in person by the IPs at their closest embassy.
Benefits of Surrogacy in Greece.
Greece has had legal altruistic surrogacy since 2002, it is regulated by Greek Civil Code and Law 3305/2005 Enforcement of Medically Assisted Reproduction.
The IPs must be a married or unmarried couple or a single woman and under 50yo. There is no requirement for the embryos created to have any biological link with either IP.
The proposed surrogate mother must obtain court approval of the surrogacy arrangement PRIOR to the embryo transfer occurring. IPs must also submit evidence of their inability to have a child.
NO GREEK CITIZENSHIP
The child will not be entitled to Greek citizenship, however in the event the child cannot acquire citizenship of its parents there are provisions in Greek law that would allow the granting of Greek citizenship to the child.
INTERNATIONAL IPs SINCE JULY 2014
Since July 2014 surrogacy in Greece has become available to non-EU citizens. Greece has become a significant market for Europeans seeking ART due to being the only EU country with a regulated & legal surrogacy program.
Although the law provides that surrogacy is to be altruistic it expressly exempts certain compensation and allows €10,000 payment to SM.
The practical step-by-step process of surrogacy in Greece is as follows:
IPs complete a profile and bio and undertake blood tests and sperm analysis (as applicable)
IPs provide identity documents and a Police check
IPs sign agreement with Global Surrogacy;
IPs obtain a medical letter setting out their medical indications for surrogacy;
IPs obtain ORIGINAL marriage, birth and change of name certificates;
IPs pay the first instalment in accordance with the Global Surrogacy invoice;
IPs are offered a surrogate mother;
Under our direction IPs will be assigned a Greek lawyer to prepare surrogacy agreement and court documents;
IPs travel to Greece to execute the surrogacy agreement, undergo testing and assessment by the clinic and commence the court application
IPs will meet all relevant clinic staff and provide their instructions on embryo transfer to the clinic
IPs provide gametes or embryos if applicable
Court application is lodged
Embryo trIPs will be notified of the court decision after approximately 12 weeks
Surrogate medical preparation commences in anticipation of a favourable court decision
Embryo transfer takes place after the Court delivers its judgment
Confirmed surrogate pregnancy and IPs formalise a more detailed Surrogacy Agreement with the surrogate;
Global Surrogacy provide all liaison and coordination with our team in Greece throughout the pregnancy;
IPs receive regular updates and access to medical reports, ultrasound images and blood test results;
In the final month of pregnancy the doctor will advise a tentative delivery date;
Within 3 days after birth, for married couples, Global Surrogacy will obtain the birth certificate;
Global Surrogacy assist with preparation and lodgement of Citizenship and passport applications for the child.
Practical and legal developments or news on our Greek surrogacy program
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Our Recommended Partner in Greece
Global Surrogacy Inc works with Dr Ioannis Giakoumakis and his expert team at Mediterranean Fertility Institute in Chania, Crete. Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and Chania is a beautiful and historic city about 30 mins flying time from Athens. There are at least 6 flights a day between Athens and Chania and the fares can be as low as €45.
The Cost of Surrogacy in Greece
Our Global Surrogacy Greece surrogacy program is for practical purposes a FIXED FEE program. We will discuss your particular circumstances with you and then provide you with a total package price set out as a payment schedule. We will include any options that you have selected and apart from contingencies (eg: twins) there will be no additional costs. All of our packages include the transfer of all embryos created from your egg donor or own cycle as is necessary to achieve a healthy birth. The only additional costs you will incur will be for additional egg donor cycles or additional surrogate monthly living fees as the duration of your agreement with the surrogate extends beyond 12 months. The total price includes all fees payable to the surrogate, egg donors, lawyers, agencies and the Clinic.
For an egg donor program the approximate total package price for a Greece Surrogacy Program is € 92,000. If you want to undergo IVF with your own gametes or ship frozen embryos then the total package price is €83,000. Our Agreement also includes a comprehensive price list for optional (eg: PGD, Private Hospital Birth) and contingency services (eg: twins). These packages include unlimited embryo transfers using all the embryos you have or can provide and there are no additional fees for medication.
THE TOTAL PRICE INCLUDES
Our payment schedule sets out the instalments you will pay us over the duration of your journey. All fees are paid directly to Global Surrogacy. Our payment schedule’s features are as follows:
Identifies milestones and payments on a monthly basis.
Identifies the cost of additional services and contingencies.
Offers Packages for greater certainty of the total costs.
Is payable in Euros or US dollars.
An overview of Surrogacy Laws in Greece
Greece has enacted a modern regulation for medically assisted reproduction, allowing gestational surrogacy. This regulation has given one more reproductive alternative to infertile couples in an environment of legal security. The almost complete non-existence of judicial controversies in relation to surrogacy in past years constitutes an indication that this new institution is functioning well in the country.
In Greece altruistic surrogacy is legal and well regulated. The most advantageous aspect of surrogacy law in Greece is that there is judicial authorisation of the process prior to any embryo transfer which settles the respective rights of the IPs and surrogate mother prior to a pregnancy. In effect the parentage of the child(ren) is determined by the court decision authorising the surrogacy process.
The surrogacy agreement only needs to deal with issues not covered by Greek law but it cannot be in conflict with Greek law and the surrogate mother retains all of her civil rights (eg: right to decide on abortion) within the confines of Greek law. There has been no case reported in Greece of any dispute between surrogate mother and IPs.
Although it is altruistic surrogacy Article 2 of Ministerial Decision No. 36 (16 Apr 2008) states that the surrogate mother can receive compensation for lost wages and if she is unemployed she is entitled to what she would receive as an employee considering her qualifications. The permitted payment to the surrogate is €10,000.
Under Article 1464 of the Greek Civil Code the woman who applies for and is granted the judicial authorisation to enter into a surrogacy arrangement (Intended Mother) is presumed to be the mother of the child(ren). Her husband or de-facto partner is presumed to be the father of the child(ren). The IPs are the parents of the child(ren) from the time of conception – no ifs no buts! There is no capacity for the surrogate mother to change her mind or make any application for access or custody of the child(ren).
Generally the child will be entitled to citizenship of its intended parents and then a passport. Your child will be permitted to travel internationally on airlines only after 2 weeks of age.
You should plan on being in Greece for 4 – 6 weeks but the precise time cannot be determined because it is subject to the internal processes of your Country’s citizenship and passport application departments.
Knowing the legal process and being fully prepared before the birth of your child will mean you spend the minimum amount of time in Europe.
Under Greek law the citizenship of a child is determined by the citizenship of its parents. Therefore in a surrogacy case a child born in Greece will not acquire Greek citizenship but rather the citizenship laws of the country of which the IPs are nationals will apply.
However, there is a safety net in circumstances where the child cannot obtain citizenship from its foreign intended parents. In those circumstances the child(ren) can obtain Greek citizenship. This is very important for IPs from countries that will not grant citizenship to children born through surrogacy arrangements.
The Civil Registry responsible for issuing birth certificates has no real discretion and must recognise the judgment of the Court and record the IPs names on the child’s birth certificate. There is no amendment of a birth certificate as happens in other jurisdictions, the first and only birth certificate issued records the names of the IPs as parents. In fact the way in which the matter is documented and recorded there is no mention of a surrogacy arrangement.
Some commentators have suggested that the authorities from the IPs’ home country may not even be aware that the birth was through a surrogacy arrangement. We caution you not to underestimate the relevant authorities of your country. In some cases the citizenship application has an express question – “was the child born through surrogacy”. You must answer this question honestly. It can be quite apparent to authorities that the Intended Mother did not give birth to the child if she travelled to Greece a few days before the birth.
Greek law does not provide for any degree of anonymity for the surrogate mother. In the event that the child born through a surrogacy arrangement in Greece in the future wants to identify the surrogate mother then the child is entitled to oblige the clinic to reveal her identity.
The surrogate mother also enjoys the right to privacy under Greek law and these two considerations would be in conflict here and the outcome would be determined on the facts of the particular case.