In Ukraine, surrogate motherhood is regulated by an explicit law that can be found in the Family Code of Ukraine, as one shall see below. In accordance with its clauses, only childless, heterosexual couples who are married to each other are eligible to have a baby through surrogacy in this country.
Additionally, a major advantage of choosing Ukraine as your destination for surrogacy abroad, besides its attractive costs, is the fact that American intended parents do not need a special visa to enter the country.
The various sections of this article are assembled in the following table of contents.
In Ukraine, surrogacy arrangements are permitted by law as long as the parties involved do meet the following requirements:
- To be an officially married, heterosexual couple.
- At least, the intended father is able to provide his genetic material. Ideally, the law envisages that both commissioning parents provide their gametes for the creation of the embryo.
- To have a medical cause that is preventing the intended mother from becoming pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term under safe conditions for both her and the baby-to-be.
Uterine malformations, being born without uterus (i.e. Rokitansky syndrome), anatomical, morphological and/or structural problems of the uterine lining that lead to implantation failure or are incurable are some examples of what the law accepts as medical causes.
It is required to prove it by means of a medical certificate, which will be reviewed and approved by Ukrainian gynecologists and reproductive endocrinologists.
Also, severe Somatic Symptom Disorders (SSDs) that may put the life of the patient at risk during pregnancy but have no influence on the health of the fetus are considered to be a valid reason as to why one may need a surrogate to have a baby.
Having gone through 4 failed IVF attempts using high-quality embryos is also considered a medical cause that can leave a couple no alternative but to turn to surrogacy. In such cases, the Ukrainian authorities will require you to provide proof from the fertility clinic you were working with in your home country.
Surrogacy in Kiev
The city of Kiev is the typical city chosen by foreign intended parents that decide to undergo surrogacy in Ukraine. Also, the fact that American intended parents do not need special visa to enter the country is a major reason why they decide to have a baby there instead of their home country or Canada, for example, which is geographically closer than Ukraine.
One can find a wide range of surrogacy agencies in Kiev that can be very helpful through your journey, especially during the initial steps. They usually help hopeful intended parents to choose a gestational carrier as well as the fertility clinic they want to work with to carry out the medical process.
As mentioned earlier, no special permit is required by the Ukrainian government to enter the country for the purpose of surrogacy. However, a visa or valid Ukrainian residency is required for stays longer than 90 days (3 months). Also, you are required to a have a valid health insurance.
How much does it cost?
The approximate cost of surrogacy in Ukraine for international intended parents ranges between USD $23,000 and $40,000. However, this price range does not include the cost of legal expenses and the agency fees, which can add up to $2,000 to $6,000 to the initial cost.
Also, the prices vary depending on whether the couple needs to use donor eggs or not. So, broadly speaking, we can say that the average cost of surrogacy with own eggs is $23,000, whilst it increases to $37,000 if donor eggs are needed.
Variations between estimates will depend basically on the surrogacy program you choose. For example, low cost programs typically include just one IVF attempt, without using donor eggs. When the cost is $35,000-40,000, they usually include additional techniques such as PGD (Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis), and unlimited embryo transfers until the gestational carrier gets pregnant.
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As for the payment to the surrogate, according to the Article 623 of the Civil Code of Ukraine, the total sum should be fixed by agreement of the parties. Normally the contract price is comprised of two parts: A reimbursement of the actual expenses incurred by the surrogate, and a remuneration of the surrogate for her services.
In any case, these are just approximate price ranges and by no means can replace the estimations provided by your agency and/or fertility clinic. Our recommendation is that you ask for as many details as possible when reviewing different programs.
Egg donation & gender selection
Additionally, the Ukrainian law allows egg donation, although egg donors must remain completely anonymous. This means that neither the donor nor the intended parents can get to know each other, including seeing pictures or in person.
Moreover, the legislation on assisted reproduction practice in Ukraine allows the use of PGD with gender selection to choose the sex of the baby. Doing it by means of PGD means that it is carried out prior to the embryo transfer to the surrogate’s womb.
It should be noted that using PGD for the determination of the embryo’s sex is permitted only to prevent an inherited condition related to the child’s sex.
It is important to keep in mind that the law allows embryo donation and sperm donation, too. However, as we have mentioned above, at least the intended father must provide his DNA for the creation of the embryo in surrogacy arrangements.
Child’s citizenship at birth
As stated in the Ukrainian law (Article 123 of the Family Code), if the embryo conceived using the eggs and sperm of the spouses by means of IVF is transferred into the body of another woman, the parents will still be the legal parents of the child.
Article 139 stipulates that a woman that has been registered as the child’s mother can waive her maternal affiliation. However, the gestational mother cannot claim maternal rights to the genetic mother, as prohibited in Part 2 of the Article.
Every child born by surrogacy in Ukraine is legally considered to be the child of the intended parents from the beginning. In other words, the surrogate cannot keep him or her following birth under any reason.
As for acquiring US citizenship, the child may acquire it at birth if the parent or parents meet the conditions established in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). A child born abroad must be biologically related to at least one US citizen parent who is biologically related to him or her.
A US citizen parent who has a child via surrogacy abroad has to apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of an American Citizen (CRBA) and a US passport at the US Embassy or Consulate in Ukraine.
To this purpose, DNA testing is required. If the child does not have a biological connection to a US citizen parent, he or she will not acquire US citizenship at birth.
FAQs from users
Is surrogacy legal in Ukraine?
Yes, surrogacy is permitted in Ukraine under the Article 123 of the Family Code of Ukraine. Moreover, the Article 139 of the Family Code states that a woman who has been registered as the child’s mother can relinquish her rights to the child.
Is gay surrogacy allowed in Ukraine?
No, the law explicitly makes reference to married, heterosexual couples who have trouble conceiving. Neither gay couples nor single men are allowed to have a baby via surrogacy in Ukraine.
How much is surrogacy in Ukraine?
Currently, the average cost of surrogacy in Ukraine is USD $23,000-40,000. The price breakdown does not always include the same services, so we recommend that all intended parents pay special attention to what’s included and what’s not when reviewing an initial cost estimate from a surrogacy agency.
Is commercial surrogacy allowed in Ukraine?
Yes, it is permitted. Ukrainian surrogates usually receive a financial reward for carrying someone else’s child, which is stipulated in the surrogacy contract signed between the parties.
What are the requirements for a woman to become a surrogate mother in Ukraine?
In accordance with the Ukrainian Instruction on Procedures for Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), a gestational carrier has to be a legally capable woman who is 18 years old or over, and must have at least one healthy child of her own.
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Considering surrogacy abroad? Even if you are interested in Ukraine, you may be interested in learning about other countries that could fit your needs as well: International Surrogacy Guide.