In Greece, surrogacy is the best center when finding a surrogate mother is legal for heterosexual couples, married or unmarried, and single parents who cannot give birth naturally due to fertility or health problems. Only altruistic surrogacy and egg donation have been legalized and applied to Greek citizens since 2002, to which Article 1458 of the Greek Civil Code and Law 3305/2005 apply to the promotion of medically assisted reproduction. However, since July 2014, the law has been amended for non-European citizens (international patients) to undergo surrogacy in Greece. Since 2014, Greece has become the main market for targeted foreigners looking for ART, as Greece is one of the European countries that offer well-regulated and legal surrogacy programs.
A legal view of Surrogacy in Greece
In Greece, all aspects of surrogacy are clearly defined by law. First, Greek law allows intended parents to be foreigners – and this is really important information for fertility patients traveling abroad. Second, the court decision must clearly state that the child resulting from the surrogate program is the intended parent – and not the surrogate. According to the court, the clinic will enter the parents’ intended surnames on the day of birth, and on that basis, the registry office will issue the child’s birth certificate. The court order also states that the surrogate mother has no legal right to the parent’s intended child. This proves that a child born through a surrogate mother program is the intended child of the parents – and nothing else.
Alternative Surrogacy in Greece
In Greece, surrogates undergo extensive psychological and medical screening and are tested for approximately six months before being introduced to the intended parental couple as a potential surrogate mother. The nurse is available to monitor and care for the surrogate from the first entry into the program until at least two months after the birth of the child.
Some surrogacy centers in Greece are the point of contact for intended parents. Online and physical meetings with a doctor, embryologist, or substitute are allowed as needed throughout the alternative journey.
The surrogacy program in Greece is managed directly and strictly with the help of local medical team members. The program is open to equal couples and single women. The alternate is allowed to pay if the contract for the gestational carrier is duly enforced. The intended parent must sign a simple and concise agreement with the surrogate so that they can submit such a contract to a local court in Greece for approval of the surrogate arrangement.
Surrogacy agencies provide comprehensive solutions – recruitment, screening, and management of substitutes, all medical services including prenatal examinations, maternity, and child care, national legal services, administration and coordination of travel and accommodation, registered birth certificates and citizenship applications, and a passport for the child based on the intended nationality of the parents. The all-inclusive package is relatively unhazardous for intended parents. The surrogacy program in Greece offers an affordable price. The program covers all medical costs, all necessary embryo transfer from the donor egg cycle, and all medical treatment of the child at no additional cost.
Most doctors in Greece prefer to transfer a maximum of two embryos at a time, taking into account the medical advice in the particular case and the health and physical condition of the surrogate mother, and, of course, her consent. Once the surrogacy program is up and all documentation is complete, the first step is to obtain court approval. This process can take up to three months or longer if there is a judicial holiday period. Although the preliminary preparation of compensation may begin after the court has made its request and surrogacy agencies are awaiting a court decision, the embryo transfer will not take place until a written court decision has been reached.
All women who apply to be carriers are rigorously screened to assess their mental, uterine, and basal overall health. Substitutes must have at least one child and the age range is 19 to 35 years. Only gestational surrogacy is allowed (when the surrogate mother does not use her eggs). If the intended mother is unable to produce embryos using her genetic material, third-party donors are available through the program. In Greece, both the donor’s egg and the donor’s sperm can be used, so there is no biological link between the intended parent and the child.
The parent must complete a profile and biography, and a video conference with medical team members and physicians will be held before contacting the surrogate. Intended parents will be asked about their needs and requirements and the medical team will explain the various financial, legal, and administrative aspects of the substitution process.
Some documents must be submitted and signed and notarized and/or apostatized. Surrogacy agencies in Greece are assisting and guiding the intended parents in this process to ensure that the documentation is correct for the first time. Once the intended parents have obtained permission from the court, the proposed surrogate will be scheduled for a medical briefing and incentive protocol to begin the program.
The transfer of embryos can take place immediately after the court approves the surrogacy contract. Twelve days after transplantation, a blood test is performed to see if the replacement is difficult or not. If the test result is negative, the hired surrogacy office has the responsibility to continue the program until it results in a positive test result.
Once pregnancy is achieved, the medical team will monitor the surrogate’s progress and keep the intended parents informed of each step. Immediately after the birth of the child, the surrogacy office will assist the intended parent in obtaining the birth certificate and will help in writing the citizenship application, the DNA testing application, and handing over the complete passport application to the intended parents. All necessary information is provided to the intended parents. Passport applications should in most cases be sent by the IP in person to the nearest embassy.
Ravi Sharma is a self-motivated, successful entrepreneur and has a solid experience in the fertility segment. and he is the director at ARTbaby Global (ARThealthcare). He is a pharmacy graduate with post-graduation in business administration and has 14 years of rich experience in the field of infertility segment. He loves to write about IVF, Surrogacy, and other ART (assisted reproductive technology) news, issues, and updates. He is a Pharmacy graduate (B. Pharm) and M.B.A (marketing).
His most recent success includes the successful launch of the medical tourism company, ARTbaby, which offers treatment options for infertility, egg donation, and surrogacy. He likes spending time with his family and writing about various aspects of IVF surrogacy and donating eggs.