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Where is surrogacy legal

surrogacy legal

Deciding to go through surrogacy is a very liberating choice for intended parents – after years of trying, they finally discover an option that will fulfill their dreams of having a baby! Once you make up your mind about surrogacy, the next step is researching a lot about the matter and making up your mind about where you want to pursue surrogacy.

What is surrogacy?

Surrogacy is a practice of assisted reproduction, where intended parents work with a gestational or a traditional surrogate to expand their family. For several months, the surrogate mother and the intended parents develop a strong relationship – the surrogate carries their baby for 9 months and cares for it until the baby is born. 

Surrogacy is a long-term procedure that includes the involvement of medical and legal experts, as well as a strong support system – you will need a team of professionals to guide you through the journey, and provide you with answers to all of your questions (you may have a lot!), ensure the smooth course of the process and, overall, be available for you at all times. This is why the majority of intended parents choose to work with a surrogacy agency. 

Learn more about the surrogacy process 

Is surrogacy legal? 

While surrogacy is a beautiful phenomenon that allows thousands of couples and singles of all statuses to have a family of their own, it’s a relatively new medical practice and still a little controversial for some people. This is why surrogacy is legal in a few countries. Of course, surrogacy laws are different in each country. Of the countries which allow surrogacy, many have residency or citizenship requirements for the intended parent(s) and/or the surrogate. In some countries, such as the United States, Canada or Australia, laws vary by state/territory.

Where do people go for surrogacy?

Countries where surrogacy is legal to include: 

  • Georgia
  • UK
  • US (Some states) 
  • Canada (Some states)
  • Ireland
  • Denmark
  • Belgium 
  • Cyprus
  • Ukraine
  • Russia
  • India 
  • Thailand
  • Mexico 
  • Nepal 
  • Argentina
  • Poland 

Intended parents choose the destination for surrogacy based on individual preferences: affordability, distance, the reputation of fertility experts, etc. 

Be Parent operates in Georgia, Cyprus, and Argentina – countries with the most flexible surrogacy laws and healthy environments. 

What are the complications?

In the majority of cases, surrogacy unfolds without any obstacles and is a smooth process for all parties involved. However, there are examples where both the intended parents or the surrogate mother are treated poorly giving rise to serious concerns to all involved including the child.

The main legal complication some of the intended parents have to face is gaining parental rights of the baby. In some countries, if the surrogate mother decides that she wants to keep the baby, she’s fully supported by jurisdiction. This is why choosing a right country for surrogacy is of vital importance. 

Also, there have been some cases where the intended parents haven’t been recognized as the baby’s legal parents, because of the surrogacy laws of the country. In those cases, the intended parents have to go through a gruesome process of claiming their parental rights, which can take years.  

The most complicated scenario is connected to traditional surrogacy. As you may already know, traditional surrogates are genetically linked with the baby. It’s possible that she develops an emotional bond with the child and refuses to give up her parental rights. If this scenario happens, the intended parents would then have to try to win custody in court, which could lead to a lengthy legal battle.

Are there risks for surrogate mothers?

There is a common misconception that surrogate mothers are always at legal risk while helping childless couples. This is proven to be a false alarm – as long as all of the parties are agreed upon the course of their partnership, there is no legal threat to surrogate mothers. 

In short…

Since surrogacy isn’t legal worldwide, there are limited options for intended parents who want to pursue surrogacy. While deciding on where to start your journey, future parents should look into the surrogacy laws of the country to avoid future complications. We believe that you should consider Georgia, Cyprus, and Argentina as your top choices since the surrogacy laws are very flexible there and the concept is pretty famous in the population too! 

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oto mekhashishvili