MAN AND WOMAN
Surrogacy processes for Heterosexual couples (Man and Woman).
At GESTLIFE we work with all countries where surrogacy is legal, and processes can be carried out with full guarantee. Given the extent of the information, we make a brief summary of the characteristics of each country, and the programmes that are carried out in it. However, we advise you that, without any commitment, you should contact one of our family advisors, and we will gladly analyse your particular case, to advise you on the most appropriate destination according to your needs.
Surrogacy is a complicated process in which the most advanced medicine, the laws of each country (almost always contradictory or incompatible), the different languages and customs are mixed. A complicated process in which nothing can be left to chance. It is not a job for "amateurs" who may have good intentions but little experience.
Where does GESTLIFE carry out the surrogacy processes for Heterosexual couples (Man and Woman)?
We investigate them, we visit them, we open our own offices with our own staff (we are not intermediaries), and we ensure the quality of the services of the intervening providers.
In this way we are not obliged to offer a single destination (many "agencies" have a single destination that they have to defend tooth and nail, discouraging the rest of destinations, because otherwise they do not get clients) and we can really recommend the most appropriate destination according to the needs of each family.
Obviously we want you to carry out the surrogacy process with us. That's what we do. But, once you decide to work with us, our priorities are 3:
- Prevent you for making legal mistakes that could endanger your process.
- Guaranteeing success in the medical area: a healthy baby.
- Reduce your expenses as much as possible. We prefer that you keep your money for your child, and not for intermediaries.
It is important that the family who wishes to carry out surrogacy, understand that there are three types of countries where to perform a surrogacy process (obviously, there is a fourth group, which are the countries where it is forbidden to carry out a surrogacy process, which we will not speak about so as not to waste your time, since they do not contribute anything):
COUNTRIES THAT HAVE SPECIFIC LEGISLATION ON SURROGACY
These legislations withdraw the rights of the surrogate mothers to grant them to the intended parents. These countries have laws drafted by their parliaments, or subsequently modified by judgments of supreme courts, such as the Constitutional Court, allowing certain people to carry out the processes.
They are the countries where a process can be carried out with all the guarantees.
COUNTRIES THAT DO NOT HAVE A SPECIFIC LEGISLATION ON SURROGACY
After all, the medical part does not present too many secrets for a fertility clinic. However, a surrogacy is not only to create a child, but later on we have to guarantee that this child will be ours, and that there will be no legal problems either to leave the country, or to have it later in our country.
This is the moment in which problems arise in these countries which lack a specific law on surrogacy. Since there is no law that nullifies the natural rights of the surrogate mother ("mother is the one who gives birth", say the majority of legislations in the world), in favour of the intended parents, the surrogate mother in these cases keeps all the rights over the minor.
In other words, she is the mother to all intents and purposes and keeps all her rights intact. Therefore, if you want it, you can prevent the child from being ours, from leaving the country, or even extort us by asking for huge sums of money. She is the mother and the authorities in her country recognise her as such. We have nothing to do in the Courts of her country if anything happens. That is why, obviously, we totally discourage taking legal action in this type of country, since there are no legal guarantees for the parents involved, and the most beautiful of the adventures can become the worst of the nightmares.
Currently, Mexico stands out among these types of countries. The clinics and agencies that saw the doors closed to foreign parents in Tabasco on January 16th, 2016, have not known how to turn to other sectors, and continue to offer Mexico as a safe destination.
They offer clinics in Cancun (state of Riobóo), where there is no surrogacy law, and where the surrogate mother retains all rights over the child, which can become a serious setback. In addition, the government of Mexico is in disagreement with this practice, and pursues this type of process, placing significant obstacles to get the children out of the country.
Finally, the clinics in Mexico, although they seem to be macro-clinics dedicated to health tourism, have pregnancy success rates 60% below the international average, and since they do not offer unlimited programmes, those programmes that seem cheap end up being very expensive because they require multiple embryo transfers (paying each time for it) and even new IVFs, to generate more embryos, in a process that has no deadline. For all these reasons, we advise against carrying out processes in Mexico.
COUNTRIES THAT HAVE A SPECIFIC LEGISLATION ON ALTRUISTIC SURROGACY
- Altruistic surrogacy: : in this type of legislation, a maximum is established for the compensation that the surrogate mother may receive, given that the law seeks to prevent the surrogate mother from enriching herself.
In certain countries, the figure ranges from zero in the previous Portuguese law (currently annulled by the Constitutional Court of the Luso country) to 20,000 Canadian dollars in Canada. Paying more to the surrogate mother carries a crime punishable by imprisonment.
- Commercial surrogacy: although we do not like this denomination, it refers to legislation that allows the surrogate mother to receive compensation based on an agreement between the parties, without setting limits.
Countries where a surrogacy process can be carried out - Heterosexual couples (Male and Female)
CANADA is a beautiful utopia. There is a law that allows surrogacy to foreigners. However, in CANADA, there is an altruistic law that places a limit on the amount that the surrogate mother can receive as compensation, which must include her medical expenses. A surrogate mother in the USA receives between 35,000 and 45,000 US dollars, and the Canadian surrogate mother knows this and requires similar amounts.
Paying the excess is a criminal offense that is paid with jail. As a law firm, we cannot suggest you to enter in such a dangerous situation. In addition, intermediation is forbidden:
“"Surrogacy is allowed as long as it is altruistic, that is to say, it is forbidden by law for the surrogate mother to receive any economic compensation, except for medical expenses that will be paid by the intended parents. Thus, the intermediation or publication of advertisements to obtain services from a surrogate mother is also forbidden (article 6 of the Assisted human reproduction Act 2004).“
Penalties for non-compliance with the law are not minor:
"offence and punishment
60 A person who violates any of Articles 5 to 7 and 9 is guilty of an offence and
(a) is liable, under condemnatory sentence, to a fine that not exceeding $500,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or both; or
(b) is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $250,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding four years, or to both.
61 A person who contravenes any provision of this Act - except any of sections 5 to 7 and 9 - or of the regulations or an order made under subsection 44 (1) is guilty of an offence, and
(a) is liable on conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding $250,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or to both; or
(b) is liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding $100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to both.
Therefore, if any company offers you an intermediary to carry out a process in CANADA, you should know that it commits an illegal act, and what is more serious, it also involves you in the same crime.
We don't understand why they offer this destination, when there are others. The law in Canada was made for Canadians that having a sister, a sister-in-law, a cousin or a friend who, for free, wants to give birth to a baby for the intended parents, can do so with legal guarantees for all parties. The law was not made for foreigners, in masse, go to that country to achieve our goal of being parents.
It is also curious that in their web pages (in a little visible area), the agencies themselves warn the following:
- Restrictive legislation (economic negotiation with the surrogate mother is not allowed).
- Very small companies, with limited response times and communication channels.
- Ambiguous attitude from Spanish consular authorities.
- Ambiguity in health coverage for babies born through surrogacy. Some hospitals have issued invoices to Spanish parents for this concept.
It is also cheerfully stated that "the child will have dual nationality: Canadian and Spanish". There is no agreement of double nationality with CANADA. (You can verify it in the following link:
Every month we receive calls from parents who started a surrogacy process in CANADA more than a year ago, either directly or through an agency. After more than a year without getting a surrogate mother, they leave.
For all these reasons, as a law firm, we must discourage CANADA as a destination to carry out our surrogacy process.
The USA has been the Mecca of surrogacy for years. With different legislations in each state, California is the state where more processes can be carried out due to its absence of restrictions.
The USA, along with Greece (this country does not allow trials for single people) and Canada, are the only countries that issue a judgement, which is subsequently recognized by the Spanish authorities.
The clinics are first level ones, and the agencies usually work quite well. However, in the USA there is no Social Security as we understand it in Europe. Medicine is private and, therefore, in a surrogacy process, if there is any medical expense, we will have to pay it. For example, if the child needs an incubator, we will have to pay between 3,000 and 5,000 US dollars a day, as an intensive surveillance unit, so we know what the starting price is, but we never know what the final price is. The USA is a country where parents with well-off economies can carry out processes, since the processes cost between 120,000 and 150,000 euros. Whoever tells you otherwise deceives you and hides expenses that will appear later, to make simply the programme that is expensive, more attractive. After all, the USA is forced to compete with countries like Russia, where it costs less the programme than half, and it is difficult to sell something that costs twice as much on the basis of prestige.
There are two main types of programmes in the USA:
- Those that are carried out entirely in the USA.
- Those that are performed in the USA, but the process of assisted reproduction (IVF) is carried out in Cancun, Mexico, moving the surrogate mother to that city, for the embryonic transfer, and then return to the USA, where the pregnancy will continue until the birth of the child, which will take place in USA. These are the programmes called "CROSSBORDER", which are cheaper than those carried out entirely in the USA. However, as we have said, the clinics in Mexico have lower success rates than the American ones, and sometimes what we have saved is volatilized on the basis of new embryo transfers and new IVFs. These programmes are tempting since their prices are lower, but you have to be aware of the problems they can entail.
Therefore, if you want to carry out the process in the USA, you must have a budget between 120,000 and 160,000 euros, for a baby, and can exceed 200,000 euros if they are two babies (because they are always born premature, because it is a twin birth, and requires incubator and medical expenses).
Although apparently there are some insurances that can cover part of these expenses, they are very expensive, and do not cover much. Consult with our advisors if you want to carry out your process in the USA.
Russia is the great unknown despite the fact that it is a country that has been carrying out surrogacy processes for more than 15 years. Russian law allows surrogacy processes to be carried out by:
- Married heterosexual couples
- Single heterosexual couples
- Single women
- (Therefore, it does not mention single men).
Surrogacy programmes in Russia take place in the city of Kaliningrad. Kaliningrad is a Russian enclave, located outside the territory of Russia, following the dismemberment of the Soviet Union. It is a modern European city.
There are programmes that include an UNLIMITED implantation of embryos, and other programmes that offer an implantation. However, even if these implants have been exhausted the surrogate mother would not have become pregnant, the programme continues, and the new transfer must be paid for.
In Russia, the child is given a birth certificate in which the two intended parents are listed as parents. However, the Spanish consular authorities do not accept this certificate, because in our country (as in France or Italy) the civil code contemplates that "mother is the one who gives birth" and, therefore, the surrogate mother is considered the mother of the child. However, since the biological father is the intended father, the child is registered on behalf his name, and the surrogate mother, according to Russian legislation, renounces the child. The child then travels to his or her country of origin as a citizen of that country (Spain, Italy, France, etc.), and, subsequently, the intended mother must adopt the child. The counseling service for the adoption process (which does not require a lawyer or procurator, and which is set up before the family court of your city), is included in our services.
Russia allows programmes for single mothers and couples who cannot provide their own genetic material. However, this type of programme clashes with the legislation in the countries of origin, so if this is your situation, we advise you to speak with one of our family advisors, who will inform you about the procedure to follow in these cases.
GREECE allows foreign citizens to carry out surrogacy processes since the second semester of 2015. In Greece, surrogacy has been carried out since 2004, but only for residents of the country.
GREECE offers the advantage of obtaining a judgement which, together with the birth certificate, both documents with the intended parents’ details, allow the registration of the child. Some agencies, mainly those that promote the USA as a destination, have seen in Greece a dangerous competitor, and are dedicated to discredit this destination, as the only way to safeguard their interests. The British consulate in Athens has guaranteed the registration of children born in Greece by surrogacy, with a court ruling of an EEC country. In addition, Greece is within the Schengen area, so we do not have to cross borders with the baby.
In GREECE, it is necessary to prove that it is impossible to gestate, or that there is a serious risk to the health of the mother, which discourages gestation. Likewise, the intended mother must not be more than 50 years old (at the time of the trial).
In GREECE there are programmes with an embryo transfer, but if the surrogate mother does not become pregnant after the transfer, the programme will continue paying for the next embryo transfer.
The shortage of surrogate mothers (as happens in the USA), and in order to comply with the legal limits established by the Greek law, which prevents the payment of huge amounts to surrogate mothers, as is the case in the USA, GESTLIFE carries out its processes with surrogate mothers from Russia, controlled by the Russian subsidiary. In this way, the legal requirement is met, without artificially triggering the price of the programme. GESTLIFE takes care of the whole process, with the same guarantees, so that the origin of the surrogate mother is irrelevant.
UKRAINE is one of the countries in the European continent where more children are born due to surrogacy. However, in the last two years, situations of precariousness were detected in the surrogate mothers of some clinics, and GESTLIFE decided to create its own programmes with prestigious clinics, and ensuring the care of surrogate mothers and the respect for the code of ethics.
It is not a matter of carryng out a surrogacy process at the expense of the exploitation of a woman, which is going to give us what we most desire in our lives. The saturation of processes (a clinic cannot become a "children's factory") as well as the lack of control over surrogate mothers led us to the creation of our own programmes, which today are the ones that offer the maximum number of guarantees and services.
In the surrogacy process in Ukraine, it is necessary to justify the impossibility of gestation, or the risk to the health of the mother, who advises not to gestate. It is also a reason for being able to carry out a surrogacy process having carried out 4 in vitro fertilization processes without success.
The processes in Ukraine with our company are usually at a fixed price, as you can see, unlike those of the other agencies, it includes practically all the eventualities that may occur, and that would affect the cost of the programme.