UKRAINIAN SURROGACY LAW
Surrogacy in Ukraine is legal and regulated. Contracts between the surrogate and intended parents are legally binding and enforceable at the highest federal level. To date, there has not been a single reported case of custody dispute arising from the validity of a surrogacy agreement. Unlike many other European countries that ban or are limited to altruistic surrogacy, Ukraine has been far more progressive in their legislation.
In Ukraine, intended parents can designate a surrogate, egg or sperm donor, embryo adoption programs or any combination, without prior consent from any regulatory body. Written and informed consent of all parties is all that is required to participate in a surrogacy program. Moreover, intended parents are considered biological parents from the moment of conception and the surrogate does not have any legal rights to the baby after birth. The surrogate cannot keep the child after birth. Even if a donor was used and there is no biological relation amid the child and intended parents, their names remain on the birth certificate.
Once the baby is born, the birth certificate is issued with the names of the intended parents and without any mention of the surrogate. Ukrainian surrogacy laws are regulated by Article 123 of The Ukrainian Family Code (amended December 22, 2006, No. 524-V) This article essentially establishes the parental relationship in cases of assisted reproduction. Under the article, “if an ovum conceived by a married couple is implanted to another woman, the married couple shall be the parents of the child.” At present, as per definition of a “married couple” under Ukrainian law, is limited to only heterosexual marriages. Same-sex marriages are not yet legally recognized by law in Ukraine.
Surrogacy in Ukraine is also regulated by Order number 787 (issued on September 9, 2013) of the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine about the implementation of artificial reproductive technologies in Ukraine, which deals with the medical procedure of artificial insemination and embryo implantation. This order requires that artificial insemination must be carried out only in specially accredited medical institutions in accordance with the methods approved by the Ministry of Health Care of Ukraine. There are strict guidelines which must be adhered to which include: the details of the medical procedure, the results of medical examination of the future surrogate mother and medical and legal aspects of the consequences, etc. Written informed consent of intended and surrogate parents participating in the program is mandatory.
Order 24 of the Health Ministry of Ukraine further regulates and protects the surrogate to ensure a healthy overall process. Under the guidelines of Order 24, the surrogates must meet the following:
- By the law, the surrogate must be older than 18 years with no age limit and is determined based on the status of her health. The recommended age by the ministry of healthcare is from 18 to 36 years old.
- She must be a natural mother of at least one child.
- She must be mentally and physically capable of becoming a surrogate mother.
- The surrogate may have no relation to the commissioning parents
- Her marital status is irrelevant.
- A legal surrogacy agreement must be signed between the intended parents and the surrogate.
Once the baby is born, the new parents must apply for citizenship and travel visas to return home with their newborn babies. For countries like the United States, UK, and Australia, this is quite an easy process. However, some countries such as France and Italy have very unfriendly surrogacy laws and have refused to issue citizenship to surrogacy babies. We recommend that all couples who are considering surrogacy in Ukraine check with a local Family Law expert to see their own country’s process for bringing their baby home.
WHAT DOCUMENTS YOU NEED TO GET STARTED:
- Notarized Passport of Intended Father
- Notarized Passport of Intended Mother
- Marriage certificate of the Intended Parents, with Apostille (or Consul legalization in some countries).
- Letter of Medical Necessity from your doctor. The Ukrainian law allows surrogacy only if the intended mother is unable to successfully carry a pregnancy herself. This letter satisfies this requirement of the Ukrainian bureaucracy for surrogacy. Your doctor should state in the letter that surrogacy is needed due to one of the following reasons:
- Because of multiple failed IVF attempts (at least 4 attempts), surrogacy is now recommended to achieve a successful pregnancy.
- Infertility issue such as an absence or deformation of the uterus or cervix, or non-receptivity of the endometrium.
- Because of a specific health issue, a natural pregnancy would be impossible or would put the mother’s health at risk. In this case, the letter should cite the specific medical condition. Your doctor only needs to state one of these reasons in the letter. Your doctor should also send any medical records to support your claim for medical necessity and that among the various medical treatment options available, surrogacy is the best option. All surrogacy cases are reviewed by the Ukrainian authorities to ensure that the requirements are met.