What is surrogacy? How does it work? In which country is it legal? Watch the webinar recording and find out the answers to these questions. Surrogacy in Ukraine: options, legal aspects, documents – how to start? – this webinar is presented by Kateryna Sokolovska – a medical coordinator of the surrogacy programme at Intersono IVF Clinic in Ukraine. Sokolovska assists intended parents throughout their surrogacy journey and provides them with the most comprehensive and up-to-date information on the progress of their programme. Kateryna also works with surrogate mothers starting from their examinations, through stimulation and throughout the pregnancy process.
Surrogacy is often thought of as a controversial way for couples to conceive and for a baby to be carried to birth. It is an assisted reproduction method which is not legally recognised throughout the world and due to the differing legalities worldwide, one which can be complex and worrying. Concerns are often voiced over the legitimacy of the intended mother and whose name appears on the birth certificate, as well as nationality issues that may arise if treatment is conducted overseas.
Surrogacy – legal aspects – step by step
In this webinar, Kateryna Sokolovska, medical coordinator of the surrogacy programme at the Intersono IVF clinic in Lviv, Ukraine discusses surrogacy legislation within the country, details the country’s legal obligations and explainsthe process of conceiving with the help of a surrogate mother.
Surrogacy in Ukraine is legal. It is regulated by both the Ministry of Health and the Ukrainian family court, enabling it to be a world recognised centre for this type of treatment.
It is one of only a few countries where the rights of the intended parents are protected by state legislation, meaning the gestational carrier has no legal rights to the child during pregnancy or after the birth. The only names listed on the birth certificate alongside the child are of the intended parents; the gestational carrier is not mentioned on this documentation. As per Ukrainian family law, the intended parents are absolutely considered the only lawful parents of the child.
Individual country laws, pertaining to all forms of assisted conception overseas, can differ. There is no standardised European or worldwide legislation. However, clinics are legally required to adhere to the specific rules of the country they are operating in. When seeking treatment abroad it is important to understand that legalities do vary.
Under Ukrainian legislation, surrogacy is allowed for international patients who are heterosexual, legally married and have a legitimate medical reason for requiring conception using a gestational carrier.
Before treatment can begin, intended parents must provide their wedding certificate plus a doctor’s letter which confirms and outlines the diagnosis and need for surrogacy. Kateryna Sokolovska advises that numerous unsuccessful IVF attempts are accepted as a valid cause, in Ukraine.
For patients deciding to embark upon the surrogacy route with Intersono clinic, every client is supported by a surrogacy coordinator, who is on hand to help with all aspects of the treatment, pregnancy, birth, and paperwork. The clinic currently has 120 gestational carriers, on their database, who are healthy women between the ages of 18-36, have been fully screened and have at least one healthy child of their own. All potential carriers have a complete understanding of their role and responsibilities and, just as clients are provided with an assistant to help them through the process, a personal coordinator is also assigned to every surrogate. The clinic ensures the scheduling and attending of all necessary appointments and keeps the intended parents up to date with scan photos, videos and medical reports. Letters to, Skype calls and / or in-person meetings, between the parents and the surrogate, are also encouraged and arranged.
Intersono clinic has performed 523 surrogacy cycles resulting in 372 children; the first turned 11 in May 2018. The clinic believes in a personal approach to treatment and offers four main surrogacy programmes including fresh or frozen embryo transfers, fertilised from either the female’s own oocytes or from donor eggs. When looking at the cost implications, Miss Sokolovska advises that intended parents pay around 50-70% less than patients undergoing this same treatment in the US, Canada or Australia. Ukraine also places no limitations on how many attempts a couple and surrogate can undergo in order to achieve a pregnancy.
When it comes to the birth, the surrogate and baby are required to stay in hospital for three days, following a natural birth, and six to seven days, after a C-Section. The baby is placed into the neonatology ward and the parents are free to visit their child.
One of the major concerns, couples have when using a surrogate, are the legalities surrounding the parental rights and nationality of their child. As previously mentioned, in Ukraine, gestational carriers are not listed on the birth certificate, however, the document is Ukrainian and therefore additional paperwork is required to prepare the child for going home. Intersono IVF clinic provides the necessary legal consultation, translation, and support. Their teams prepare all the documentation needed for the baby to travel and be naturalised, as a new citizen, in the parents’ country of residence. The healthy and safe arrival, of a miracle child, is always wonderful, however, Intersono clinic also recognizes just how important it is that the family is able to complete all the administration in a stress-free way, return home easily and settle down into their new life together.
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