Greece has had legal altruistic surrogacy since 2002, regulated by Article 1458 of the Greek Civil Code and Law 3305/2005 – Enforcement of Medically Assisted Reproduction.

Although the law provides that surrogacy is to be altruistic it expressly exempts the payment of necessary expenses for the IVF, pregnancy and delivery in addition to the restitution of damages and lost wages for any unpaid leave of absence during the pregnancy.

Since July 2014 surrogacy in Greece has become available to non-EU citizens.

Eligibility

IPs must be a married or unmarried heterosexual couple or a single woman. There is no requirement for the embryos created to have any biological link with either IP, however where donor embryos are used, this may lead to significant complications in regard to passport applications, particularly for citizens of the UK.

Egg Donors

Greek clinics can provide properly screened egg donors, although donation is anonymous under Greek law, so photos of egg donors are not available. Instead the donors physical characteristics can be specified by intended parents. You can also use your own donor if they are anonymous. Eggs/embryos/sperm are able to be shipped directly from your registered clinic to those Greek clinics with import licences.

Surrogate  Screening

Advertising for surrogates is prohibited, yet there are a handful of Greek IVF clinics (see Providers page) who have a pool of surrogates to draw from. Rigorous screening of surrogates is carried out to ensure they have their own child already and meet appropriate psychological and medical criteria. Intended Parents are not able to ‘choose’ their surrogate. Instead, as in Ukraine and Georgia, a surrogate is assigned to you. There is no wait time for surrogates from certain Greek clinics currently. UK citizens are matched with unmarried or divorced surrogates, as this makes UK citizenship a given, hence a shorter exit process.

Pre-Arrangement Court Approval

Court approval of  surrogacy arrangements is obtained  PRIOR to  embryo transfer. A handful of Greek surrogacy providers & lawyers (see Providers page) will handle this entire process for you. It takes 2-3 months. You are not always required to be present for the court proceedings. A copy of the surrogacy agreement is submitted to the court. If the surrogate is married then the consent of her husband must also be provided to the court.

The judgement of the court will state that the parties are eligible under Greek law to enter into a surrogacy arrangement and will say that any child conceived is the child of the IPs and not the surrogate. The surrogate has no capacity to change her mind once the embryo transfer has occurred.

Child’s Status

When the child is born it will take on the citizenship of the IPs according to their laws. The child is not entitled to Greek citizenship .

Surrogate Support

Surrogates live in their own accommodation. However clinics provides a nurse to monitor and care for  the surrogate from the time she first enters the program (this will be at least three months prior to embryo transfer) until at least 2 months after delivery of the child.

Processes

The step-by-step process is as follows:

  • IPs obtain medical evidence of their inability to have children (letter from doctor)
  • IPs sign an agreement with the clinic
  • IPs are offered a surrogate mother
  • Greek lawyer prepares surrogacy agreement and court documents
  • IPs travel to Greece to execute the  agreement, meet all relevant clinic staff and provide their instructions on embryo transfer
  • IPs provide gametes or embryos if applicable
  • Court application lodged & verified  after  6 – 8 weeks
  • Surrogate medical preparation commences
  • Embryo transfer takes place
  • IPs  informed of a tentative transfer date
  • At birth the judgement together with the surrogacy agreement and other documentation are presented to the hospital and civil registry for the issue of a birth certificate containing the names of the IPs as parents

Further Information

FTS Director Sam Everingham has recently returned from a study tour of Greek clinics (March 2017), so can offer IPs fresh insights into the growing capabilities, strengths and weaknesses of surrogacy in Greece. Contact him on sam@familiesthrusurrogacy.com