Tourist? Medical tourist!
Lastly medical tourism became so popular and important direction of tourism, that almost all countries of modern Europe are trying to get into this interesting niche and suggest the best they can in the field of medical services. Stem cells therapies, organ transplantation, cancer treatment, IVF treatment, plastic surgery and even dentistry are fighting for international clients nowadays. And it is quite understandable, because first of all, not all this practices are allowed in the country of the patient’s origin and secondly, the difference in price for treatment and medications can be perceivable. All this makes such trips abroad for treatment very attractive for international patients from both economical and medical point of view. Such trips are frequently associated by patients with their last hope to succeed in their treatment.
We, as a company, that works with International patients with infertility, want to share our experience about the level of the medical services, provided in few popular destinations for IVF treatment and surrogacy.
All information in this article should be considered as our personal opinion, based on our own experience and cannot be taken by anybody as the absolute truth. But we really believe that for somebody who is searching for the best options of treatment this knowledge could be quite helpful.
Today we are going to talk about Georgia, one of the most popular destinations for IVF and surrogacy in Europe.
Surrogacy in Georgia
Location for European tourists: 7 from 10
IVF and Surrogacy: allowed commercial
Egg Donors: allowed, not anonymous
Requirements for couples for Surrogacy: heterosexual couples, not necessary in legal marriage
Transparency of the clinic’s work: 5 from 10
Medical facilities and technology available: 7 from 10
Maternity houses and NICU departments: 7 from 10
Maternal mortality rate: 36 deaths per 100,000 live births
Children’s mortality rate (infants under-5): 9.8 per 1000 live births
Corruption level: Low
Epidemiological situation in the country: Bad
Georgia is one of the most promoted IVF and Surrogacy destinations for international tourists along with Ukraine and Russia. There is a huge amount of infertility clinics here, that are ready to offer you not only IVF treatment, but frequently even surrogacy programs under one roof, working in the same fashion as agencies.
Even though Georgia is geographically situated outside Europe, the policy of the government, as well as mentality of people, is oriented to the European standards and values of the EU. European patients coming to Georgia for treatment would be surprised seeing here flags of European Union almost everywhere.
Georgia is widely opened for international couples (not necessary married), who want to undergo IVF treatment or use services of the surrogate mother overseas. There are always medical requirements for surrogacy, however, clinics in Georgia are quite flexible.
Commercial surrogacy and egg/sperm donation
For example, age of woman after 45 is already considered here as a reason to have a surrogate mother. Furthermore, commercial surrogacy is totally legal here and surrogate mother has no parental rights over the babies born via surrogacy, so the Intended parents will be written in the birth certificate of the baby from the very beginning, without any mentioning about surrogacy.
Egg/sperm donation is also allowed here. This is the only one country that allows non anonymous donation, so you can even meet your egg donor in person. Moreover, donors are obliged to sign a notarized contract with the Intended Parents prior to any medical treatment, so you can be sure that it is really the donor you have chosen will donate you their reproductive cells.
Citizenship of the baby
The infertility clinics will not check the genetic link of the baby to his/hers Intended Parents. Although, we recommend you to ask about the procedure of the citizenship and passport obtaining in the Consulate of the country of your origin before having a baby via surrogacy not genetically related to you, because many countries require DNA-test (genetic link) before granting citizenship for such babies.
Nonetheless, Georgia is always ready to help and to give Georgian citizenship to babies, who couldn’t obtain citizenship in the country of origin of his/her parents. This is one of the biggest advantages in the Georgian legislation, that opens this country for patients, who usually have problems with their own Consulates, for example, Spanish citizens.
Read more about Surrogacy in Spain in our blog!
All these provisions have made Georgia very attractive for patients from all over the world, that lastly cause lack of the surrogate mothers. Indeed, Georgia is not so big country as Russia or even Ukraine, and, to tell the truth, the reproductive health of Caucasian women usually is not so good as of Slavic ones.
At some point, attending so huge amount of International couples, there appeared one big problem to find a surrogate mother, so many couples who have surrogacy programs in Georgia are recently obliged to wait for quite long time until someone ready to help appears.
The other inconveniences appeared lastly because of sudden changes in the Georgian legislation, when new rules of notarization of the Powers of attorney were introduced and all previous PoAs given prior to these changes became irrelevant.
Other indispensable condition introduced by the government was a provision about necessity to sign surrogacy contract with the donor and the surrogate mother before the fertilization is done. It means, that if the Intended parents didn´t have enough luck to succeed from the first or second attempt (the surrogate mother didn’t become pregnant after several embryo-transfers) and they need to change a surrogate mother due to any medical/social or other reason, they cannot do this, or they will be not able to register a baby later.
The same situation appears in case the couple wants to send embryos from abroad, because such embryos are created before the contract with the surrogate mother is signed. Unfortunately, in such cases according to new regulation Intended parents will need to undergo the court hearing, that lasts approximately three months after the rejection of the civil registry in Georgia to register a baby.
All these new changes became a reason why Georgia started to lose its high position on the International IVF and Surrogacy tourism market. It is evident that the Georgian government is trying to make the legal procedure for Surrogacy more difficult than it was before. Although, this destination is still very popular among many international patients.
At the same time, we would like you to pay attention to the very high level of Maternal and Children’s mortality rate in this country in comparison with other countries who offer surrogacy services. We believe that this is a very important indicator for Intended Parents who didn’t take a decision yet which country to go to.
Still have questions about Surrogacy in Georgia? Read in our blog!