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 want to talk about Greece.
Surrogacy in Greece
Location for European tourists: 10 from 10
IVF and Surrogacy: allowed
Egg Donors: allowed/anonymous, altruistic donors
Requirements for couples for Surrogacy: married or unmarried heterosexual couples, single women (in both cases woman should not be more than 50 y.o.), possible only altruistic surrogacy, agreement needs pre-approval in the Court
Transparency of the clinic’s work: 10 from 10
Medical facilities and technology available: 10 from 10
Maternity houses and NICU departments: 10 from 10
Maternal mortality rate: 3 deaths per 100,000 live births
Children’s mortality rate (infants under-5): 4.5 per 1000 live births
Corruption level: Low
Epidemiological situation in the country: Good
Greece is one of the most popular tourists’ destinations in the world and is widely known not only as a resort, but also as a competitive location for IVF treatment and surrogacy in Europe. Surrogacy is allowed here from 2002 for local citizens and from 2014 – for foreigners, that have made Greece very attractive for EU-citizens, who has ability to travel home with their babies immediately after their surrogacy program is finished.
Please, be aware that surrogacy is allowed only to applicants or surrogate mothers who have their permanent residence in Greece.
Who can apply for surrogacy in Greece?
Surrogacy services are available here for both married and not married heterosexual couples and single women under 50 y.o. All agreements should be altruistic and get approval in the Court before any embryo-transfer is done to the Surrogate mother´s body. Such court hearing should be initiated by the Intended Mother, as such services as surrogacy could be given only from one woman to another. The trial usually takes here up to 8 months.
Despite the altruistic character of surrogacy agreements, the Surrogate mother is entitled to receive compensation for her travelling expenditures, medicines and work losses during pregnancy that in total should not exceed 10.000 euros.
There is a possibility to use egg/sperm donor’s cells for Infertility treatment here, as well as embryo-donation, because Greek legislation does not require genetic link to the Intended Parents. All these services also should be altruistic. Neither the surrogate mother, nor the egg donor have parental rights over the babies born via surrogacy.
Is adoption needed?
Intended Parents appear in all legal documents as parents of the babies born via surrogacy from the very beginning, because their parental rights are already recognized by Greek Court decision, that approved surrogacy agreement. So no need to undergo adoption or any other procedure in the end of the surrogacy program. Be aware, that according to Greek legislation babies are entitled to get Greek citizenship only if one the parents (in our case intended mother or intended father) is Greek.
Therefore it is necessary to be sure that the country of your origin will recognize such babies as its citizens before the surrogacy process starts, especially if you are going to use donation services.
No need to emphasize that the high quality of medical services in Greek clinics thanks to strict European standards. At the same time, having the most liberal legislation about assisted reproductive technologies and surrogacy, Greek clinics have not very high prices for treatment comparable with other European countries.
On the other side, any intermediary activity is surrogacy field (such as agencies or recruiters of surrogate mothers), as well as advertising of surrogacy is prohibited in Greece and can cause criminal sanctions for participants from 1.500 euro fine to 2 years of imprisonment. This can cause some difficulties in the surrogacy journey of the Intended Parents, as according to Greek legislation they will need to find and to attend their surrogate mother by themselves.
Still don’t know how to choose country for your surrogacy program? Read in our blog!