After a decade of managing hundreds of surrogacy journeys and egg donation processes, we have gathered the most common questions asked by our Intended Parents. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. We would be delighted to set up a meeting at your earliest convenience!
What is surrogacy? How much does it cost? How does one choose an egg donor? Can people living with HIV go through surrogacy? All these questions and more are answered in detail below!
Surrogacy is an arrangement, supported by a legal agreement, whereby a woman agrees to become pregnant, carry the pregnancy to due term, and give birth to a child or children, all of this for another person or persons, who are or will ultimately become the parent of the child or children. There is Gestational Surrogacy and Traditional Surrogacy.
Gestational Surrogacy takes place when an embryo created by in vitro fertilization (IVF) technology is implanted in to a surrogate, sometimes referred to as a gestational carrier. Gestational Surrogacy may take a number of forms, but in each form the resulting child is genetically unrelated to the surrogate:
• The embryo is created using the intended father’s sperm and the intended mother’s eggs. The resulting child is genetically related to both intended parents.
• The embryo is created using the intended father’s sperm and a donor egg where the donor is not the surrogate. The resulting child is genetically related to the intended father.
• The embryo is created using the intended mother’s egg and donor sperm. The resulting child is genetically related to the intended mother.
• A donor embryo is implanted in a surrogate. Such an embryo may be available when others undergoing IVF have embryos left over, which they donate to others. The resulting child is genetically unrelated to the intended parent(s).
Gestational surrogacy is allowed in various countries including the USA, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, UK and Greece.
Traditional Surrogacy involves natural or artificial insemination of a surrogate. If the intended father’s sperm is used in the insemination, then the resulting child is genetically related to the intended father and genetically related to the surrogate. If donor sperm is used, the resulting child is not genetically related to either intended parent but is genetically related to the surrogate.
USA – Allows surrogacy for everyone.
Colombia – Allows surrogacy for everyone.
Ukraine – Allows surrogacy for heterosexual married couples only.
Albania – Allows surrogacy for single men.
Russia – Allows surrogacy for married heterosexual couples and singles.
Greece – Allows surrogacy for heterosexual married couples or common-law couples and single women.
Canada – Allows altruistic surrogacy for everyone.
England – Allows altruistic surrogacy for British citizens only.
Georgia – Allows surrogacy for heterosexual married couples.
In Australia, all jurisdictions except the Northern Territory allow altruistic surrogacy, but commercial surrogacy is a criminal offense. The Northern Territory has no legislation governing surrogacy. In New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory it is an offence to enter into international commercial surrogacy arrangements, with potential penalties extending to imprisonment for up to one year in Australian Capital Territory, up to two years in New South Wales and up to three years in Queensland.
Altruistic surrogacy was legalized in Belgium.
The Assisted Human Reproduction Act (AHRC) permits only altruistic surrogacy: surrogate mothers may be reimbursed for approved expenses but payment of any other consideration or fee is illegal.
Altruistic surrogacy was legalized in Denmark.
Surrogacy has been illegal since law amendment in 2007. Children born abroad for Finnish parents by surrogacy will not be entitled to get Finnish Citizenship.
All surrogacy arrangements (both commercial and altruistic) are illegal. German party FDP wants to allow altruistic surrogacy.
Law 3305/2005 (“Enforcement of Medically Assisted Reproduction”) makes surrogacy in Greece fully legal. Greece is only one of a handful of countries in the world to give legal protection to intended parents. Intended parents must meet certain qualifications and will go before a family judge before entering into a surrogacy contract. As long as they meet the qualifications, the court appearance is procedural, and their application will be granted. At present, intended parents must be in a heterosexual partnership or be a single female. Females must be able to prove there is a medical indication they cannot carry and be no older than 50 at the time of the contract. As in all jurisdictions, surrogates must pass medical and psychological tests so they can prove to the court that they are medically and mentally fit. Greece is the only country in Europe, and one of only countries in the world, where the surrogate then has no rights over the child. The intended parents become the legal parents from conception, and there is no mention of the surrogate mother anywhere on hospital or birth documents. The intended parent(s) are listed as the parents. This even applies if an egg or sperm donor is used by one of the partners. As a result of the Schengen Treaty, intended parents from throughout Europe can freely travel home as soon as the baby is born and deal with citizenship issues at that time, as opposed to applying at their own embassy in Greece. Before 2014 (pursuant to art. 8 of Law 3089/2002), the surrogate mother and the commissioning parents were required to be Greek citizens or permanent residents. However, in July 2014, L. 4272/2014 extended legal surrogacy to applicants or surrogate mothers who have either permanent or temporary residence in Greece.
There is no law in Ireland governing surrogacy. In 2005 a Government appointed Commission published a comprehensive report on Assisted Human Reproduction, which made many recommendations on the broader area of assisted human reproduction. In relation to surrogacy it recommended that the commissioning couple would under Irish law be regarded as the parents of the child. Despite the publication there has been no legislation published, and the area essentially remains unregulated. Due to mounting pressure from Irish citizens going abroad to have children through surrogacy, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence published guidelines for them on 21 February 2012.
Altruistic surrogacy was legalized in the Netherlands.
Altruistic surrogacy is legal, but commercial surrogacy is not.
Gestational surrogacy is currently practiced in Nigeria by a few IVF clinics, under practice guidelines from the Association of Fertility and Reproductive Health of Nigeria. An assisted reproduction technology regulation being considered by the Senate permits surrogacy and allows payments for transport and other expenses.
In 2016, gestational surrogacy was legalized in Portugal. Discussions on the adoption of this law lasted more than 3 years. The first version of the law was adopted May 13, 2016, but the president vetoed it. He demanded that the law specify the rights and obligations of all participants. Portugal allows surrogacy only for those couples in which the woman cannot carry and give birth to a child for medical reasons. Only altruistic surrogacy is permitted. A written agreement must be issued between the surrogate mother and the genetic parents. The rights and obligations of the parties as well as their actions in cases of force majeure should be included in it. After the birth, parental rights over the child belong to the genetic parents. Traditional surrogacy (in which the surrogate is a genetic parent) is illegal in Portugal. Heterosexual and lesbian couples can become parents via surrogacy in Portugal under the 2016 law. Male homosexual couples and single men and women of any sexual orientation have not yet been included, but they are not addressed specifically. A revision to include them is on the current manifestos of the Left Bloc, People–Animals–Nature, and The Greens). The right-wing party CDS-PP and the Portuguese Communist Party are opposed.
The South Africa Children’s Act of 2005 (which came fully into force in 2010) enabled the “commissioning parents” and the surrogate to have their surrogacy agreement validated by the High Court even before fertilization. This allows the commissioning parents to be recognized as legal parents from the outset of the process and helps prevent uncertainty. If the surrogate mother is the genetic mother, however, she has until 60 days after the birth of the child to change her mind. The law permits single people and gay couples to be commissioning parents. However, only those domiciled in South Africa benefit from the protection of the law, no non-validated agreements will be enforced, and agreements must be altruistic rather than commercial. If there is only one commissioning parent, s/he must be genetically related to the child. If there are two, they must both be genetically related to the child unless that is physically impossible due to infertility or sex (as in the case of a same sex couple). The commissioning parent or parents must be physically unable to birth a child independently. The surrogate mother must have had at least one pregnancy and viable delivery and have at least one living child. The surrogate mother has the right to unilaterally terminate the pregnancy, but she must consult with and inform the commissioning parents, and if she is terminating for a non-medical reason, may be obliged to refund any medical reimbursements she had received.
The Spanish Human Assisted Reproductive Technologies Act of 2006 made surrocagy arrangements, either commercial or altruistic, null and void. Thus, the intended mother won’t be recognised as such; the woman who gives birth will be the legal mother. On the other hand, the biological father will have an action to claim his paternity, by acknowledgment or judicial claim. Despite the aforementioned, surrogacy arrangements made abroad are recognised by Spanish authorities in some circumstances. In June 2017, the political party Ciudadanos registered a bill in the Congress of the Deputies to legalise altruistic surrogacy. No other political party supports this idea.
Altruistic surrogacy remains illegal in Sweden.
Commercial surrogacy arrangements are not legal in the United Kingdom. Such arrangements were prohibited by the Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985. Whilst it is illegal in the UK to pay more than expenses for a surrogacy, the relationship is recognised under section 30 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990. Regardless of contractual or financial consideration for expenses, surrogacy arrangements are not legally enforceable, so a surrogate mother maintains the legal right of determination for the child, even if they are genetically unrelated. Unless a parental order or adoption order is made, the surrogate mother remains the legal mother of the child.
Surrogacy and its attendant legal issues fall under state jurisdiction and the legal situation for surrogacy varies greatly from state to state. Some states have written legislation, while others have developed common law regimes for dealing with surrogacy issues. Some states facilitate surrogacy and surrogacy contracts, others simply refuse to enforce them, and some penalize commercial surrogacy. Surrogacy-friendly states tend to enforce both commercial and altruistic surrogacy contracts and facilitate straightforward ways for the intended parents to be recognized as the child’s legal parents. Some relatively surrogacy-friendly states offer support only for married heterosexual couples. Generally, only gestational surrogacy is supported, and traditional surrogacy finds little to no legal support. States generally considered to be surrogacy friendly include California, Oregon, Illinois, Arkansas, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey (effective from 1/1/2019) and Washington State (eff. 1/1/2019). For legal purposes, key factors are where the contract is completed, where the surrogate mother resides, and where the birth takes place. Therefore, individuals living in a non-friendly state can still benefit from the policies of surrogacy friendly states by working with a surrogate who lives and will give birth in a friendly state.
Surrogacy costs vary depending on the country and where the journey is taking place. In general, the cost for a surrogacy journey starts at US$46,000 in Ukraine and can cost up to US$125,000 in the USA. However, IP’s must take into account the additional costs such as travel, accommodation, legal services, insurance for the surrogate in the USA and more.
The First step will be to sign an agreement with Tammuz. Then you will be required to start your medical preparations which will include a full blood analysis and genetic tests. You will then be required to choose an egg donor and then you will be matched with a surrogate.
HIV+ IP’s can pursue a surrogacy journey in the USA and Colombia. The IP’s sperm must be ‘washed’ at the Western Fertility Institute, our clinic in LA or in our partner clinic in Bogotá. Sperm washing allows sperm to be removed from the fluids that contain the virus. No known cases of transmission of the virus after sperm washing have been noted.
Sure, single men can do surrogacy in the USA and Colombia. Single women can go through the process in the USA.
Sure! Tammuz has changed the way gay men build their families, and over the past decade hundreds of gay men have fulfilled their dream of having a baby via surrogacy. Gay men can do surrogacy in the USA and Colombia.
Egg donation is anonymous, however most of Tammuz’s South-African donors will agree to a meeting via Skype. Your donor coordinator will arrange this for you. In most cases however, the Ukrainian/Russian/Asian donors remain anonymous and will not be available for a meeting.
Most of the plans we offer at Tammuz involve the IP’s meeting their surrogate. In the USA you are advised to maintain regular contact throughout your journey. In Ukraine and Colombia, you will meet the surrogate once you visit the clinic and sign the agreement with her and also for the birth.
All of our surrogates undergo a lengthy and rigorous screening process before being accepted in to the program and they must have had at least one healthy baby derived from a successful pregnancy. Blood and gynaecological tests are required for all plans, and psychological evaluations and criminal background checks are required for all plans in the USA.
All of our egg donors are screened for the following:
– Anti Mullerian hormone test (AMH)
– BCE Full Blood Count + Platelets + ESR GROUP
– Blood Group + RH
– HEPBSAG Hep. B Ag HEPC Hep. C
– HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) antibodies routine screen) – HIV test
– HB Haemoglobin – Blood cells count and haemoglobin test
– PROL Prolactin – Prolactin test, which measures the level of hormone prolactin secreted by the Pituitary glands
– CHLAG Chlamydia (STD)
– CMV CMV (IgG + IgM)
– HSV Herpes Simplex Ab (I&II) – Blood tests to be done to detect the presence of Chlamydia, Herpes and Cytomegaly viruses
– FRAGILE X Genetic Test
– Karyotyping Genetic Test
A formal psychological report will be provided by the psychologist who screens your egg donor.
Approximately 15- 18 months.
Waiting times for a surrogate vary from country to country and also from plan to plan.
USA- the waiting time is between 1-5 months
Ukraine- the waiting time is approximately 3 months
The Guarantee Plans were designed to give IP’s as much financial assurance as possible. The various Guarantee Plans will offer you an unlimited number off egg donations, surrogate matches, and legal services in the country where the surrogacy process is taking place. However, not all plans are all inclusive. For more information please see the various plans we offer.
You are now just a short step away from the most important journey of your lives. You have spent countless hours researching the surrogacy process, consulted with industry professionals and saved money. Now we’d like to share with you the guiding principles of Tammuz Family and the reasons why we are now one of the leading surrogacy companies in the world.
You are the focus: Tammuz Family fully supports IP’s and provides them with the best and most professional and personal services possible.
Affordable Cost: We offer the safest and most professional plans at the lowest cost.
Readily available surrogates: Tammuz has excellent surrogates who are readily available. All surrogates undergo strict medical and psychological screening. In addition, it is a requirement that all surrogates must have had at least 1 successful pregnancy and birth.
Everything in One Place: Our ONE-STOP-SHOP approach allows you the IP, to feel more secure and less stressed knowing that we coordinate everything for you including matching you with a surrogate, creating embryos, carrying out all medical procedures and providing legal support and insurance consulting.
Experience: Since 2008, over 1300 babies have been born under the expert guidance of the Tammuz Family team.
Community: Tammuz is no longer just an agency. In the last decade we have built a community and are proud to maintain contact with our IP’s, their babies and their families.
Values: Since its inception, Tammuz Family has worked hard to promote equality and make surrogacy accessible for everyone. Our team have been instrumental in bringing about changes in legislation and we will continue the fight until equality is achieved for each and every IP that signs with Tammuz.
Service and support: We provide 24/7 around the clock services for our IP’s.