Legal Surrogacy Countries You Should Know About

When people are unable to conceive a child of their own, they turn to surrogacy. Surrogacy is a wonderful option for families looking to expand. They work with a mother who agrees to carry a baby to term for them. Once the baby is born, the new family adopts them. Surrogacy is both medically and legally complicated. As a result, some countries are legal surrogacy countries, and others do not allow surrogacy. 

Understanding which are the legal surrogacy countries and which do not allow surrogacy or international surrogacy can help you better explore your family planning options. 

Countries Where Surrogacy Is Very Complicated Or Banned

There are two kinds of surrogacy. The first is commercial, where a family pays a surrogate, and the second is altruistic, where a surrogate chooses to support the family without pay. These are some of the countries where surrogacy is heavily restricted or banned: 

  • China: Commercial surrogacy is illegal, and the legal landscape around altruistic surrogacy is ambiguous and generally restrictive.
  • France: All forms of surrogacy, whether commercial or altruistic, are illegal.
  • Germany: Surrogacy is banned, and any legal contracts regarding surrogacy are considered unenforceable.
  • Italy: Both altruistic and commercial surrogacy are prohibited, with potential legal consequences for those involved.
  • Portugal: Surrogacy is only allowed in particular circumstances, is heavily regulated, and is generally not available to foreign intended parents.
  • Spain: Surrogacy agreements are not recognized under Spanish law, effectively making it illegal.
  • Sweden: While there is no explicit law banning surrogacy, there are no legal mechanisms in place to enforce surrogacy contracts, making the process practically impossible.
  • Switzerland: Both altruistic and commercial surrogacy are banned.

In these countries, surrogacy can be very complicated, if allowed at all. In many cases, these families will turn to international surrogacy for support. 

Top Legal Surrogacy Countries

International surrogacy is an option where families can go to legal surrogacy countries that have more favorable surrogacy laws for support. For those wondering where surrogacy is legal in Europe, here are some options:

European Countries That Permit Altruistic Surrogacies:

  • Belgium: Allows altruistic surrogacy where surrogates receive support only for living and medical expenses.
  • Denmark: Supports altruistic surrogacy, emphasizing the compassionate and non-commercial nature of the arrangement.
  • United Kingdom: Permits altruistic surrogacy, providing surrogates with reimbursement for necessary expenses without profit.
  • Hungary: Recognizes altruistic surrogacy, where surrogates are compensated only for their direct expenses during pregnancy.

European Countries That Permit Compensated Surrogacies:

  • Russia: Russia offers compensated surrogacy, legally acknowledging financial compensation for surrogacy beyond basic expenses.
  • Georgia: Georgia has legal provisions that not only allow compensated surrogacy but also protect the rights of intended parents extensively.
  • Ukraine: Supports compensated surrogacy with clear laws that ensure surrogates are well compensated while safeguarding parental rights.
  • Estonia: Permits compensated surrogacy, providing legal frameworks that benefit both surrogates and intended parents.

Countries Outside Of Europe To Consider

  • Mexico: Mexico allows altruistic and compensated surrogacy in certain states.
  • Colombia: In Colombia, the law permits altruistic and compensated surrogacy.

All of these legal surrogacy countries are excellent options to explore when expanding your family. 

How To Work With A Surrogate In Legal Surrogacy Countries

Working with a surrogate in legal surrogacy countries can be a challenge if you are from a different country. In that case, your best option is to hire a reputable surrogacy agency experienced in international surrogacy cases. The agency should have a strong track record and be able to navigate the complexities of surrogacy laws and medical procedures in the country. They’ll take you through the process, step by step:

1.Surrogate Matching: The agency will match you with a surrogate. The agency does extensive psychological screening, medical testing, and therapy to ensure that the surrogate’s goals and expectations align with yours. Compatibility is essential for a smooth surrogacy journey.

2.Draft And Sign Legal Agreements: Draft and sign a comprehensive surrogacy agreement that outlines all aspects of the arrangement, including the surrogate’s compensation (if allowed), health care, legal rights, and responsibilities of all parties. Family legal counsel should be involved so the contract complies with all relevant local laws and protects everyone involved.

3.Begin Medical Procedures: Once legal agreements are in place, the medical process begins. Medical procedures include fertility treatments for the surrogate, such as IVF, to facilitate embryo transfer. An agency will make sure all medical procedures are performed at accredited facilities by qualified medical professionals.

4.Establishing Legal Parentage: Once the baby is born, steps need to be taken to establish the intended parents’ legal rights. Depending on the country’s laws, this may involve court orders or administrative processes.

5.Bring The Baby Home: The intended parents must arrange for the baby’s legal documents, such as a passport and possibly a visa. This step often involves navigating complex bureaucratic procedures.

After the surrogacy journey concludes, follow-up appointments and legal checks on all post-birth legalities, including any agreements regarding the surrogate’s postnatal care.