Surrogacy Around The World
Where is surrogacy allowed? Am I allowed to pay the surrogate mother in this country? These are just a couple of the questions that baffle people deciding to consider surrogacy for the first time.
It's easy to see why it causes confusion, as the laws on surrogacy are different in each country. We've decided to make things simpler for you by looking at where surrogacy is or isn't
legal, and what the rules are on paying for a surrogate.
Where is surrogacy legal?
In the UK, Ireland, Denmark and Belgium, altruistic surrogacy is legal, but commercial surrogacy is not. This means that it is illegal to pay the surrogate mother anything more than expenses.
Countries where surrogacy, both altruistic and commercial, is legal include some US states, Russia, Ukraine, India, Thailand, Nepal, Mexico, Poland and Georgia
Is surrogacy prohibited in certain countries?
If you've decided to use a surrogate abroad, it's important to know that certain countries have made surrogacy illegal. France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Bulgaria all prohibit surrogacy, so if you're looking abroad you can rule these out straight away.
Some countries that prohibit surrogacy have even made it illegal for you to get help from a commercial surrogate from another country. This is the case in certain states in Australia.
How much will it cost?
In the UK, where it is only legal to pay reasonable expenses, the costs of this are often estimated at around £15,000. This is to include things like paying for IVF and travel.
In countries where payment above expenses is legal, international surrogacy group, Families Through Surrogacy
, have estimated the variety of costs between countries. Here are a few:
- US - $100,000
- Thailand - $52,000
- India - $47,350
- Poland - $46,650
- Greek Islands - $41,000
Will it be harder to find a surrogate in the UK as surrogates are only paid expenses?
A fertility expert at Sheffield University, Professor Allen Pacey, told the Observer that; "Surrogacy is legal in the UK, but we suffer from a chronic shortage of women willing to do it. So I think it's inevitable that women who need it will look elsewhere."Surrogacy UK
, a non for profit organisation helps build friendships and links between intended parents and surrogate mothers. They explain that they speak to potential surrogates and make them aware of the law and what they can expect in expenses, they say that "at Surrogacy UK, the motivation is not money."
Many of the surrogates already have children of their own, and they volunteer to be a surrogate because they want couples that can't conceive to have this too.
People may well be going abroad because it's harder to find a surrogate in a country where it is illegal to offer finances above only expenses
. Professor Pacey said that as well as a shortage of willing surrogates, "increasing opportunities to travel and the lower cost, combined with easily accessible information over the internet"
are also contributing factors to couples looking outside the UK.
Seeking Legal Support
The law on Surrogacy is extremely complex in England and wales and it is important that you seek advice in the early stages of any decision to use a surrogate.
Getting help from a solicitor
is one way of making sure you're clued up on the legal processes and formalities. We always advise that it's best to get legal support early on
, as we can help you fully understand your legal rights
.We'll make sure you're fully informed on issues including your current legal status, obtaining legal parenthood further on down the line, and also on any immigration issues if you've used a surrogate from a different country.