Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions on surrogacy. We’d like to thank ROJURCONSULTING law agency for the quick and detailed answers they have given to us.
How important is it to conclude a contract with a surrogate mother? Should it be notarized?
Basically, this contract is the most important document you sign with the surrogate mother before implementing a surrogacy programme, that is why it is desirable that you should consult qualified legal counsellors for them to draw it up correctly. This document stipulates the rights and liabilities of the biological parents as well as these of the surrogate mother and the order of surrogacy programme stages and payment details. You should also know that this document cannot oblige the surrogate mother to sign a consent for putting your names on the birth registrar, as it is stipulated by law, or to ‘give you the baby’, yet, it regulates the privities (reimbursements, money compensations etc.). Law does not require that such a document should be obligatory notarized.
Everything’s fine, if not for the cost
We are aware of the fact that for the past few years there have been the so-called ‘grey mediators’ on the market. What they do is actually offering the same services but for a reasonable (at first sight) price. Only these people can account for the quality of services you’ll be provided with when the programme is interrupted or implemented. As for us, the prices for our services are absolutely realistic and accounted for by a high prime cost of surrogacy programmes and a high quality of services we provide. We never accommodate a few surrogate mothers in uncomfortable flatlets, we never buy them tickets in unheated second-class sleeping carriages to save ‘a bit of money’, and we never join in any conspiracies with doctors to hire surrogate mothers who are not healthy enough or unable to carry babies.
We never let our surrogate mothers go to clinics by the underground. We always assign a company employee for the surrogate mothers who would take care of them and check whether the information and all the data they provide us with is reliable or not. They also see they follow the doctors’ prescriptions and keep the regime during pregnancy. We never allow alcohol and tobacco addicted, neurotic and hysteric women to become surrogate mothers. And we never change the sum of the deal upon the confirmation of pregnancy ‘due to unexpected circumstances in the surrogate mother’s life’. Basically, that is why the amount of money we charge for our services is comparatively high.
I would like to have a child but I do not want to have a sexual intercourse with the woman who’ll carry the baby for me. What shall I do?
It is not necessary to have a sexual intercourse with a woman to conceive a baby. A baby can also be conceived by artificial insemination. You leave two sperm samples in a specialized medical centre, after which insemination is carried out (usually, it is carried out in two stages). This medical procedure is as physiological as it could ever be and unlike IVF (in vitro fertilization) or even natural conception it gives better chance for success. The cost of this procedure varies from one clinic to another. Our company can help you arrange all legal aspects of the programme.
How will the legal relationship between me and the surrogate mother be stipulated?
After we have signed the contract with you, and you have selected the surrogate mother, we will draw up a most detailed agreement between you and the surrogate mother within three working days. This agreement is drawn up individually and depends on your particular case. Notarization is optional, not obligatory. Such a document allows settling all the matters that might arise during pregnancy and upon delivery in due time and beforehand. If you are unmarried, you will have to establish paternity upon the delivery as well as draw up a special agreement stipulating the order of paternity rights reassignment (according to the Family Code of the Russian Federation).
We are planning to have a baby carried by a surrogate mom. We are thinking of turning to your company to do it. Could you tell us a bit more about the services you provide?
Our company is the first law company in Russia and Europe that has been dealing for more than six years with legal surrogacy matters and arranging personalized surrogacy and reproductive programmes. We can offer you various kits of options as well as separate services upon the baby’s delivery. We’d be happy to work out a special personal set of services for you, basing upon your wishes and family budget you could allocate for implementing this programme. Our special kits include not only the selection of an appropriate surrogate mother among all the candidates but also the full coordination of the whole process – starting from your approval of the candidate we’ve selected for you up to obtaining of the Birth Certificate for your baby.
You will select a surrogate mother among all the candidates possible (all the candidates have already gone through a full medical examination in accordance with Order 67 of the Ministry of Health of the Russian federation and met the demands of the clinic you’ve chosen), arrive at the medical centre to do the medical part of your programme, and obtain the Birth Certificate for your baby in 9 months. We are in charge of all the other aspects of the programme.
I’m gay and I’d like to have a child. Can I make it?
Your sexual orientation is of no importance here. We can assure you – gays’ children do not differ from heterosexual couples’ children. You will have to go through a medical examination (preferably, at one of the clinics that we recommend) and then select the mother for your future child. We assume the responsibility for all other aspects of the programme up to establishing paternity and obtaining the Birth Certificate.
Is it legal at least?
Russia is one of the few lucky countries where surrogacy is allowed by law. The legal aspects of surrogacy are stipulated by the Family Code of the Russian Federation and the Russian Law on the Population Healthcare. The medical aspect of surrogacy is spelt out in Order 67 issued by the Russian Ministry of Healthcare.
The Russian Law of Civil Healthcare of June 22,1993 #5487-1, Article 35 Artificial insemination and implantation of embryos states the following: ‘Every major woman of fertile age is entitled to the right of artificial insemination and implantation of an embryo. A woman can be artificially inseminated and have an embryo implanted in licensed medical centres upon the written consent of the spouses (of a single woman). All the information concerning the artificial insemination and embryo implantation, as well as the donor’s personal data constitute a medical secret’.
After the delivery of the baby the surrogate mother, according to Paragraph 4, Article 51 of the Family Code of the Russian Federation and Paragraph 5, Article 16 of the Federal Law of the Russian Federation ‘Civil Acts’, gives her consent for putting the biological parents’ names onto the birth registrar. By doing this, the surrogate mother reassigns her rights to the baby to the biological parents and thus cannot claim her rights anymore.
I would like to talk to some of your previous clients. Could I have their phone number or e-mail, please?
Unfortunately, we can’t give them to you. Like any other reliable legal company, we keep all the data confidential and we never disclose our clients’ and surrogate mothers’ personal information.
I’m a famous person, news-maker. Can you guarantee confidentiality in my case?
We are proud that we have credit of many famous people in Russia and citizens of other countries (we have even titled people among our clients). Only the client’s managers have access to this particular client’s personal data. We never give the surrogate mother any information about you. All files and documents containing your personal data are deleted upon the implementation of the programme.
Is your business really legal? I mean, I once came to Moscow to sign a contract with ‘reliable’ lawyers, and what I had to do was to make a money transaction to a ‘covert’ company’s account or pay in cash.
Before signing a contract with our company, our lawyers guide you through the regulations of our company and all the necessary documents, including the license of our company, copies of the Central Revenue Office registration papers will be attached to the contract. We receive only banking transactions, we never accept payments in cash. If a company asks you to pay in cash or to make a money transaction to the account of a ‘covert’ company, you should be very careful when dealing with this agency.
Can any woman hire a surrogate mother?
For a married couple to implement a surrogacy programme, the woman has to have one of the following problems:
Absence of uterus (acquired or innate);
Incurable uterus synechia;
Somatic diseases that could impede pregnancy;
Numerous IVF failures.
However, one can’t unify all the cases, your particular situation will be treated personally and the decision of whether a woman can hire a surrogate mother or not is up to the doctor.
My wife and I have been married for 7 years already. We would very much like to have a child but it so happened that my wife cannot have children for medical reasons. We’ve heard about surrogacy programmes. How could we have a child through such a programme?
If your wife cannot get pregnant but still there is a chance of retrieving a healthy oocyte (an egg) from her, we’d recommend implementing an IVF programme in which your wife’s oocyte would be fertilized by your sperm in a laboratory. Then the conceived embryo is transferred into your wife’s uterus. So, in this case, you will not need a surrogate mother.
If your wife cannot maintain pregnancy, we’d recommend hiring a surrogate mother who will have your embryo (conceived through IVF) implanted. The baby that she will deliver in 9 months will be genetically yours. You won’t have to adopt your child. If a healthy oocyte cannot be retrieved, we think that you find an oocyte donor. The donor’s oocyte will be fertilized by your sperm in a laboratory, and the conceived embryo will be transferred into the surrogate mother’s uterus. The baby will be considered as yours (even though it will not have a genetic bound with your wife). You won’t have to adopt the child either. You can turn to our company to arrange legal settlement of your programme.
It so happened that my husband has AIDS. Can we have children of our own?
First of all, don’t be upset. Most probably, your husband is only HIV positive yet. Though, even if he has AIDS you still have a chance of having healthy children of your own. In this case, you will need to implement an IVF programme. You can have a more detailed session at one of the medical centres that we advise you to turn to. You might even carry the baby on your own without starting a surrogacy programme.
Do you assist in selecting a surrogate mother?
We act out of our clients’ interest and wishes, we help them in selecting the appropriate surrogate mother that would meet their demands and expectations. It is possible to choose a person, who has similar characteristics to either of the couple, such as intelligence, race or some definite physical features. All the candidates are healthy (physically and mentally) women from 20 to 35 years of age, they already have children of their own. They are driven by sincere intention to help childless couples experience the happiness of becoming a mother and father. You can learn about rather rigid standards according to which we select surrogate mothers to put them into our database here.
My wife and I cannot have children naturally due to advanced age and for many other physiological reasons. That would be quite risky (the risk of having a child with Down syndrome and other problems) on our part. We have gone to a lot of orphanages but these visits have only repulsed us from adopting a child. So, we’ve given up the idea of adoption. Then some friends of ours suggested that we should turn to your company for help! We do hope that you could help us!
Modern reproductive technologies and legislation allow you to have your own children even though they might be not genetically related to you. You’ll need to set up the requirements for the oocyte and sperm donors, including the detailed phenotype if applicable. After this an embryo will be conceived and then transferred into the surrogate mother’s uterus. Upon the delivery of the baby, she will give her consent for putting your onto the Birth Certificate as the baby’s parents. We assume the charge for the legal part of the programme. We’d be glad to help you!
IVF is a very expensive procedure, and we are not very wealthy. I would like to turn to you for help, but I am interested in the cheapest plan which envisages the surrogate’s reward, not more than 15,000 euros. In our job we act, first of all, out of our clients’ interest and we always take into account their budget. Each service has its price and thus by changing the set of services we provide you with we could make the cost of them lower or higher. The minimal price of the offer you’re interested in (selecting a surrogate mother that has gone though the complete medical screening required by Order 67 of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation as well as her reward) is 10, 000 euros. Finding a surrogate mother without providing her with an award costs 1,000 euros.
When will we have to pay for your services? It’s a bit risky to pay such a huge sum of money at once.
You won’t have to pay the whole lump of money at once, of course. We can offer different options of payment, such as paying by credit or the so-called Zero payment in which you pay the money just before the delivery. You do not have to provide us with any guarantees in this case. As a rule, the whole payment is covered in three portions: when signing the contract, upon the confirmation of the pregnancy by an ultrasound screening (when a constant heartbeat is detected) and 90 days after the pregnancy was confirmed by the ultrasound screening.
How could I get a credit with your bank to implement the programme?
Our bank will need the following documents from you to grant you a credit: copies of all the pages from your passport, education certificates, documents from you workplace signed by the employee, copy of work contract (if any), balance sheet copy, income and losses statements (signed and sealed by the general manager) for the past and current year, tax returns for the past two calendar years, property possession documents, abstracts of bank accounts for the past three months sealed by the bank, liquidity documents, brief summary of your company’s activities and copies of its registry papers.
How long does it usually take to find a surrogate mother?
It usually takes 3-10 working days to find the surrogate mother that would meet all the client’s wishes and expectations. It actually depends on the requirements for the surrogate on your part. You can see the standards we set up for the surrogate candidates here.
What medical screening is a woman to go through to become a surrogate mother? What are the requirements for surrogate mothers?
These requirements are laid down by the Ministry of Health Order 67 ‘On applying reproductive technologies (ART) in therapy of female and male infertility’ of February 26, 2003:
Age from 20-35;
One child of her own;
Psychical and somatic health.
Tests to be taken:
Blood and R-factor testing;
Blood tests (syphilis, HIV, Hepatitis B, C (true for 3 months);
Urethra, cervical canal smear, as well as vaginal purity test (true for 1 month);
Uterus cervix smear cytological examination;
A consultation with a general practitioner, medical statement and permission to pregnancy (true for 1 year);
A consultation with a psychiatrist and statement of psychological health (once);
General and special gynecological examination общее (before each superovulation induction attempt).
I have serious concerns as to whether the child the surrogate mother a ‘reliable agency’ has suggested us to is carrying is indeed ours. I have serious doubts that the baby is not really ours. I’ll try to explain why: everything happened too quickly, the agency found a surrogate mother within a day, the next day she went to the clinic for the insemination, and in two weeks we were told that she was pregnant. The ultrasound screening shows that the baby is at least three weeks older, that is, he has been conceived before we turned to the agency. What should we do in such a situation?
Do not hurry to assume any responsibilities for the ‘cuckoo’ in your nest. A child can be registered not later than 1 month after its birth, in certain cases this term can be extended though. In this case the only way out is establishing paternity. You need to leave your and your baby’s blood samples for analysis (there are a lot of independent medical centers in Moscow where you could do that). By the way, you might as well tell the agency and the surrogate mother that you’ll make the payment only when your paternity is established. A young father once turned to our company because he found himself in a similar difficulty. No sooner had he followed our advice when the surrogate so-called surrogate mother disappeared, and he has his money reimbursed.
My husband and I have been married for 8 years already. We still don’t have children… I’ve gone through a medical checkup, and the doctors say that I have no reproductive pathologies. My husband wouldn’t go through any medical examinations and he blames me for everything. What should I do?
Your situation is quite typical. For various reasons many men are unable to fertilize a woman naturally though they are not infertile. In such cases, the husband’s sperm undergoes a special clinical processing which is later on used to fertilize his wife. Chances of a successful conception under these conditions are quite high.
Doctors in the medical centre we have chosen have advised us to turn to your company. How much do you charge for an initial session?
We can help you in any matters concerning this field. We’d be glad if you stopped by our office for a cup of tea or coffee and had a detailed proper consultation on such a delicate matter. Whether you are going to continue dealing with us or not, we do not charge for our consultations. You can check our office hours on our web-site.
My wife’s views do not allow her to deliver a child. As for me, I would love to have a child, and I would love it to be a boy. Could I make it?
Sure, you could. We will assist you in selecting a proper surrogate mother that will carry your baby. However, as to the child’s sex, we are going to disappoint you: pre-implantaion testing, which includes determination of you child’s sex, can only be carried out upon the doctor’s advice, and this drastically lowers down chances for achieving pregnancy. And we’d also add that we do not consider determining a child’s sex without medical reasons a proper moral thing to do.
I need you help. I found a surrogate mother though the Internet, we fixed the price and now, at the 4th month of pregnancy, she persists on giving her an apartment in Moscow or she’ll interrupt the pregnancy! What should we do?
Unfortunately, your case is quite common. You’ve fallen victim to another surrogate swindler. As we can conclude it from your letter, you didn’t conclude any agreements with her. By the way, signing any kinds of agreement with surrogate mothers is not stipulated by law. We’ve already helped people who found themselves in a similar situation. You’ll be more than welcomed in our office to have a free of charge consultation with one of our professional lawyers.