The concept of surrogate motherhood, while simple, has come a long way. As a technique, it is millennia old, and even appears in the Bible when certain religious couples, unable to bear children naturally, turned towards a surrogate mother to have a child.
Today, however, surrogacy now uses much more advanced, safe medical technology to help couples start new families with healthy, newborn babies, and it has gone global. Where couples of the past used to be confined to seeking out surrogate mothers in their own city, or maybe state or province, they can now travel to different countries around the world to make their dreams come true.
But why would citizens of other countries leave their nation of residence to do this? Georgia, for example, is a popular destination for hopeful families looking for a surrogate mother, and the differences in laws are one of the big reasons why. We’ll explain here.
Different Countries Have Very Different Laws
Surrogacy as a medical procedure is now very well established and understood throughout the modern medical world. However, just because the practice itself is well-documented and not that difficult to carry out, that doesn’t mean it has the same legal status throughout the world.
The biggest reason that some people travel abroad to countries like Georgia is that in their own country, some types of surrogacy are difficult or impossible to secure. In France and Germany, for example, all types of surrogacy are illegal. It means that should a couple risk having a surrogate child in those countries, the surrogate mother would have parental and custody rights. The hopeful father might also have parental rights if his sperm was used, but if not, then neither hopeful parent has any custody rights over a child born in these countries.
How Georgia Differs
Georgia has made much legal progress when it comes surrogacy. The most important thing is that surrogacy is a completely legal activity, and, as a result, has contracts that, when correctly drafted and signed, have the same legal weight and enforceability as any other legal document. This means that as long as the formatting is correct, and expert legal counsel has reviewed it to ensure the propriety, a surrogate mother procedure is ironclad in terms of the outcome for the hopeful parents.
With the proper contract, once a newborn child is born, the contract stipulates that full parental custody is solely in the hands of the hopeful parents. It is standard in Georgian surrogate mother contracts that the surrogate mother herself doesn’t have any legal custody. This means that even if a surrogate mother changes her mind, once the contract is signed, everything is “locked down.”
Birth Certificate Issuance
As further legal proof, especially when it comes to verification in other countries, a baby that is born through surrogate motherhood will be issued a birth certificate. That birth certificate will only feature the hopeful family as the parents of the child. The surrogate mother’s name will not appear in the document.
Birth certificates in Georgia are very quickly created and certified, and they are normally available to new parents within 24 hours of the birth of a child.
Many Different Surrogacy Methods Are Legal
While some countries have banned surrogacy altogether, Georgia not only legally allows surrogacy, but it embraces all types, which not every country, state or province does. For example, while surrogacy is allowed in throughout most of Canada, the only type of surrogacy allowed is compassionate surrogacy. This is the type of surrogacy where the surrogate mother only receives compensation for living expenses and medical care. In all other ways, her role as a surrogate mother is “volunteer” with no financial recognition of her efforts.
In Georgia, however, traditional surrogacy, gestational surrogacy, compassionate surrogacy and, of course, compensated surrogacy, where the surrogate mother receives financial recognition, are all legal. As a result, there are many more surrogate mother candidates available thanks to this flexibility.
While there aren’t any limitations on the types of surrogacy that are available under Georgian law, the surrogacy laws in Georgia are not completely open to everyone. For a traditional cis-gendered hopeful family of a man and a woman, Georgian law makes available the full array of surrogate services that may be required.
However, for same-sex male couples, there are restrictions in place. Georgian law does not allow surrogacy clinics to provide gestational surrogacy services for same-sex couples. However, other states in other nations, such as the state of California, have no such restrictions on the gender of the couple.
If you are thinking of using the surrogacy services in Georgia, make sure to do some planning and research. There may be issues of citizenship with a child, depending on the country of origin that you plan to return to. Make sure you take this into account, when asking about surrogacy in Georgia and how you can safely return home, with your child granted full citizenship status.