Surrogacy in Ukraine

    New and absolutely legal reproductive medicine tourism market is developing in Ukraine. Among the several world’s infertility treatment clinics, Europeans often choose Ukrainian ones. Being situated in Europe, it offers the exceptional European standard services but at very competitive prices. The cost of IVF/surrogacy, high medical service together with the lenient Ukrainian laws attract thousands of intended parents come to Ukraine. 
    The first Ukrainian “in vitro baby” is of Ukrainian independence age. Starting from 1991 the whole world of the reproduction medicine was talking about the success of Ukrainian doctors. The pride of Ukraine Katerina Kuleva was born in Kharkov. She is 13 years younger than Luise Braun from the UK. She was the first homo sapience born in the result of artificial insemination. After that time, the western reproduction technologies well succeeded in this sphere and for some time left behind their competitors from the former USSR. Now the situation is changing. Ukrainian reproduction medicine is on a high level again. The number of foreign intended parents’ couples who are going to settle their fertility problem in Ukrainian clinics is constantly growing.    
      Ukrainian Klondike 
    “Formerly we had about 5% of foreign clients, today – about 90%,”- says Olga Stepanenko, (Ukraine, Kiev) company CEO. “The same tendency is in the other reproductive technologies clinics. We have to rely on doctors’ statistic, as there is no official. According to it, five thousand couples from Europe came here for the surrogacy programs last year. They pay €35 000 – €45 000 for them in Ukraine what is three times less than in the USA or Europe where the prices start from €80 000 - €100 000.” 
     “Only India could offer better conditions for the commercial surrogacy program before its ban in 2015, “- continues Olga Stepanenko. - Ukraine is an east European country. It is easily accessible from all corners of the world. Moreover, it is very important for our clients that Ukrainians are very close genetically and mental. Ukrainians are the Slavs, Scandinavian, tillers and seafarer descendants, 100% Europeans. Indians are different what is clear. Our climate is also habitant. All the listed factors increase our surrogacy support programs up to 30% last year. 
     Company Parentage provides its clients with the full list of all the expenses on each program. It creates top conditions so that they will not have any unforeseen expenses, trying to take into account everything during the consulting process. 
    Ukrainian clinics are competitive to their foreign colleagues not just with price, but also with the offered medical service quality. According to Ukrainian Association of the Reproductive Medicine (UARM) the average effective success makes 35-40% per 100 clinics. Not all come up to pregnancy on the different reasons. Anyway, the birth rate is higher than in Europe. 
   “We have it not less than 27% for each one hundred cycles comparatively with 25% in EU. Having lower costs along with this we attract foreigners,”- adds Head Manager Andrey Kurilo
    Expert words confirmed by ESHRE (European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology). For example, Ukrainian successful birth index was 25,8% last year when European was 24,0%. 

    Ukrainian friendly surrogacy laws 
    Ukraine is one of few countries where you can legally get the full package of the reproduction medicine. In many countries, this sphere legislation is too complicated or out of the law. So it is easy to explain foreigners’ high interest to the technologies which they can’t use in their country. 
    One Austrian young couple applied to us for the help last year. She did not have any other chance than surrogacy to have the own child, but surrogacy is forbidden in Austria. Owing to the help of Kiev doctors, the couple will have a daughter birth in a month. 
   “Our legislation is more progressive and loyal in this respect. It supports the wish of the individual to continue the own generation using the newest medical technologies. For example, a woman who is bearing a child and gives him a birth becomes a mother automatically in the UK and Germany. In our country after the baby delivery by the surrogate mother, the couple automatically becomes its legal custodian without any additional documents or adoption. Some other countries like our neighbor Russia’s laws suppose some more of legal procedures and the intended parents even have a risk not to get their child. I consider this fair and logical,”- continues Mrs. Stepanenko
    “What is your company benefit?” – we asked our interlocutress.“When company communicates with its clients via Skype, Viber, e-mail, mobile or WatsApp it gives free of charge consultation on many questions, including juridical. We are sure that our clients have to get full clear answers instead of covert information, which would dispose them to the paid juridical service. Even the full juridical consulting is not the most important thing on this stage. It is necessary to be concentrated on the medical issues first, and after them to settle juridical, financial and insurance questions simultaneously what fully protects clients from the possible risks,”- says Mrs. Stepanenko. 
     What can you tell about the agreement your company offers to sigh? 
   " agreement makes the relations between our client and the company very clear and transparent, as it contains all and very detailed items agreed between both of us. This makes our relations maximum comfortable and fully excludes preconditions and conflict situations appearance,”- continues Andrey Kurilo
   Besides the assisted reproduction technologies, Europeans also use the service of an embryo genetic diagnostics in Ukrainian clinics. During such diagnostic, the embryo being checked for the availability of hereditary diseases before the implantation. Thus, the intended parents have a choice whether to refuse following of their medical treatment process when they know about the risk to have a child with deviations and to wait for the created healthy embryo, or to continue it at their own responsibility. 
   Being on a visit to Ukrainian company it has become clear that the agency managers have the deep knowledges in medical and juridical questions their clients face and can completely disclose all the cooperation stages during even the distance communication. 
   To sum up all above said we could say that the constantly growing Ukrainian popularity in the reproduction technologies help to the EU childless couples is based on the right clients’ interests’ legislation regulation on the national level as well as on the high medical service level in this country. 


Kristin Baukis, specially for ESHRE