“An agent should have one boss, and that’s the client.You cannot have two allegiances—to the clinic and the client both. The client and clinic often have competing motivations.”
LAS VEGAS (PRWEB) August 08, 2018
As reported by the Interfax news agency in Kiev, two bills have been introduced to the Verkhovna Rada [the Ukrainian parliament] to regulate or restrict surrogacy in Ukraine. In response to these developments, Sensible Surrogacy advises clients to take special precautions when considering surrogacy in Ukraine.
Sensible Surrogacy continues to recommend Ukraine as a destination for surrogacy for heterosexual, married couples. Even with the new legislation, the country remains one of the few politically stable countries worldwide that supports commercial surrogacy. However, the consultancy is also advising clients to be wary of large-scale, one-stop “surrogacy-only" organizations.
“Since 2009 when surrogacy in Ukraine was legalized, several large-scale surrogacy-only services have popped up,” said Bill Houghton, director of Sensible Surrogacy. “These organizations exist solely to cash in on the legality of commercial surrogacy in Ukraine. The profit-motivation of surrogacy-only organizations is a strong incentive to cut corners and concoct 'grey-area' options that bypass local laws. These less-reputable practices have led to the current scandals, and to the proposed new restrictions in Ukraine.”
Sensible Surrogacy expects that such surrogacy-only organizations will see greater government oversight. Intended Parents who work with such surrogacy services may find themselves under increased scrutiny, additional bureaucracy, and delays once their baby is born.
Intended Parents who take advantage of “grey area” legal options in Ukraine are more likely to find themselves in legal jeopardy, according to the consultancy.
Sensible Surrogacy advises Intended Parents to consider their surrogacy journey following these guidelines:
1. Avoid surrogacy agencies that are wholly owned by a specific clinic. These agencies may have a conflict of interest that can impact the objectivity of client care.
2. Avoid agencies that receive referral fees or other kickbacks from clinics.
3. Avoid clinics that both perform medical services, and also offer to find, compensate and manage the surrogate mother. The surrogate mother's care should be managed by an independent coordinator who has her best as a top priority.
4. Consider working with general practice fertility clinics, which perform a wide variety of fertility procedures and not primarily focused on surrogacy.
5. Always adhere to the local laws, and be wary of any options that seem to operate in a legal grey area. This is especially true for programs that offer surrogacy for gay couples, which is strictly prohibited in Ukraine.
“It is always a red flag to work with an agency that is financially tied to a particular clinic; or worse, to be wholly operated by a clinic,” said Houghton. “There’s a clear conflict of interest if an agency can only recommend just one clinic regardless of that clinic's success or reputation. An agency should be independent and able to refer clients to the best service providers for each client’s individual needs.”
One-stop agencies are particularly troublesome, according to Houghton. “The agent’s responsibility should be to look after the client’s best interests. But they cannot meet this responsibility if their first priority is to the profitability of their clinic.”
“An agent should have one boss, and that’s the client,” said Houghton. “You cannot have two allegiances—to the clinic and the client both. The client and clinic often have competing objectives.”
And it should go without saying (although apparently not in recent cases in Kiev) that clients should avoid “solutions” offered by clinics that are contrary to the local laws.
Clinics may offer shortcuts to make the surrogacy process faster, easier or bypass some legal obstacles—but these solutions have inherent risks. While many times clients may make it through their process undetected, eventually these loopholes will be uncovered and the unlucky clients will find themselves facing severe penalties. Such gambling with the future of one’s family is not worth the risk, according to the consultancy.
Fortunately, the first draft legislation does not include a prohibition on surrogacy in Ukraine. The bill reiterates existing regulations—for example it specifies the age and medical status of surrogate mothers as well as the civil status of the Intended Parents. Sensible Surrogacy believes this is the bill most likely to move forward in the parliament.
The second proposed legislation prohibits surrogacy for foreign couples. Sensible Surrogacy believes that legislation is unlikely to move forward. The consultancy points out that similar legislation has been introduced previously by conservative elements in the government, but never received sufficient support to pass into law. (Text of the law is available on the Ukrainian government website.)
Sensible Surrogacy is an ethical IVF & surrogacy consultancy and publisher of the Sensible Surrogacy Guide, which is a definitive source for what is surrogacy internationally. Since 2012 they have advocated for affordable, transparent and ethical surrogacy services through their global consultants and a network of medical and legal service providers.