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Only women with health issues are entitled.

Surrogacy is a successful business in the United States. In the Czech Republic, the laws are still unclear

Kateřina Ostrejšová
24.Feb 2021
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5 minutes to read
Těhotná žena pije čaj.

Trying to conceive a child is not always so easy. About 15% of couples in the Czech Republic have to deal with the problem of infertility even after they've already started the treatment. In such a situation, therefore, there is nothing left to do but to switch to another alternative. One of them may be surrogacy. Despite the fact that since 2004 it has been possible to use the help of a surrogate mother in the Czech Republic, it is a relatively complicated journey. For example, in the United States, this is a standard process for which not only Americans are willing to pay big money. The situation in the Czech Republic is not so clear and very often confusion and ignorance can be an issue. Although surrogacy is not prohibited, there are no precise rules.

We want to be parents. So, what are our options?

Some couples don't have any issues at all, sometimes they're even successful at the first attempt. But there are also cases where couples have been trying for a baby for several years, yet keep failing. The most common alternative in the Czech Republic is artificial insemination, which has been used by more and more couples in recent years. While in 2007 about 12,000 women underwent the procedure, ten years later it was more than 15,000.

Another option is surrogacy, which helps mainly women with serious health issues.

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Žena s miminkem na ramenou.
Žena s miminkem na ramenou. Source: Freepik.com

When there is no other way

In the Czech Republic, surrogacy is not an option for everybody. Clinics welcome only women who cannot conceive and give birth to a child due to medical reasons. These are very often uterine disorders. But in most cases, women are allowed to donate their eggs.

"Only women who are unable to carry a child to term for serious health reasons may consider a surrogate mother, for example, due to a complete absence of the uterus or its congenital defect. Chronic diseases or post-surgery complications also often fall in this category. Nonetheless, all cases have to be reviewed by the ethics committee,"

says lawyer Matěj Stejskal from the clinic GENNET - Center of Medical Genetics and Reproductive Medicine.

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Žena čeká na výsledek těhotenského testu.
Žena čeká na výsledek těhotenského testu. Source: Freepik.com

The role of a surrogate mother is often performed by a relative

The first and at the same time the most fundamental step is to find a surrogate mother and a clinic that offers surrogacy services. A great deal of patience is needed, as the process can take several years. It is therefore very common for the role of a surrogate mother to be fulfilled by someone close or related, which will speed up the process many times over.

"The couple chooses a surrogate mother completely on their own because surrogate motherhood cannot be legally enforced here. These women are often family members or very close friends. Those who do not have this option then look for a surrogate mother online,"

explains Štěpán Machač, a doctor at the assisted reproduction center IVF Clinic Olomouc. The Internet is a relatively common way of finding a surrogate mother, while a more sensible option is to contact a specific clinic that will help couples with everything.

The whole process is based on trust

From a legal point of view, the process of surrogacy is based primarily on trust. No one can be forced to transfer the care of their child to someone else, so such a thing cannot be the subject of a contract. This is basically an unenforceable agreement. The main subject of the contract between the biological mother and the couple is the transfer of parental responsibility from the surrogate mother to the future parents. It is impossible to relinquish parental responsibility under civil law. If such a situation occurred, it would be a criminal offence.

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Novorozené dítě v porodnici.
Novorozené dítě v porodnici. Source: Freepik.com

In the event of a change of opinion on the other side, i.e. the side of the surrogate mother, the woman would not be prosecuted. As mentioned earlier, the contract does not include this part, as it must not force anyone to transfer the child to another's care. Therefore, there is always a risk that the woman may, due to emotions, reconsider and withdraw her consent to transfer the child to the care of the future parents.

"That's why nature can - and it has already happened - eventually win over such a business transaction, and the mother decides that she will not give the "commissioned" child to anyone. Nowhere in the world is this clearly established by law. It's a hocus-pocus experiment without a legal basis,"

states psychiatrist Radkin Honzák in an interview for Šance dětem.

A huge scandal in China

Exactly that kind of problem occurred in China earlier this year. Chinese actress Zheng Shuang caused a big scandal. Her ex-partner accused her of abandoning two children born through surrogacy in the United States. The lawsuits are far from over. In addition, authorities claim that such an incident should make the conditions more difficult for Chinese people who are looking for surrogate mothers.

In China, surrogacy is basically illegal. There are legal pathways, however, that allow the circumvention of the law. The result of which is that Chinese couples come to the US to find a surrogate mother.

It's a lot easier in the USA, but also more expensive

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Těhotná žena s plyšákem.
Těhotná žena s plyšákem. Source: Freepik.com

Compared to the Czech Republic, the whole process is much easier in many US states. Despite high pricing, surrogacy has become a successful business in the United States. According to the American company CSP, about half of the clients interested in a surrogate mother are gay couples. They are willing to pay a lot of money. For example, CSP takes approximately 380,000 Czech crowns for mere mediation and about half a million crowns for the surrogate mother herself.

Furthermore, Israel is also open to the idea, as it was the first state where surrogacy was legally allowed (1996). It's not a problem in the UK or Ukraine, either. On the contrary, surrogacy is prohibited in countries such as France, Austria, Germany, Sweden, and Denmark.

Popular among celebrities

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Sarah Jessica Parker s dcerou.
Sarah Jessica Parker s dcerou. Source: Profimedia.cz

In recent years, surrogacy has been widely sought-after by many celebrities, too. Even in cases when the person is completely healthy. Very often, they would rather pay a stranger for giving birth to the child than ruin their own figure.

Kim Kardashian, Nicole Kidman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Elton John, and Christiano Ronaldo are just a few examples of celebrities who have used the help of a surrogate mother. The famous football player used a surrogate mother for the first time 11 years ago. She gave birth to his son, Cristiano Ronaldo Junior. In 2017, his surrogate mother even gave birth to twins (Mateo and Maria). He has his fourth child (daughter Alana Martina) with his partner Georgina Rodriguez, who took on the role of the mother of all four children.

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Cristiano Ronaldo s rodinou.
Cristiano Ronaldo s rodinou. Source: Profimedia.cz

Two dads as a motivation for surrogacy

A surrogate mother turned out to be a choice for a Czech gay couple David and Michal Vaníček, too. They approached an agency with a request to find a suitable woman. They did not choose an agency in the Czech Republic but in America. The agency had to check their background carefully. The key parameter was, of course, the capability and readiness to be parents, which was assessed through various psychological tests, for example.

"We were not looking for a surrogate mother in the Czech Republic, simply because the arrangement is not properly covered under any law here. Instead, we used an institute of surrogacy in the USA, where it is covered by the legislation in several states,"

says the couple.

Luxusní byt na prodej Praha - 320m
Luxusní byt na prodej Praha - 320m, Praha 5

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