Georgia is spectacular! The gem of the Caucasus lies between Asia and Europe and is one of the most ecologically diverse countries in the world with 12 different climate zones ranging from sublime beaches to snowy mountains to semi-desert. With this diversity it is easy to see why this unique and beautiful country is beginning to attract medical tourists in ever growing numbers. Here are some interesting facts:
- Georgia is home of wine: Georgia has been producing wine for at least 8,000 years and is considered to be its birthplace.
- Georgia has a language like no other: The Georgian language among 14 unique languages in the world; has its own alphabet and is not spoken anywhere else in the world.
- Georgia is recognised by UNESCO: There are three cultural sites listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list.
- In Georgia your Money goes much further: According to the money men Georgia is the seventh cheapest country in the world.
CROSS-BORDER REPRODUCTIVE CARE
Cross-border Reproductive Care is quite developed in Georgia, and legislation on reproductive medicine is lenient, with donation and surrogacy are legally acceptable, which makes IVF tourism even more attractive to IVF travelers. The low cost of living in Georgia means that the cost of fertility treatment is very affordable and once you are there accommodation, travel and subsistence is equally favorable.
SURROGACY REGULATIONS IN GEORGIA
Surrogacy and donation are legal in Georgia and the country’s legislation grants parenthood to couples, not surrogate mothers. In other words, surrogate mothers are not entitled to claim parenthood and children born of them, immediately upon birth, receive birth certificates with the names of their intended parents indicated.
The Law of Georgia on Healthcare (Article 143) allows for using egg donation and surrogacy for IVF to treat infertile couples. Georgian legislation however recognizes only a male and a female as a couple.
IVF LAW IN GEORGIA-ACCORDING TO ARTICLE 143 OF THE LAW OF GEORGIA “ON HEALTH”, PARAGRAPH 1, IN VITRO FERTILIZATION SHALL BE ALLOWED:
- A) To treat infertility, as well as if there is a risk of transmitting a genetic disease from the wife or the husband to the child, using the gametes or embryo of the couple or a donor,
- B) If a woman does not have an uterus, by transferring the embryo obtained as a result of fertilization to the uterus of another women (“surrogate mother”) and growing it there; obtaining a written consent of the couple shall be obligatory. It is important to note, that if a child is born, the couple shall be deemed as parents, with the responsibilities and authorities proceeding from this fact. The donor or the “surrogate mother” shall not have the right to be recognized as a parent of the born child.
According to the Article 144 of the above Law, it shall be possible to use male and female gametes or embryos that have been conserved by freezing for the purpose of IVF. The time of conservation shall be determined according to the couple’s will, under the established procedure.
UPDATE ON THE IVF AND SURROGACY LEGISLATION IN GEORGIA:
The prime minister of Georgia made an announcement on June 12th, stating that there is a possibility of implementing a prohibition on surrogacy for overseas parents starting from January 1st, 2024. The law in question will undergo evaluation by the Georgian parliament in the months of October and November, following which a decision will be made. The level of support for this bill among the Georgian parliament remains uncertain.
Update on Reproart’s plan going forward:
ReproART is opening a new branch in Yerevan, Armenia. A new branch for international parents is scheduled to open in January 2024. To ensure continuity of services, all new IVF cycles and embryo freezing will take place in Georgia until January 2024. If the Georgian parliament approves the new initiative, embryos can be shipped to Armenia for surrogacy (subject to the intended parents’ approval) and programs can be completed there. The Armenian surrogacy legislation is favorable to heterosexual married couples only, who are at the age of 53 or younger. An Armenian birth certificate is issued to the child with the intended parents’ names on it within 7-10 working days after the birth.