Surrogacy in Israel versus surrogacy abroad
Surrogacy in Israel
The Agreements for the Carriage of Fetuses (Approval of Agreement and Status of the New Born) Law, in effect since 1996, stipulates all the conditions required for commencing the surrogacy process in Israel. By law, the intended parents can be a man and a woman who are a couple or a woman without a partner. The law stipulates that, in order for the intended parents to be able to enter into an agreement with a surrogate to carry embryos for them, they have to meet a number of conditions.
The conditions stipulated in the law in relation to intended parents and the surrogate
The law stipulates, among other things, that the two intended parents must be adults and the age of the intended mother must not be more than 53 at the time of submitting the documents to the committee. It is further stipulated that the age of the intended mother shall not be more than 54 at the time the surrogacy agreement between the intended parents and the surrogate is signed.
The surrogacy agreement should be signed with the consent of both parties and of their own free will. It is also stipulated that the sperm to be used for in vitro fertilization (IVF) should belong to the intended father and that the egg should not belong to the surrogate mother. If the intended mother’s eggs cannot be used, a donor egg from another woman can be used. In the case of a single intended mother, it is required that the egg used for fertilization be hers.
It is further stipulated that, for the purpose of entering into an agreement with a surrogate, the intended parents must submit a psychological assessment and an opinion from a medical expert regarding their suitability for the process. In order for The Fetus Carriage Agreements Approval Board (Surrogacy) to approve entering into an agreement with the surrogate, it is required to meet certain conditions stipulated in the law.
Among other things, the surrogate mother must not be a relative of one of the intended parents and their age should be between 22 and 39. Another condition is that the intended mother has previously conceived and given birth to a maximum of four children. The law also refers to the circumstance where the intended mother is married and stipulates that, in this case, the consequences of the surrogacy process and the risks involved must have been explained to her husband.
How is the surrogacy process conducted in practice?
The first stage of the process begins with a recommendation from the attending physician to the parents to resort to the surrogacy process. In Israel, treatment for surrogacy is only allowed if a medical specialist has determined that the intended mother cannot carry a pregnancy or that the pregnancy constitutes a danger to her health.
In the event that the parents desire to carry out the process in Israel, they are required to apply to the Approval Committee appointed by the Ministry of Health, with a request to start the process, in order to obtain their preliminary approval to proceed in principle. Carrying out a surrogacy process without the approval of the Approval Committee constitutes a criminal offense.
After getting this preliminary approval in principle, the parents need to find a suitable surrogate. Later on, the parents and the surrogate mother are required to undergo psychological and medical tests. Once the parties have confirmed entering into an agreement between them, they are obligated to draw up a legal agreement.
The case is then transferred to the Fetus Carriage Agreements Approval Board (Surrogacy) Committee that consists of three doctors, a psychologist, a social worker, a legal expert, and a cleric. The committee invites the surrogate for an interview and after summarizing the case, including all the approvals, the couple is invited to sign the surrogacy agreement before the surrogate. On completion of the bureaucratic process for getting the approval, the medical process starts and IVF is performed, after which the fertilized egg is transplanted.
What are the benefits of undergoing the surrogacy process in Israel?
One of the main benefits associated with going through the surrogacy process in Israel lies in the fact that, at the end, the intended parents become the biological parents of the baby and are registered as being the child’s parents with the Ministry of the Interior without the bureaucratic problems that may arise with surrogacy in a foreign country. In addition, undergoing the process in Israel allows the parents to be updated with details about their child during the pregnancy until the birth and to be more involved in the process. Another major advantage is the high accessibility to a surrogate mother who is in Israel compared to accessibility to a surrogate mother who is abroad.
A major advantage when undergoing the process in Israel lies in the expertise of the medical staff and the high level of medical services provided to the surrogate mother and to the intended parents. This is in contrast to the level of medicine in certain countries outside Israel where there is no guarantee of the quality of medical services.
Since the success of the IVF process depends on the quality and the expertise of the medical professionals involved in it, the quality of the medical care is even more important. Undergoing the surrogacy process in Israel saves the intended parents the need to make frequent trips abroad to undergo medical procedures, and allows them to continue with their normal routine in Israel.
The intended parents must make sure that the process is legal in the country where the surrogacy agreement is to be signed and where the surrogate mother will give birth in order to be certain that it is not prohibited by law in that country.
It’s important to make sure that in the country where the surrogate will give birth that there is a representative of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If not, it will not be possible to obtain a passport for the newborn (unless the process was performed in the US, where the newborn can come into Israeli on an American passport).
Surrogacy in Israel versus surrogacy abroad
Surrogacy procedures abroad are a quick and quality solution for parents who want to have a child who is genetically related to them (or to one of them).
However, in surrogacy procedures in Israel, after passing the approval committee, you may have to wait a long time to find a surrogate. In surrogacy procedures abroad, you only have to wait for a surrogate for a very short time and sometimes barely any time at all.
In which overseas countries is surrogacy allowed today?
The State of Israel is willing to recognize children who are born through a surrogacy process in another country only if the process is legally regulated in that country. The countries in which this area is currently regulated by law are Mexico, Ukraine, Georgia, and the United States.
The popular destinations for surrogacy abroad for Israelis are Georgia and Ukraine, mainly because of proximity and cost.
The cost of the surrogacy process in Georgia or Ukraine is usually lower than the cost of the surrogacy process in Israel.
Surrogacy in Ukraine is intended for married heterosexual couples only.
Surrogacy in Georgia is intended for heterosexual couples only.
Unlike in Israel, in Ukraine and Georgia, the couple applying for surrogacy is not required to go through an approval committee, and therefore there is a significantly shorter waiting time. Another advantage concerns the time you need to wait until a suitable surrogate is found. In Israel, even a couple who already has the committee’s approval, is still required to find a woman to carry the pregnancy by themselves, which could take a very long time. In Ukraine and Georgia, on the other hand, the couple will have no difficulty finding a woman to carry the pregnancy, and even an egg donor, if needed.
* Note that the information on this page does not constitute advice of any kind or a recommendation to undergo a procedure or not to undergo a procedure. Anyone who relies on the information does so at their own risk. The accuracy of the information may change from time to time.