Countries where surrogacy is legal (International Surrogacy)

Countries where surrogacy is legal (International Surrogacy)

by Neelam Chhagani

Countries where surrogacy is legal for allCountries where surrogacy is legal-International surrogacy Overview.

International surrogacy can be a complicated process, but through research and planning can make it possible. Would be intended parents should know about countries where surrogacy is legal and then explore international surrogacy options.

If you’re planning for international surrogacy process, parents should consider and work upon the issues that come with surrogacy abroad.

Since the last few years, there has been an upward trend for international surrogacy.  The  Surrogacy abroad trend is increasing as there is a massive benefit for the intended parents in term of surrogacy cost along with leisure travel.

So, what is international surrogacy means?

It is a long and complicated way of having a baby via surrogacy process, where a prospective Intended Parents chose to do their surrogacy program in some other country– other than their home country.

In recent year, more and more childless couples are choosing to do surrogacy in countries where surrogacy is legal due to lower surrogacy abroad cost. There are a few surrogacy countries which offer adequate legal protection along with cheapest countries for surrogacy process.

Which countries have banned surrogacy?

There was a time when Asian countries like India/Thailand/Nepal were a hub for international surrogacy, but not anymore.

There was a time when Asian countries like India and Thailand were a hub for international surrogacy, but not anymore. During this time, international surrogacy means going to India or Thailand, as these two nations were offering affordable quality medical services with a considerable number of young and healthy surrogates. Legal protection and affordable surrogacy cost were one of the main reason for their popularly.

Nevertheless, a few adverse media reports and irregular malpractices make it quite visible for the government to ban surrogacy services for foreigners in these countries.

The other alternative surrogacy destination like Nepal and Cambodia came into existence, but could not last more than a year or two.   There was a time when most of the Indian IVF Clinics put their attention toward Nepal so that they can continue their operation in the nearby small country. As soon as surrogacy in Nepal was getting popular, the local Government stopped it owing to international pressure and no experience of this new concept.

Same way once surrogacy in Thailand came to a halt, local Thailand surrogacy agencies moved their focus to surrogacy in Cambodia.  New IVF Clinics opened with the hope of offering surrogacy to international couples. But again, the absence of surrogacy laws with fear of human trafficking and overuse of the surrogacy services by many agents let it to banning of the surrogacy in Cambodia.  

Surrogacy in India is also seeing its last day.  The Indian government banned foreigner surrogacy in Oct 2015.  Now, they are in the process of passing a surrogacy bill 2016, to stop commercial surrogacy for its citizens as well.

Surrogacy in Mexico was popular in 2015.  It was offering an affordable yet legal surrogacy to numerous USA couples.  Owing to nearby geographically and low international surrogacy cost, many gay couples opted to do surrogacy in Mexico.  Unfortunately, this surrogacy option could not last long and surrogacy for the foreigner was banned in Mexico by early 2016.

Worldwide surrogacy options for hopeful intended parents.

In Asian countries, Laos is still an option.  But it is worth to mention that there are no surrogacy laws and it is one of the unregulated surrogacy options.  So, the absence of laws makes surrogacy possible in Laos. But again, it is too complicated to pursue, as the cost is going higher and no legal security can be provided.  Most of the intended parents are gay couples or single male from nearby Asian countries like China and Singapore who wishes to have a baby of thier own with the help of a gestational carrier.

Despite this, the hopeless intended parents are left with no much options, but to take a risk as surrogacy is not allowed in their home country or it is incredibly costly to pursue surrogacy in USA.

It cannot be denied that each year, more and more childless couples or gay couple need a surrogate mother to become parents.  The desire to have a baby is so strong and inbuilt that they are ready to take the risk in unregulated surrogacy countries.

The international surrogacy laws are still uncertain in few countries. That is why it is advised to do thorough research and take a calculated risk.  At least the intended parents should know what risk they are taking. It is good to consult an international surrogacy agency to know international surrogacy option and to know countries where surrogacy is legal.

Surrogacy-Laws-By-CountryWhich countries allow surrogacy for hetero couples.

Where in Europe is surrogacy legal?

Surrogacy is a dynamic field.  The regulations and laws regarding keep changing as per countries or sometimes state wise.  Sometimes there has been a positive trend. Like just a few days back, we see that the UK allow the single parent to apply for a parental order for the baby born through surrogacy.   Some countries like India, planning to ban commercial surrogacy.

So, what are the legal and viable surrogacy services option?  In the current time, eastern European countries like Georgia, Ukraine, and Russia are the most desirable destination.  For these countries, the International surrogacy cost is much lower with adequate legal protection for the commissioning parents.

Countries where gay surrogacy is legal

For gay couples looking for most secure surrogacy option– Surrogacy in USA is the best option.  Few US State like California offer legally secure options but at higher surrogacy cost.

In Asian countries, surrogacy in Laos can be an option, but it is unregulated, and there is no law protecting the surrogacy agreement.

Few IVF Clinics in Mexico are offering surrogacy services. But each case needs to be handled individually with a prior court order to ensure the parental right of the intended parents.

A relatively new gay surrogacy option is coming up in a Latin American country, Colombia.  Surrogacy in Bogota offers affordable surrogacy cost with legally secure surrogacy for gay couples.

So, before opting international surrogacy destinations, what prospective intended parents should know.

  1. What is the legal protection offered to the Intended Parents?  Does surrogacy laws cover the right of the surrogate child and surrogate mother adequately?
  2. Legal parentage of the baby is given to the commissioning parent or they need to adopt the baby via court order?
  3. What are the eligibility criteria for the intended parents to hire a surrogate mother? If a single parent or gay men or heterosexual couples are legally allowed to participate in surrogacy arrangement?
  4. Whose name comes in the baby birth certificate?  Is a surrogate mother or birth mother is the legal mother and her name is mentioned in the baby birth certificate?
  5. The surrogacy contracts are legally enforceable?
  6. How much time does it take for taking the baby home after the birth?
  7. In case of premature delivery, do NICU ( Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) will be available for the baby and how much are likely cost?
  8. Do they need to hire a local lawyer to take the baby home and to what extent the surrogacy agency can help them?
  9. Do they need to apply for a parental order to be the legal parent of the baby?  It is definitely done for UK intended parents who opt for surrogacy.
  10. Can they do PGD (Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis))and NGS  ( Next Generation Sequencing)to rule out any genetic disease in the baby.
  11. Is gender selection allowed, just in case you need it?
  12. About the prior experience and reference of their country successful intended parents.

While opting for International surrogacy, please consider International Surrogacy Laws by Country to know countries where surrogacy is legally allowed.

AUSTRALIA- Altruistic surrogacy only available. No donor or surrogate matching available. Advertising for surrogates not legal.

CANADA- Only altruistic surrogacy available. Foreigners can access surrogacy, but it has to be altruistic.

GREECE- Heterosexual couples and single females are eligible. Foreign nationals allowed to engage with a prior court order.

GEORGIA- Compensated or commercial surrogacy is only allowed for heterosexual couples, including foreigners. Legal rights of Intended Parents are well protected. The most common hub of surrogacy as of now.

Ukraine- Compensated or commercial surrogacy is only allowed for heterosexual couples, including foreigners. Legal rights of Intended Parents are well protected. The most common hub of surrogacy as of now.

INDIA- Commercial surrogacy is only allowed for Indian citizens as of now.

ISRAEL- Only altruistic surrogacy available for heterosexual couples, Israeli citizens.

KENYA- Compensated surrogacy available to locals and foreigners but not legally protected.

LAOS- Compensated Surrogacy available to foreigners, but no legal protection

NIGERIA- Altruistic and commercial surrogacy is only available for heterosexual- Nigerian citizen.

SOUTH AFRICA – Only Altruistic surrogacy available to heterosexual South African residents.

THAILAND- Only available altruistically to Thailand heterosexual couple.

UK- Only Altruistic surrogacy available. Advertising for surrogates, not legal foreigners cannot access surrogacy in the UK.

USA- Gay and heterosexual foreigners can access surrogacy here see surrogacy laws by US state

Legal surrogacy countries worldwideConclusion while considering to do surrogacy abroad.

Surrogacy itself is an exhaustive and complicated process. It comes with lots of emotional and financial burden.

The idea of creating a new life in some unknown country can be scary. Nevertheless, each month, thousands of prospective parent do it.

Some of them think it is the best decision of their life and enjoy the parenthood. Unfortunately, for some, it is a nightmare. We have heard a few unpleasant stories from the intended parents. It is so painful to see that such noble souls who want to have a baby are cheated and given misleading information.

I have personally seen numerous cases of single parents, who almost argue that they can do egg donor surrogacy in Georgia or Ukraine. They have been misled by shady IVF Clinics or surrogacy agencies. The laws clearly say that only married heterosexual couples can do surrogacy. Still, some IVF Clinics offer such services to singles. Such malpractice affects the overall environment and can be a severe threat to the parent who wishes to do surrogacy lawfully in the future.

That is why we cannot emphasize enough how important it get accurate information when doing surrogacy abroad or opting for international surrogacy destination.  A parenthood journey should be a pleasant experience and not a nightmare.

If you are planning to have a baby via international surrogacy options or just gather information about countries where surrogacy is legal, please feel free to write to us.

We can promise to give you the most updated and accurate information and save you time and money.



I am Neelam Chhagani, CEO and International Patient Follow-up Manager, representing IVF Conceptions. I work as a surrogacy consultant and assist and guide the Intended Parents to become parents via surrogacy, globally.It will be my great pleasure to assist you.

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