1My wife and I would like to have a baby, we have heard about the surrogacy, but we don’t know whether it is legal. Is there a chance we will not be given our baby?

Ukraine has reserved its right to be considered one the world centers of surrogacy. Surrogacy in Ukraine is absolutely legal and is regulated by the current Ukraine Family Code and by the number of other standard regulations. You can freely implement your rights to be a father and a mother in Ukraine. Clause 2 Article 123 of the Ukraine Family Code establishes the origin of the child when the methods of artificial fertilization are used, and it clearly states that the parents of the child born by a surrogate mother are the married couple, who provided their gametal cells and used the services of the surrogate mother. Clause 3 of the same Article secures the ability of the couple during the In Vitro Fertilization the use of donor oocytes, meanwhile the embryo will still be considered to be originated by the couple. In the Amendment to the Ukraine Law “About Organ Transplantation and Other Anatomical Materials of a Human” from June 16, 1999 it says, that married couple who agreed to the application of the artificial reproductive technologies, holds in the full scape the parental rights and responsibilities towards the children, born as the result of these methods.

2Who should register the child after birth and how?

We take care of all the formalities, related to the registration of the child in the Bureau of Vital Statistics Office. After birth, the standard procedure is established, that formulates the Vital Statistics Act for the newborn. His birth by a surrogate mother does not play any role in this case. Before giving birth the surrogate mother signs the special agreement, prepared by us, which states that she does not object to the fact that the clients will be documented as parents, which gets notarized and becomes another assurance for you.

3Can we find surrogate mother ourselves? In Kharkiv, Lviv, and Kiev there is a large number of adds about such services in the Internet. What are the advantages of using the services of the company to search one for us?

If you search for the surrogate mother yourself, there is a high risk of fraud, such cases are very common. Wanting to participate in such program, women fabricate the Certificates of Good Health, sometimes get into fraudulent agreements with doctors and even imitate pregnancy. There are women who just want to use your money to live in a big city and establish their private life. There are fraudsters, who request the money transfer for the health checkup, transportation expenses, and then stop replying to any calls and correspondence. There are cases, when surrogate mother multiply their fee after the pregnancy begins, blackmailing parents and threatening to abort. Therefore you are running a risk to be left with no money or a child.

4Is there a chance to meet up with someone who already became parents with your help? Do the participants of the surrogacy program meet to exchange their experience?

In our business we follow the principle of privacy, which is guarded by the Ukrainian Law, and we strictly keep the confidentiality of our clients, amongst which there are quite a few public and easily recognizable people. Because of the specifics of the legal activities and character of the programs established by us we do not share information about our clients and about programs already performed by us. For each program we assign a personal manager, and only (s)he has an access to this information. At the end of the program the files containing personal information are destroyed. Of course, the clients do not communicate with each other, but sometimes already established clients refer new ones to us.

5I have heard a few times, that in some countries surrogacy is illegal. Is the activity of your company legal? Several former attempts to search for a surrogate mother left a feeling of illegitimacy.

Ukraine is one of the lucky countries where surrogacy is legal. Clause 2 Article 123 of the Ukraine Family Code establishes the origin of the child when the methods of artificial fertilization are used, and it clearly establishes the parents of the child born by a surrogate mother the married couple, that provided their gametal cells and used the services of the surrogate mother. Clause 3 of the same Article secures the ability of the couple during the In Vitro Fertilization the use of donor ovocytes, meanwhile the embryo will still be considered to be originated by the couple. In the Amendment to the Ukraine Law “About Organ Transplantation and Other Anatomical Materials of a Human” from June 16, 1999 it says, that married couple who agreed to the application of the artificial reproductive technologies, holds in the full scape the parental rights and responsibilities towards the children, born as the result of these methods.

6Is it possible to artificially inseminate the surrogate mother with the husband’s sperm?

This program is so called “traditional” surrogacy. “Traditional” surrogacy is using the methods of artificial insemination of the surrogate mother is not allowed and is regulated by the regular Family Law, meaning “traditional” surrogate mother, who gave birth to a child, should be registered as his/her mother, fatherhood is established through the joint application with the biological father. The spouse of the biological father completely falls out of the scheme and can only adopt her spouse’s child in the future - after receiving the confirmation form the surrogate mother. In this case, if there is an evidence for the need of donor oocytes, the married couple, who are willing for their surrogate mother to play this role too, in order to refrain from difficulties during the registration of the live birth of the child, should follow through with the In Vitro Fertilization.

7Is it possible to guarantee that the surrogate mother will not decide to keep the child for herself? And how thorough is the physical and mental health checkup for a potential surrogate mother?

We have accumulated an extensive experience of surrogate mother selection in our years in business. With every surrogacy agreement we do a full health check of the surrogate mother in compliance with the Administrative Order №579 of Ukraine Ministry of Health. In the new Ukraine Family Code (article 123, clause 2) the point is established that in case of the transfer of the embryo, originated by the married couple, to another woman, the parents are the married couple. Clause 3 of the same Article secures the ability of the couple during the In Vitro Fertilization the use of donor ovocytes, meanwhile the embryo will still be considered to be originated by the couple. In the Amendment to the Ukraine Law “About Organ Transplantation and Other Anatomical Materials of a Human” from June 16, 1999 it says, that married couple who agreed to the application of the artificial reproductive technologies, holds in the full scape the parental rights and responsibilities towards the children, born as the result of these methods. Therefore the surrogate mother cannot keep your child for herself, she is no more than a nanny, who you intrusted your child for 9 months.

8How important is our health to having a healthy baby born by a surrogate mother? Is it possible to use this program if one of the parents is seriously ill?

Even in the event of parents having serious health issues chances to conceive a healthy baby are still pretty high. Unfortunately, it is hard to answer this question without full medical examination, therefore we could recommend you a medical center which can help you get an answer to your question.

9After many years of living together we could not conceive any children. I went to many doctors, they assure me, that I am healthy and see no barriers for me to have a baby. However my husband is strongly opposed to going to the doctor, in his opinion, he does not have any health issues. What should I do?

You situation is not uncommon. Many men due to different reasons cannot fertilize a woman in natural circumstance, although are not steryl. In these cases in clinical environment the special processing of the husband’s sperm is conducted and the wife is inseminated. Chances for successful fertilization are really high in such case.

10I want to certainly have a boy. Is there a way to establish the gender of the future baby?

Although it is technically possible to “program” the gender of the future baby using the modern technology, it dramatically decreases the chance of successful fertilization. Besides, from the ethics perspective such an interference for us is only possible if there is an evidence of serious health issues.

11What is necessary to become a surrogate mother? What requirements are set for them?

The established practice provides following requirements:

• Age from 20 to 35;
• Presence of a healthy biological child;
• Good mental and physical health.

Indices of the surrogate mothers:

• Blood test to indicate blood type and Rh factor;
• Blood test to indicate syphilis, HIV, Hepatitis B and C (valid for 3 months);
• Test for chlamydia, genital herpes, ureaplasmosis, mycoplasmosis, cytomegaly, rubella (valid for 6 months);
• Urine sample ( valid for 1 month);
• Blood sample + coagulability (valid for 1 month);
• Biochemical blood sample: AJIT, ACT, bilirubin, sugar, BUN (valid for 1 month);
• Fluorography (valid for 1 year);
• PAP smear (valid for 1 month);
• Cervical Cytology Test;
• Well Checkup to confirm the ability to carry a child (valid for 1 year);
• Psychiatrist exam and conclusion (once);
• General and special gynecological diagnostics.

12If the child was carried by a surrogate mother, who will (s)he look like?

There is a myth, that a child, who was carried by a surrogate mother, will look like her. It is not true. Child’s appearance will form from the genetical material, and the surrogate mother in this case is just a container.

13Are there any limitations for the surrogate mothers for the time of the transferring of the embryo until the pregnancy is established?

We STRICTLY forbid the surrogate mothers to:

• Have sexual relationships (in any form);
• Lift and carry heavy objects;
• Get cold or catch virus infections (high fever will “destroy” the embryos);
• Eat spicy food;
• Intake alcohol; • Visit sauna, take a bath or a hot shower (only luke warm shower).

To guarantee the following of all these rules, right after the In Vitro Fertilization we put the surrogate mother into a special facility, where under the experienced doctors’ supervision we wait for the results of the procedure.

14What is the effectiveness of the surrogacy program?

Before speaking about the effectiveness of the procedure, we need to note the fact, that surrogacy is one of the artificial reproductive technologies where the end result depends on the combination of factors: patient's’ age, quality of their gometal cells, technology at the center, and qualification of the specialists, working there.

Talking about surrogacy program, there is an additional factor - state of health of the surrogate mother. Still even after the most thorough research of all these factors not a single, even most talented and experienced specialist can predict the result with complete confidence. Thus, talking about about some average results, the effectiveness of surrogacy is about 45-55%. Therefore, results are higher than during traditional In Vitro Fertilization cycles, where those results are about 30-35%.

15Who is the surrogate mother?

Surrogate mother is the woman who agreed to carry the baby for the family, who cannot for medical reasons, become parents without her help. We set following requirement for the candidates to become surrogate mothers:

• Surrogate mother cannot be younger than 22 years old and older than 34 years old at the moment of entering into the program;
• Surrogate mother has to have at least one biological child;
• Surrogate mother has to be psychologically prepared to give up the child to the family after birth;
• Surrogate mother has to be completely healthy, which needs to be confirmed by the medical data and psychological diagnostic;
• In case that surrogate mother is a married woman, she has to provide a written agreement from the husband to her participation in surrogate mother program;
• Surrogate mother is carrying someone else’s child, therefore the client family has a right to require from surrogate mother to follow the terms , that they (clients) find reasonable and right;
• Surrogate mother has to go through psychological check up from the stuff psychologists;
• Surrogate mother should follow the routine, set up for her by the doctor and client family before and during the pregnancy.

16What is the difference between the surrogate mother’s pregnancy from regular pregnancy?

It doesn’t, it is a regular pregnancy. The only difference is that the fertilization happens after the artificial fertilization procedure (In Vitro Fertilization, IVF, artificial insemination) and ready human embryo gets transferred into surrogate mother.

17What are the medical specifics of the IVF in terms of the surrogacy program?

We will try to answer this question in a simple and clear manner, trying to avoid special medical terms when possible.

First of all the surrogate mother goes through the round of tests required for doctors to be sure about the health of the surrogate mother.

At the same time as the surrogate mother goes through the tests, biological parents also go through the series of checkups and tests. Then follows the process of “synchronization” of menstrual cycles of biological and surrogate mother. The “synchronization” process implies that doctor, with help of the medicine , change the menstrual cycle of the women so that it is synchronized. It is done so that the woman’s organism is “ready” to get pregnant in a relatively small period of time, so called “window of implantation” (approximately from 14 to 18 day of menstrual cycle).

After the menstrual cycles of the two women are synchronized, biological mother begins to take medicine (gonadotropes) which stimulate the ovaries (to produce the largest number of eggs, without such medicine, women naturally have one, may be to eggs, which is not enough for artificial fertilization).

At the same time (after synchronization) the doctor begin to prepare the surrogate mother for the embryo transfer. The preparation process implies the use of the special medicine for the surrogate mother to improve the quality of her endometrium (endometrium is the mucous membrane of the uterus, endometrium is where the embryo begins its life).

Approximately after 10-12 days after the “preparations” began, the process of egg extraction from the biological mother takes place, which is called “ovaries puncture”. The puncture happens at the clinic with the help of the ultrasound control. All the eggs that can be seen through the ultrasound are extracted from the woman.

At the day of the puncture, the husband of the biological mother submits the sperm. Now doctors have both female eggs and male sperm cells. Specifically now the doctors begin the process of artificial insemination, IVF(in vitro fertilization), ECO in Ukraine. After the eggs of the biological mother are fertilized with the sperm cells of her husband, for a few days embryologists (doctors) grow (cultivate) the embryos, “made” in special environments and incubators.

This process is very complex and requires the strict temperature, humidity, and sterility regimens. Growing of the embryos takes 3 to 5 days.

On a 3rd or 5th day (sometimes on 3rd and on 5th day) day after the puncture the transfer of the “ready” embryos is set. The transfer is also done under the control of ultrasound. The doctor uses a special catheter to transfer the embryos into the uterus of the surrogate mother.

Usually, in Ukraine 2, rarely 3 embryos are transferred.

After the embryo transfer the doctor prescribes the special medicine for the surrogate mother, to prepare her body for the pregnancy.

18Does the woman have to come to the clinic for special injections (shots) during the ovaries stimulation?

No, usually women do the shots themselves or use the services of medical personnel at home. It’s important to do the shots at the same time of the day, following the instructions, given by the doctor.

19Is a special diet required during the ovaries stimulation procedure?

Yes, after the ovaries puncture woman is recommended to eat protein rich foods and drink a lot of fluids (natural cranberry punch, for example).

20Is the puncture painful?

Puncture of the ovaries is performed under sedation. After the puncture you may experience discomfort in your lower abdomen. After the puncture it is required to be careful about your health, and in case you have any questions, contact the doctor, who performed the puncture.

21How is the pregnancy determined?

12-14 days after the transferring of the embryos we perform the blood test for the surrogate mother for “Beta-HCG”. It is the only way to determine pregnancy at such an early stage. No pregnancy “test” is accurate.

22What happens after the pregnancy is determined?

If the test results are positive, normal pregnancy begins for a surrogate mother. We sign the surrogate mother up into a good private clinic, and go through all the pregnancy stages along her side, control her diet and lifestyle, arrange self-paid childbirth with the best specialists - simply said, we take care of all the questions, which healthy pregnancy and birth of your child depend on.

23What is “cryo transfer” of the embryos?

When biological parents had 10 embryos after fertilization, and only 2 were transferred to the surrogate mother, the 8 that are left can be a subject to a low-temperature freezing. In such state embryos can be kept for a very long time. Besides, it can be defrosted and used for the future transfers. Cryo transfer is different from a transfer of the “life” embryos by the fact that only the surrogate mother gets prepared for the transfer. Biological parents don’t participate in the process.

24What is ICSI?

ICSI is one of the ways of the artificial insemination of the egg. It is usually applied when the husband of the biological mother has abnormal results of the sperm cell test or when during the IVF only a few eggs were generated.

25Is there a relation between the surrogate mother and the child?

There is no genetical (family) relation between the child and surrogate mother. Surrogate mother only carries somebody else’s child. Moreover, according to the current law, surrogate mother cannot be at the same time an oocyte donor, which guarantees the lack of such genetical relation between surrogate mother and the newborn.

26What kind of complications can happen during pregnancy?

Surrogate pregnancy is no different from a regular pregnancy, which is why complications, if present, are the same as during regular pregnancy. In this case, all concerns regarding the life and wellbeing of the future child and surrogate mother are taken care of by us. Since this child is extremely desired by the future parents, in case of the smallest deviation from the norm we guarantee the bedrest for the surrogate mother, and in case of necessity - saving of the child in the clinic or labor and delivery hospital.

27Where and how the surrogate mother is cared for during the pregnancy?

Surrogate mothers in our company follow the terms that was set by the biological parents and our agency, it is the best clinics and best specialists in their field. Families that work with us know that pregnancy is going well and their future child is not in any danger.

28How often does the surrogate mother visits the doctor?

Every case is individual. It can be said that on average before the embryo transfer surrogate mother visits the clinic 6 to 8 times. Since the moment of pregnancy determination until the 10th week we organize the checkups for the surrogate mother once every 7 to 10 days. From 10 to 30th week our surrogate mothers communicate with doctors at least once every 14 days, and from 30 to 39th week - once every 7 to 10 days.

29What is the way to calculate the pregnancy term correctly?

Woman’s pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. The only thing is that the obstetrical term of the pregnancy begins on the 1st day of the menstrual cycle. If we take the day of the embryo transfer as the beginning of the pregnancy, then 38 weeks for singleton, functional pregnancy. Actually, OB GyN doctors say that normal term birth happens between 38 and 42 weeks of pregnancy.

30Can the surrogate mother have sex during the pregnancy?

We absolutely forbid the surrogate mother to have any kind of sexual relationships. The reason for that is that there is a lot of STDs present in Ukraine, which can affect the unborn child in a very negative way. Our surrogate mothers know, that the consequences of the sexual contact will certainly be negative, up to the termination of the pregnancy without any compensation and putting the surrogate mother in the black list.

31Where does the childbirth takes place? If the surrogate mother wants to do it in her city, is it possible?

We arrange everything related to labor and delivery, choosing the best private hospitals. We don’t let surrogate mothers select the hospital, since she is not giving birth to her own child, but yours, and will follow the terms of our company and clients, and not set her own requirements.

32Does the surrogate mother necessarily has to have the C-section?

No, it is not true. Majority of the surrogate mothers give birth naturally. C-section, like in the case of regular pregnancy, is only performed if there a medical need for it. If there is none, the biological parents cannot insist on the C-section; if there is such need, surrogate mother does not have a right to deny it.

33How does the registration of the newborn with the biological parents happen? How does the newborn gets handed over to the biological parents?

All the legal support, including the preparation of the paperwork from the surrogate mother is taken care of by us. On the assigned day you will need to come to the appointed Bureau of the Vital Statistics Office with a set of the documents, which we will prepare for you, and, following our instructions, receive the child’s Birth Certificate, where you and your spouse will be shown as parents. Regarding the handover of the child, you can bond with the child from birth, biological parents are also the ones to pick him/her up from the hospital.

34How important is the agreement with the surrogate mother? Is it necessary to notarize it?

It is the most important document, which you will have to sign with the surrogate mother during the surrogacy program process, which is why it is better to let professionals handle it. It sets the rights and responsibilities of both biological parents and the surrogate mother, the flow of the program and the order of all the payments related to it. You need to know that this agreement cannot force the surrogate mother to sign the agreement to put you as parents of the child in the life birth registration book, as it is set by the law, or to “handover” you the child according to this agreement, but it can regulate your property relationships in this case (payment of debt, compensation, etc.). The law does not include this agreement into the type of agreements that need to be notarized.

35How would the relationship between me and the surrogate mother be be legally recognized?

After signing the agreement between you and your choice of the surrogate mother in next 3 days we will prepare a very detailed agreement between you and the surrogate mother, including all possible nuances. This agreement will be prepared strictly individually, considering your specific situation, and can be notarized, though it is not required. Presence of such an agreement will allow to solve all the issues that can arise during the pregnancy and after birth of your child in advance.

36I am a public and a very recognizable person. Can you guarantee the confidentiality?

We can pridefully say that a lot of known people in our country and abroad trust us, including titled personas. Only the personal manager, assigned to take care of the client and assigned surrogate or reproductive mother, has an access to the enclosed information. Surrogate mother will not have any information about you. All the files containing personal information get destroyed after the program is complete.

37My wife and I have been married for 7 years already. We really want a child, but it turns out, my wife can’t have children because of medical reasons. We have heard about surrogacy program. How can we have a child with this program?

If your wife can’t get pregnant and there is a chance to get at least one healthy egg from her, we recommend to use the In Vitro Fertilization, when your spouse’s oocyte (egg) will be fertilized in laboratory environment with your sperm cells. The embryo, received in the result will be planted into your spouse's uterus. You don’t need a surrogate mother in this case.

If your spouse cannot carry a child, we recommend to use surrogate mother services, who will have the embryo, which was received as a result of IVF, planted in her. The born child will be your biological child, you will be his/hers biological parents. This procedure does not require adoption.

If there is no way to get a healthy egg, we recommend to use the oocyte donor. Donor egg will be fertilized in the lab environment with your sperm cells . The embryo will be transferred into the surrogate mother. The born child will be your (your and your spouse's) child (although, not having biological relation to your spouse). You will be considered biological parents. There is no need for an adaption procedure. To legally register such a procedure, you can contact our company.

38Do you help to find the surrogate mother?

Acting consistently with the interests of our clients and following their requests, we help them to find surrogate mother following the criteria set by the clients (ethnicity, age, presence of any biological children, place of living, etc.). It is healthy, psychologically stable women age from 20 to 35 years old, who already has children of her own, born naturally. Their pure desire is to help childless couples and single people discover the happiness of motherhood and fatherhood. Information about our reasonably strict requirements which we set for potential surrogate mothers, who wants to be in our database, you can find in corresponding page of our website.

Do not delay your chance to become parents!