Surrogate mother: Current legislative framework in Cyprus
By: Lysandrou, Florou LLC
Cyprus has advanced a few years ago in the enactment of Legislation which governs the process of pregnancy through a surrogate mother, a particularly delicate, sensitive but also until recently novel issue.
The legislative framework that governs the process of pregnancy through a surrogate mother is determined in the Law on the Implementation of Medically Assisted Reproduction of 2015 (69(I)/2015), the purpose of which is to regulate the framework for the application of the methods of medically assisted reproduction, with a way to ensure on the one hand the respect of the freedom of the individual and the right of personality and on the other hand the satisfaction of the desire to obtain offspring based on the data of medicine, biology as well as the principles of bioethics.
The passing of the above Law has been judged to be of great importance for the medical data of Cyprus.
As the Law provides, when applying the methods of Medically Assisted Reproduction, the interest of the child to be born should be taken into account.
Of particular importance for Cyprus are the provisions of the above Law which regulate the issue of surrogacy and which are applicable under specific conditions, granting the right to couples as well as to single persons who decide to turn to the method of medical surrogacy assisted reproduction to have a child through surrogacy, following the steps provided by the Law.
Based on the provisions of the above Law, medical assistance in human reproduction is allowed only to deal with the inability to have children naturally or to make it possible to avoid the transmission of a serious disease to the child.
The process of obtaining a child through a surrogate mother takes place through the transfer into the body of another woman of embryos alien to her and pregnancy by her and is allowed only after obtaining a court order, which is issued before placing the embryos in the womb of the surrogate mother and as long as the relative approval of the Council for Medically Assisted Reproduction is previously secured as well as the conclusion of a written and free agreement between the couple seeking to have a child and the woman who will carry it, as well as her husband in case she is married.
The couple who wishes to have a child through the method of surrogacy should submit an application to the Council in order to obtain written approval, which is a necessary condition so that it will subsequently be possible for the couple to go to Court and request the issuance of surrogacy decree.
In order to issue the required approval, the Council must be satisfied, inter alia, that there is sufficient proof that the woman is medically unable to conceive, that the woman offering to become pregnant is, taking into account her general state of health, suitable for pregnancy, that the eggs that will be implanted in the uterus should not belong to her but come either from the woman who wishes to have a child or from a donor, that a written statement has been signed according to which all the persons involved agree to undergo the specific method and that they do not any financial consideration has been agreed as well as that both the woman wishing to have a child and the surrogate mother have their permanent residence or usual legal residence in the Republic.
Subsequently, the required Court decree is issued upon application of the couple or the single person who wishes to have a child through the method of surrogacy and it may be subject to conditions and instructions which may be deemed necessary for the more effective implementation of the decree and the achievement of the purposes for which this is issued.
After the issuance of the required court order and before the conception of the fetus, the Law provides for the conclusion of a written agreement between the surrogate mother and her husband, if she is married, and the legally married couple seeking to obtain of a child or of a single person, as long as he meets the conditions required by the Law.
The said agreement should, in accordance with the provisions of the Law, necessarily provide, among other things, that the surrogate mother will not be the parent of the child, at the same time giving up her right to the child and that upon the birth of the child, she will immediately hand it over to the couple with the which concluded the agreement. The couple who have signed the agreement are presumed to be the parents of the child from the moment of its creation and implantation in the womb and as such have all the rights and obligations that this status.