Surrogacy in the Republic of Armenia
Surrogacy is intended to increase the level of birth and/or reproduction in the Republic of Armenia. This method of birth has not yet received wide recognition and application within the RA and is not yet fully fitting within the moral position of the Armenian society. However, surrogacy does exists in the RA and the number of children born through surrogacy is gradually increasing. Often, for various reasons, including related to health, a woman cannot bear a child herself, therefore for some, surrogacy is one of the few remaining opportunities to become parents.
The surrogate mother is the woman who is the donor carrying the fetus in her womb, and whose delivered child is not of her genotype. In the Republic of Armenia a woman can become a surrogate mother when aged between 20 (twenty) and 35 (thirty five) years, and who by the results of medical and genetic studies was found to have no contraindications to surrogacy. It is also a requirement that the surrogate has given birth to a healthy child previously, at least once.
A right to surrogacy is also given to women of childbearing age who are willing to bear children for their distant relatives, as well as, women who have undergone medical research the results of which showed no contraindications for surrogacy. In accordance with the legislation of the RA, a married woman can be a surrogate mother only with the consent of her lawfully wedded husband.
According to the RA legislation, surrogacy is strictly forbidden for women who have medical contraindications to surrogacy in accordance with the requirements of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia.
Contraindications to surrogacy in the Republic of Armenia are:
- Physical and/or mental illness, the presence of which contradicts to pregnancy and childbirth;
- Congenital and/or acquired defects of the uterus, the presence of which makes the insertion of the embryo and the pregnancy as a whole impossible;
- Ovarian tumor(s);
- Benign uterine tumor(s) that require surgical treatment and/or interference;
- Presence of acute inflammatory disease(s) regardless of their location within the body of the surrogate;
- Presence of malignant tumor(s) regardless of their location within the body of the surrogate.
A designated surrogate must undergo certain tests and studies before becoming a surrogate mother. These studies are set by the law of the Health Ministry of the RA:
- A general and gynecological examination;
- An ultrasound of the pelvic organs;
- Determination of blood group and Rh factor of the surrogate;
- General blood test, including the factors of its coagulation. This test is valid for one month;
- Blood test for HIV/AIDS virus, syphilis, hepatitis B and C. This test is valid for three months;
- A study on the presence of disease(s), sexually transmitted infection(s) IE: chlamydia, mycoplasmosis, ureaplasmosis, herpes, salivary gland disease, toxoplasmosis and rubella;
- A microscopic examination of smear and cervical ureter tube;
- A practitioner’s report on the health status of the designated surrogate and the possibility of pregnancy;
- Pap smear;
- Test determining the hormones in the blood of the designated surrogate, for medical reasons.
The designated surrogate mother cannot simultaneously be an egg donor. During gestation period and the birth of the child, she has the right to receive monetary compensation/remuneration, after signing the contract with the person or spouses, or with assisted reproductive technology providers, or with the appropriate health facilities agreeing on the sums to be provided. The person, or the couple who have concluded a contract with the surrogate mother for the use of assisted reproductive technologies, are liable for all expenses that are related to pregnancy, childbirth, and management of complications confirmed by medical documents.
The surrogate mother has no right to refuse to transfer the child born to her, to spouses, or other persons with whom the contract of surrogacy was made. Thus, the surrogate mother does not have any rights to the yet unborn, or born child and does not have any obligations after the transfer of the child to persons with whom the contract of surrogacy was made.
The contract shall be in writing and stamped by notary office of the area where the surrogate, or prospective parent(s) is/are resident. The surrogate mother is required to embark on medical check-ups during the early stage of pregnancy (prior to 12 (twelve) weeks). She is to be kept under medical supervision, strictly follow doctor’s instructions and monitor her and her unborn fetus’s health. If the surrogate mother lives separately from person(s) who have entered into a contract with her, she is obliged to inform the prospective parent(s) about the course of pregnancy.