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Surrogacy in Czech Republic | Laws | Programs | Costs | Clinics

Surrogacy in Czech Republic | Laws | Programs | Costs | Clinics

The Prospective Parents’ Insightful Guide on Surrogacy in the Czech Republic 

The Czech Republic neither legalizes, regulates, nor prohibits prospective parents from applying for surrogacy services and initiating the arrangements. However, “the transfer of the child by the surrogate mother to the intended parents is not legally enforceable, and any surrogacy contract would be invalid [1].” According to Czech legislation, the mother of a child is always considered to be the woman who gave birth, regardless of genetic link with the newborn, even in cases where donor eggs or the intended mother’s oocytes are used in IVF to create the embryo. 

Despite the absence of a legal framework and the need to follow adoption rules for the newborn, the Czech Republic has become a popular destination for surrogacy among intended couples from the United Kingdom, Canada, and European countries. This is due to its more than 39 innovative IVF clinics, equipped with cutting–edge hi–tech laboratories and offering advanced treatment solutions. Additionally, the country offers sophisticated protocols tailored to each unique case, and experienced professionals dedicated to helping couples take the first step towards their desired child. Moreover, the relatively lower costs compared to some other countries where surrogacy is legal and regulated make the Czech Republic an attractive option.

Furthermore, the Czech Republic’s leading fertility experts uphold world–class standards, providing personalized care and adapting treatment plans to fit the unique circumstances of prospective parents. While legal uncertainties persist, the country’s expertise in assisted reproductive technologies and commitment to individualized care make it an appealing option for those pursuing surrogacy.

This guide is crafted for couples opting for a third–party reproduction option as their comprehensive resource on surrogacy in the Czech Republic. We will cover everything you need to know as an intended parent before proceeding, including the legal aspects, eligibility criteria, available programs, cost considerations, and leading fertility clinics offering surrogacy.

Legislation on Surrogacy in Czech Republic  

Surrogacy is a medical procedure in which a woman, known as a gestational carrier, “lends” her uterus to carry out a pregnancy for another person or couple. Conception can happen through intrauterine insemination (using sperm from the intended father or a donor) or in vitro fertilization (creating an embryo in a lab and implanting it in the carrier’s uterus). Regardless of the method, the surrogate hosts the fetus until birth and then relinquishes the child to the intended parents.

In the Czech Republic, there is no specific law governing surrogacy. However, relevant sections of the Civil Code (Law No. 373/2011), Family Law (Act No. 94/1963 Sb., Article 775), and the Constitution (Article 2 Paragraph 4) are applied along with IVF guidelines.

Currently, surrogacy eligibility in the Czech Republic seems to be limited to heterosexual couples. However, reliable sources are conflicting, so it is best to consult with a lawyer specializing in family law.

Czech law considers the woman who gives birth as the child’s mother, regardless of the intended mother’s (if her oocytes were used in IVF) or egg donor’s identity.

The child’s father is considered to be the man who gave the consent for artificial insemination (the prospective father or the surrogate’s husband). In the case of surrogacy with birth in the Czech Republic, the intended father (if he gave consent for insemination) is the legal father of the child. If there is no contest, and the surrogate is married, her husband will be legally considered as a father of the baby. Depending on the citizenship of the intended mother, she may need to follow the adoption route. 

After the birth of the baby, the surrogate mother signs a set of documents in which she waives her rights to the child and consents to his or her travel to the father’s country. This is because, under Czech law, the surrogate mother is considered the legal mother, even if the birth certificate shows the biological father’s name. This legal step ensures a smooth transition for the child to the intended parents’ home country.

Baby’s citizenship

Once the baby is born, the hospital/birth center/health professional will notify the local birth register. They will issue the baby’s birth certificate.

If one of the baby’s official parents is a Czech citizen, the child will automatically get Czech citizenship. If the arrangement is with a Czech surrogate, the infant will be recognized as a Czech citizen. Depending on the intended couple’s origin country rules, the baby might also have a right to dual citizenship.

Additionally, prospective parents should contact their embassy in the Czech Republic and apply for the newborn passport or have him/her written into their passport. 

Eligibility criteria for intended parents 

Surrogacy in the Czech Republic is currently limited to heterosexual couples experiencing infertility. While the legal landscape is evolving, clinics primarily focus on couples with documented medical reasons that prevent them from carrying a pregnancy themselves.

Here are some common medical conditions that may qualify a couple for surrogacy:

  • Congenital or acquired absence of a uterus: This includes women who were born without a uterus (Mayer–Rokitansky–Küster–Hauser syndrome) or those who have had a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus).
  • Functional uterine issues: This can involve conditions like severe endometriosis, scarring, or uterine malformations that prevent a healthy pregnancy.
  • Repeated failed IVF attempts: Couples who have undergone multiple cycles of in vitro fertilization (IVF) without success may be considered.
  • History of miscarriages: A history of recurrent miscarriages can also be a qualifying factor.
  • Medical conditions posing a health risk to the mother: If a medical condition would be life–threatening for the intended mother during pregnancy, surrogacy might be an option.

Additional Requirements

Prospective parents will undergo a medical evaluation to confirm these medical reasons. A qualified physician will then provide a medical certificate. Age limitations and psychological evaluations may also be part of the eligibility criteria set by the clinic.

Legislation on Egg Donation

Egg donation is legal, altruistic, and completely anonymous in the Czech Republic and subject to strict control. It is a selfless act, and donors are not financially compensated beyond reimbursement for donation–related expenses.

Women between 18 and 35 years old can apply to become egg donors. However, most clinics set a lower age limit, typically 32 or 33. Each donor applicant undergoes the comprehensive medical and psychological screening process, which follows European Parliament and European Council Directive 2004/23/ES and Act No. 296/2008 and Regulation 422/2008 and includes:

  • Psychological Interview: This assesses a donor’s suitability for the emotional aspects of donation.
  • Medical Evaluation: This involves a physical examination, ultrasound scan, and blood tests. Blood tests check for sexually transmitted diseases, hormones, blood type, and Rh factor.
  • Genetic Screening: This may include karyotyping, genetic compatibility testing, and screening for specific genetic conditions.

Only after completing all evaluations (medical and psychological) can a woman be approved as an egg donor.

Depending on the clinic’s decision, the basic characteristics of the donor (age, appearance, blood type) may be revealed to the couple.

Czech Law on Sperm Donation

Sperm donation in the Czech Republic follows a strict legal framework that adheres to European Union (EU) directives. These directives, 2004/23/EC and 2006/17/EC are mandatory for all member states. Additionally, Czech law implements even stricter regulations through Act No. 296/2008 Coll. on Safeguarding the Quality and Safety of Human Cells and Decree No. 422/2008 Coll.

Sperm donation is a legal and entirely voluntary act. Donors are men between 18 and 40 years old and in good health with normal fertility; their identities are anonymous to recipients and any offspring. Financial compensation is prohibited, but reimbursement for donation–related expenses is allowed.

Prospective donors undergo a thorough screening process to ensure physical and genetic suitability. This includes:

  • Undergo medical and psychological evaluation. 
  • Produce high–quality semen as confirmed by analysis.
  • Test negative for sexually–transmitted diseases (HIV, Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), Cytomegalovirus (CMV), syphilis, and chlamydia.
  • Undergo genetic screening (including karyotyping, cystic fibrosis testing, and genetic analysis) with a follow–up consultation with a clinical geneticist.
  • Have sperm frozen and re–tested for STDs after 180 days. Only upon a negative result can the applicant become a donor. 

Similar to egg donation, only non–identifying information about the donor can be revealed to the prospective couple.

Surrogate Mother Qualifications in the Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, surrogacy guidelines are set by the Committee for Assisted Reproduction of the Czech Gynecological and Obstetrical Society (2012). These guidelines follow recommendations from the International Federation of Gynecology & Obstetrics (FIGO) and prioritize the well–being of both the surrogate mother and the baby.

Key Requirements for Surrogate Mothers:

  • Gestational Surrogacy Only: Only gestational surrogacy, where the surrogate mother has no genetic link to the child, is permitted.
  • Age and Experience: Ideal surrogates are between 21 and 35 years old and have already given birth to at least one healthy child, with no prior pregnancy complications.
  • Respecting Autonomy: The surrogate mother’s right to make decisions about her pregnancy is respected, even if it conflicts with the intended parents’ wishes.
  • Minimizing Risks: To ensure the gestational carrier’s health, embryo transfer is limited to one at a time, following recommendations by specialist groups like ESHRE (European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology), ASRM (American Society for Reproductive Medicine), and FIGO.

Importing/Shipping Gametes and Embryos to the Czech Republic

Cryoshipping vitrified oocytes, embryos, and cryopreserved specimens from abroad to the Czech Republic for surrogacy is possible. Still, it requires careful planning and adherence to specific regulations (EU tissue directives) governing the importation of reproductive materials, ensuring compliance with international standards for safety and ethical practices. The European tissue directive states that, as long as the individuals and couples have provided all requested documents, it is possible to ship inside and outside the EU.

Intended parents or the fertility clinic will need to ensure the gametes or embryos originate from a licensed facility and meet Czech import requirements. This often involves cryopreservation (freezing) of the genetic material and transportation in specialized containers (CryoShippers) designed to maintain appropriate temperature and sterility. Upon arrival, the gametes or embryos are carefully handled and stored in specialized laboratories until their devitrification. Partnering with a clinic experienced in cross–border surrogacy can streamline this process and ensure all necessary paperwork and permits are obtained for export and import.

Sex Selection of an Embryo

In the Czech Republic, sex selection of embryos is only permitted to prevent serious genetic diseases passed down on the X chromosome, such as hemophilia A and B, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Fragile X syndrome, Lesch–Nyhan syndrome and others. This procedure is not allowed for personal preferences, such as wanting a baby of a specific sex for “family balancing.”

Czech Gestational Surrogacy Programs

Intended parents choosing surrogacy in the Czech Republic have access to various programs tailored to their specific needs. These programs address situations like couples with existing embryos stored abroad or those seeking egg donation alongside surrogacy. Clinics or agencies, local or international, can facilitate these programs.

Commonly, program options include:

  • In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) with Gestational Surrogacy: This combines IVF with surrogacy, where the intended parents’ embryos are implanted in a gestational carrier.
  • Egg Donation and Gestational Surrogacy: This program utilizes donated eggs, fertilized with sperm from the intended father or donor, and carried by a gestational carrier.
  • Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) and Gestational Surrogacy: This option allows the implantation of previously frozen embryos from the intended parents or donors into a gestational carrier.

Additional Considerations:

While some agencies offer programs with guarantees (like guaranteed live births, premium egg donation options, and traveling egg donors), these come with additional costs and complexities. It is essential to carefully research and understand all program options before making a decision.

How Much Does Surrogacy Cost in Czech Republic?

Surrogacy costs in the Czech Republic can vary significantly depending on the type of arrangement the couple chooses. 

Cross–Border Surrogacy with Czech Birth 

For couples choosing agency–assisted surrogacy with IVF and embryo transfer abroad (Albania, Cyprus, etc.) and birth in the Czech Republic, costs range from €80,000 to €109,000. The final price depends on the specific program and chosen guarantees.

Full Surrogacy in the Czech Republic

This option offered by agencies includes the entire surrogacy process within the Czech Republic, from IVF and embryo transfer to the baby’s birth. Costs vary from €56,000 to €79,000 depending on several factors, such as genetic material used, the program and guarantees selected, the number of clinical procedures involved, the number of attempts, and other factors. Live birth guarantee programs have a higher price, starting at €86,000 and up. 

Independent surrogacy arrangements have a more affordable price tag, starting at €27,000 (excluding IVF costs). 

IVF Surrogacy

A single–attempt program in vitro fertilization (IVF) using the intended mother’s eggs and the intended father’s sperm with gestational surrogacy costs from €50,000 to €60,000.

Guaranteed Program with Legal Support typically costs around €77,000.

Surrogacy with a Local Egg Donor

A single–attempt program with a Local Egg Donor pricing starts at €60,000 and ranges to €69,000.

Bundles at a higher cost of $72,000 to $79,000 may include a tandem IVF cycle using the prospective mother’s and the donor’s oocytes within one cycle, two or more transfer trials, vitrification and storage of unused embryos, and a cryotransfer backup (one or multiple).

Surrogacy with a Traveling Egg Donor

Couples seeking an exclusive donation or needing a global egg donor with specific qualifications, or opting for a premium donor with specific qualifications or experience or a package with additional services (such as DuoStim and two egg retrievals within one cycle, tandem cycle (synchronization of intended mother’s and donor’s menstrual cycles and simultaneous stimulation for both donor and intended mother, or a Live Birth Guarantee) should expect to pay additionally between $36,000 and $69,000 on top of the base program cost.

Guaranteed Surrogacy with a Local/Other Ethnicity Egg Donor

Some agencies offer “Live Birth Guarantee” packages for surrogacy with egg donation. These typically include additional costs compared to standard programs.

The cost for a Live Birth Guarantee package ranges from €80,000 to €89,000 for using a local donor and €90,000 to $109,000 for other ethnicity egg donors (traveling premium donor, live birth guarantee). 

Surrogacy Only with Existing Vitrified Embryos

For intended parents who already have vitrified embryos (through IVF or another program) in their local clinic, the Czech Republic offers a program known as cryotransfer with gestational surrogacy involving the transportation of embryos to the clinic, devitrification, and transfer. Such an option typically costs between €53,000 and €59,000.

Cost of Independent Surrogacy

Couples who decide to proceed independently (without facilitators) should expect to pay €27,000 (minimum) beyond the IVF treatment. The breakdown of typical costs associated with a private route includes: 

For couples pursuing independent surrogacy (without facilitators), estimated costs start at €27,000 on top of IVF treatment. Here's a breakdown of typical expenses:

  • Screening: €3,000 to €7,000 (includes evaluations for intended parents and surrogate).
  • Legal Fees: Start at €6,000 (may vary depending on complexity).
  • IVF/Embryo Shipping: Costs vary depending on the situation.
  • Medications: €2,000 to €6,000 per cycle (for both intended parents and surrogate)
  • Insurance: €3,000 and higher.
  • Surrogate Reimbursement: Up to €10,000 (covers postpartum care, lost wages, complications, and pregnancy–related expenses).
  • Childbirth: €3,000+ (normal delivery); €3,900+ (C–section).
  • Additional Medical Expenses: Variable (covers unforeseen situations like premature birth or complications).
  • Other Fees: May apply (depending on specific circumstances).

IVF Treatment Cost:

  • A single cycle of ICSI with the prospective mother’s oocytes and the partner’s sperm (Single Stim or DuoStim cycle including blastocyst transfer): €3,490 EUR–€5,500.
  • ICSI with own eggs and sperm and blastocyst transfer (all–inclusive program): €7,400–€7,500.
  •          Tandem IVF cycle using the intended mother’s and donor’s oocytes (a single attempt package): €4,900–€7,400.

Egg Donation IVF cost:

  • IVF with egg donation, including a guarantee of up to two blastocysts: €4,890–€6,700.
  • Egg donation IVF (three viable blastocysts are guaranteed, 3rd cycle for free in case there is no pregnancy after 2 full IVF cycles): €7,200–€7,990.
  • IVF with egg donation (more than four viable blastocysts are guaranteed, vitrification of the remaining embryos, cryotransfer backup): €8,500–€9,900.
  • All–inclusive multi–cycle IVF with egg donation (guarantee of more than 4 viable blastocysts, vitrification and storage of unused embryos, cryotransfer backups): €12,600–€13,369.

Sperm Donation IVF Cost:

  • ICSI using the donor’s sperm (Single Stim protocol, fresh or cryopreserved donor’s sperm, ICSI technique, and embryo transfer): €2,900–€3,990.

Disclaimer: The costs are indicative and subject to change. The closed costs may differ from the estimates. Additionally, the represented fees may not cover screenings, extra procedures, medications, preimplantation genetic testing, vitrification and storage of the remaining embryos services, additional transfer trials, and cryoshipping of the remaining embryos to another destination. Consult directly with Czech fertility clinics for the most up–to–date pricing information.

Czech Clinics Specializing in Fertility Treatment and Surrogacy

Hosting around 30 fertility clinics, the Czech Republic offers cutting–edge assisted reproduction services to heterosexual couples regardless of their residential status. Many clinics offer IVF and egg donation, but fewer specialize in surrogacy. These clinics have experience handling the unique medical aspects of surrogacy, such as gestational carrier screening and matching, synchronized cycles for egg retrieval and transfer, hormonal medication protocols for intended parents and gestational carriers, and preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) for embryo selection. 

When choosing a surrogacy clinic, consider factors like success rates in surrogacy pregnancies, experience with legal aspects of surrogacy in the Czech Republic, transparency about costs and fees, donor pool availability (if applicable), gestational carrier pool (if applicable), open communication and support.

Here are some Czech clinics specializing in surrogacy:

Final Note:

The Czech Republic offers advanced technology and potentially lower costs compared to other destinations, making it a consideration for couples seeking surrogacy. However, it is essential to understand the legislation. Surrogacy in the Czech Republic is not illegal but also not explicitly regulated. Commercial surrogacy is prohibited, and any such arrangement is considered criminal. Altruistic surrogacy arrangements are possible, but the legal mother is the gestational carrier after birth, and intended parents must take legal steps to secure parental rights.

Given the lack of regulations, initiating surrogacy arrangements in the Czech Republic requires caution and professional guidance. Consulting with experienced lawyers specializing in family law and reproductive law is essential. They can advise you on the legal aspects, potential challenges, and necessary steps to secure your parental rights. Additionally, consulting with a reputable fertility clinic experienced in international surrogacy can ensure you understand the available programs, navigate the medical processes, and receive proper support throughout your journey.

As the demand for surrogacy grows globally, discussions regarding clear legal frameworks for surrogacy in the Czech Republic are ongoing. These frameworks would aim to address the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved. Until such regulations are established, careful consideration and professional guidance are paramount for those pursuing surrogacy in the Czech Republic.

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