New legislation in Greece creates a very progressive legal framework for the development of MAR/ART in the country improving people’s access to have treatment and help in having children.
The status and demographic trends in Greece
The demographic indicators of Greece reveal a continuous decrease of the population and not only decreasing but aging constituting a major risk factor for the economic development of the country. The fertility indicators in Greece are not optimistic as according to EUROSTAT, in 1970 2.40 live births per woman were registered in Greece and only 1.39 in 2020, where a minimum of 2.1 child per woman is required for a society to reproduce itself.
In addition, according to the same data, the average age that Greek women give birth to their first child is 31.7 years. In 2019 29,000 in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles were registered in Greece and from these 5,521 IVF conceived children were born corresponding to 6.4% of total births in the country.
The new legislation and it’s legal framework
The new law on medically assisted reproduction introduces reforms intended to facilitate childless during the process and increase births in Greece. The law allows social egg freezing for women regardless of their actual marital status, includes both anonymous as well as open oocyte and sperm donation, supports recruitment of candidates for surrogacy and lets healthy women treated until their 54th year.
In regards of surrogacy Greece becomes one of the very few jurisdictions which enforces surrogacy contracts and has adopted a progressive and tolerant legal framework on the regulation of surrogate motherhood. Surrogate compensation has to be restitution for any damages incurred and lost wages by the surrogate. The amount of the expenses, as described above, is regulated by the National Independent Authority for Medically Assisted Reproduction and is currently set at 10.000 Euros.
Surrogacy for who?
According to the letter of the law, the IPs can be a married heterosexual couple or a heterosexual couple living in a civil partnership, as well as a single woman, while there is no provision for the single man. However, two recent legal cases defined this provision of law as unconstitutional and discriminatory towards single men, who do not have a female partner and are unable for medical reasons to have a child and in both cases the judge authorized the surrogacy agreements.