Legal and illegal countries for surrogacy

Deciphering Surrogacy Laws: Countries Where Surrogacy is Legal

Surrogacy is an infertility treatment process in which a woman uses her womb to carry a baby for another couple who are not capable to have their own child because of some medical problems. Unfortunately, this process is only available in few countries in all over the world. So many intended parents travel to foreign countries in order to do the surrogacy process. There is no unit law about this subject in all over the world. Thus, in TebMedTourism we feel it is our duty to clarify more about different countries’ laws and how they deal with this technique.

 In this article, we classified countries into three categories: legal countries, restricted countries and illegal countries for surrogacy. Keep this in mind that these laws can always go through some changes as the time passes. Consult with an experienced surrogacy lawyer first when you want to choose a country for undergoing surrogacy process.


Discovering Countries Where Surrogacy is Legal


Countries with legal surrogacy

Surrogacy is allowed in the countries where an explicit law supports this kind of fertility treatment. The favorable law should clearly establish the requirements and conditions for performing the process like the types of families who can use it, intended parents and surrogate’s rights and obligations, parentage establishment, etc.

Surrogacy is a challenging and complicated process. It is very important to rely on a trustworthy and professional surrogacy agency to make sure all the works are in control and well-managed. Also, there are various surrogacy costs all over the world that should be considered according to your budget before starting.

Countries where surrogacy is legal in 2023

Now we are going to explain the surrogacy laws by country. The surrogacy process as a way of having offspring is legal in many countries and has explicit laws. Some of these countries only allow the altruistic way of this process where the surrogate mother does not receive a fee for her work. In some other countries, the commercial (compensated) type of surrogacy when the surrogate mother receives a fee is also legally accepted.
The countries with legal surrogacy include the Iran, USA (some states), the UK, Russia, Ukraine, Greece, Georgia, Canada, the Netherlands, and Kazakhstan. In India, surrogacy is legal for the residents. Australia is among the countries where surrogacy is legal but in an altruistic way. Brazilian law bans commercial Surrogacy, but altruistic surrogacy is allowed.

  • Surrogacy Law in IRAN
    Iran is the only Muslim country where surrogacy is legally and religiously accepted and supported. This country is the best destination, for infertile couples from all around the world who are seeking a qualified surrogate to carry and give birth to their child. Both commercial and altruistic surrogacy is supported in Iran and the surrogate mother can be compensated for her services beyond reimbursement of medical expenses. Surrogacy in Iran is only permitted for heterosexual married couples who are unable to conceive a child through traditional methods and have a medical reason for that.

Surrogacy in Iran




19,000$ (needs more consultation)



Hospital Stay

Zero day

Minimum Stay in Iran

3 to 4 weeks

  • Surrogacy Law in the USA
    In the United States, surrogacy law can be different in each state. Some states, such as California and Vermont, have laws that support surrogacy and make it a relatively straightforward process. Other states, such as New York, have laws that either ban surrogacy or make it difficult to legally establish parentage. If you want to choose the united states as your destination for receiving the surrogacy service, it is important to check the laws in the specific state where the surrogacy arrangement will take place and consult with a lawyer who specializes in surrogacy law.
  • Surrogacy Law in CANADA
    Canada is among the legal surrogacy countries, but the process is regulated by provincial laws. Some provinces have laws that specifically regulate surrogacy, while others do not. In general, surrogacy arrangements in Canada must be altruistic, meaning that the surrogate cannot be paid for her services. However, expenses related to surrogacy can be covered. Intended parents may be able to adopt the child born through surrogacy, but the process for doing so varies by province. It is important to consult with a lawyer who specializes in reproductive law to understand the specific laws and regulations in your province.
  • Surrogacy Law in UKRAINE
    Ukraine is another legal surrogacy country and it is regulated by the Ukrainian law “On Assisted Reproductive Technologies” which was adopted in 2011. The law allows both traditional surrogacy, where the surrogate mother is artificially inseminated with the intended father’s sperm, and gestational surrogacy, where the surrogate mother carries an embryo created using the intended parents’ or donors’ gametes.
    The law also states that the surrogate mother must be at least 25 years old and have given birth to at least one child. The intended parents must be married and both must be medically infertile or have a medical problem that makes pregnancy dangerous. The intended parents must also be residents of Ukraine or have a temporary residence permit in Ukraine. However, due to the current war which is ongoing in Ukraine, undergoing the surrogacy process in this country is not recommended.

Restricted countries for surrogacy


Some countries may allow surrogacy but under certain conditions. In some countries, surrogacy is allowed if the intended couples do the process in another country so it is accepted legally but not allowed to do in their own country.

In some of them, surrogacy is prohibited for foreign applicants and it is only available for local residents under special circumstances which make international surrogacy impossible. One of the examples is India where only Indian people can perform the process. In the other countries like Australia or European Union countries, compensated surrogacy is not allowed and people can only try altruistic surrogacy which means the intended parents and the surrogate should avoid any economic relations for the surrogacy process.

If you are considering international surrogacy, you seriously should be aware of all the probable restrictions in the destination country. You have to make sure your condition fits all the necessary requirements in order not to waste your time and money. However certain surrogacy restrictions may make the process even safer. You have to consult with an experienced lawyer and then decide which destination is the best for you.

Illegal countries for surrogacy


Illegal countries for surrogacy

Finally, there are some countries in which surrogacy is completely forbidden because of religious, moral or legal reasons. Although surrogacy may have been legal in these countries in the past, inability to regulate them may have ended to outlaw it completely instead of trying to make a legal and practical structure for it.

In most parts of Europe, surrogacy is an illegal process. These are the countries where you cannot address them as the surrogacy bases in the world: Bulgaria,Portugal, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Germany, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Estonia, Moldavia, Turkey.

This prohibition even exists in some USA states in spite of its popularity as one of the best countries for surrogacy arrangements. New York, Arizona, Michigan, Indiana, and North Dakota are some of the states where surrogacy and those who participate in it are punishable by law. They may be imprisoned or subject to pay a fine

This restriction also exists in Mexico except two states of Tabasco and Sinaloa that allow surrogacy for the local people. In the past, foreign candidates had the permission to undergo surrogacy in Mexico but after 2015 the access for international surrogacy has been banned.

Therefore, these are not countries to be considered as a surrogacy destination. Regardless of where your selected country is, ensure that you know the whole surrogacy law in that country in order not to face a problem during the process. As mentioned before, while this article offers a general view toward surrogacy destination, you should speak to an experienced well-informed lawyer before taking any actions.

If you want to experience high-quality medical services, equipped facilities and affordable prices, doing surrogacy in Iran is one of the best choices that you can ever have.

Countries where surrogacy is illegal in 2023

In some countries, surrogacy is considered illegal and not supported by law. In most parts of Europe such as Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Estonia, Iceland, Thailand, and Moldavia surrogacy is prohibited. Surrogacy is also banned in many Asian countries such as Pakistan, Japan, China, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.
It is important to understand the laws of the country from the beginning because the illegality of surrogacy stops you to use a surrogate from that country.
International surrogacy can be significantly cheaper than surrogacy in your home country. If you decide to have surrogacy in a country like Iran, your medical expenses, IVF treatments, and surrogate fees all can be lower even in cases that you can use insurance in your own country.

  • Surrogacy Law in GERMANY
    Germany is not among legal surrogacy countries. The German Embryo Protection Act and the German Parentage Act prohibit commercial surrogacy and make it a criminal offense to compensate a surrogate for carrying a child. Altruistic surrogacy, where the surrogate is not financially compensated, is also not explicitly allowed but is not explicitly prohibited either. The laws around surrogacy in Germany are complex; therefore, it is recommended to consult a legal expert for more information.
  • Surrogacy Law in SWEDEN
    Sweden is not among countries with legal surrogacy, as it is considered to be a form of exploitation of women and a violation of their human rights. The Swedish government has stated that the use of surrogates is incompatible with the country’s values and laws regarding gender equality and parenthood. As a result, individuals who engage in surrogacy, either as intended parents or surrogates, may face criminal charges and fines. Adoption is the only legally recognized form of becoming a parent in Sweden.
  • Surrogacy Law in TURKEY
    In Turkey, surrogacy is not regulated by law, making it illegal. Commercial surrogacy is not permitted, but altruistic surrogacy, where the surrogate mother receives no financial compensation, may be allowed in certain circumstances. The legal status of surrogacy arrangements in Turkey is unclear and there have been no reported cases of surrogacy arrangements being enforced by the courts. As a result, it is recommended that prospective parents consider alternative options for starting a family.
  • Surrogacy Law in SAUDI ARABIA
    Surrogacy is not legally recognized or regulated in Saudi Arabia. This country does not provide any legal or medical support for any form of surrogacy arrangements, and those found to be involved in such practices may face criminal charges and penalties.
    The Saudi Arabian government has taken a strong stance against surrogacy, and it is not considered a viable option for couples who wish to have children. There have been cases in the past where individuals have attempted to pursue surrogacy arrangements abroad, but the Saudi Arabian authorities have not recognized such arrangements, and the children born through surrogacy are not considered to have legal ties to their parents.

Frequently asked questions about the Legal & illegal countries for surrogacy


Is surrogacy legal around the world?

Surrogacy law differs in various countries. Some countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Bulgaria ban both forms of surrogacy (altruistic and compensated). In some countries like the UK, Ireland, Denmark and Belgium only altruistic surrogacy is allowed, and paying a fee to a surrogate is prohibited. In some other countries such as Iran, Russia, and Ukraine, commercial surrogacy is legal.

In which European countries is surrogacy legal?

Surrogacy is banned in most European countries, and violation of law has serious punishment in some of these countries such as Austria, Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, and Estonia. Altruistic surrogacy is allowed in the UK, Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal, and the Czech Republic. Surrogacy is legal in Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus. It is interesting to know that in Greece, Belgium, Spain, and Finland, surrogacy is not regulated by law but it is not banned either.


Author: Leila Nazari

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