Breakings News: Republic of Georgia to Ban International Surrogacy from 1 January
The Republic of Georgia is going to ban surrogacy for foreigners from 1 January 2024. This move will impact on Australians. Georgia has been the number 3 or 4 destination for Australians having children via surrogacy for several years now. Between 2019 and 2021, 63 Australian children were born via surrogacy in Georgia, according to figures kept by the Australian Department of Home Affairs.
News of the ban is unfortunately not a surprise, given the news from 2021 of the Georgian baby farm. Kristina Ozturk, 24, originally from Moscow met her husband Galip Ozturk, 57, while holidaying in Georgia. In just over a year, they had twenty-one babies through surrogacy in Georgia.
This is the second baby farm through surrogacy, the first being discovered in Thailand in 2014 at the time of the Baby Gammy saga, when 16 Thai or Cambodian women were surrogates for the son of a Japanese dotcom billionaire. The children were eventually allowed to be in his care. The clinic that implicated in the Baby Gammy saga was the same clinic in the Thai baby farm. The result was that Thai authorities cracked down on surrogacy, in effect banning it for foreigners.
“Unfortunately, due to the fact that the field was unregulated, we had no way to track where the children born through surrogacy were going, and there were also risks of trafficking. Therefore, issues of medically assisted reproduction and surrogacy will be possible only for Georgian citizens”, Health Minister Zurab Azarashvili said.
According to the Minister of Health, both globally and in Georgia, the number of people who need medical help for reproductive purposes is increasing. Laws will be introduced to Parliament to outlaw international surrogacy.
“This is related to various unethical and very bad practices. This direction was not regulated and presented many different dangers. For example, regarding the trafficking of children, there could be sad facts, I don’t want to speak in the form of an assertion now. Speaking of form, there is also a very big challenge regarding organ trafficking. The unregulated market was accompanied by many unacceptable and unethical forms. Now we have a clear record and it will only concern the citizens of Georgia”, said Zurab Azarashvili.
According to the minister, due to the fact that the principle of selfless donation of tissues/cells and surrogacy is not defined at the legislative level, commercial interests in the field are high.
“What is regulated by this law is important – the principle of altruism. Even a citizen of Georgia who wants to be a donor or a surrogate should act based on the principle of altruism and will be able to receive only the compensation that accompanies the inconvenience associated with this process, or medical examinations or then childbirth and these costs.”