Greece Rocked by a Surrogacy Scandal
Greece has been rocked by a surrogacy scandal, with eight staff members at Crete’s Mediterranean Fertility Institute being arrested and charged with human trafficking, illegal adoption, purchase and sale of genetic material, falsification of medical file data for the purpose of selling genetic material, forgery, false medical certificates, fictitious marriages and fraud.
The clinic has been closed by police. Children who have been born from the clinic are under police guard, and eggs, sperm and embryos are now under the control of Greek authorities.
The head of Greek’s National Organisation on Reproductive Medicine, Professor Nikolaos Vrachnis has been dismissed in wake of the scandal.
Australian intended parents are caught up in this. I am told that some Australian parents are concerned that their children in Australian are not theirs. They should consider the implications before undertaking a DNA test, and consider talking to a fertility counsellor first. The children are the most vulnerable, and the most deserving of protection- because they are children.
I am also told that Australian parents are in Crete- and unable to be with their children. Other Australian intended parents have discovered that their paperwork which proves that they are parents has disappeared into the void- either of the clinic, or police actions following the raid. Yet more Australian intended parents are left wondering when or if they can access their genetic material.
Greek authorities should be mindful of the collateral damage to the surrogates, parents and children, and put in place supports for them. The surrogates, parents and children are the innocents. Many intended parents have already faced trauma through their infertility- and looked to surrogacy as the golden future, only to learn in horror that their dreams have been shattered and their money spent for nothing. The more urgent support that they get from Greek and Australian authorities, including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the better.
Stephen Page is a dad through an Australian surrogacy journey. Since 1988, he has advised in over 1900 surrogacy journeys for clients throughout Australia and 30+ countries overseas. He is the 2023 Queensland Law Society President’s Medal recipient.
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