The Greek legal framework for assisted reproduction services is one of the most progressive worldwide, establishing Greece (and Crete Fertility Centre) as an ideal destination for couples from abroad seeking treatment not available in their own country.
Recent Greek legislation assists couples to realize their dream of having a baby, using egg or sperm donation, until the age of 54 for women and without age limit for men, in contrast to other European countries such as France. In addition, there is favourable legislation for couples considering host surrogacy as a treatment option, in contrast to countries such as India.
Fertility regulations vary from country to country in the E.U. In UK legislation permits single women and gay/ same-sex couples (male and female) parenthood and access to ART technology in both public and private sector. This has led to an increase in demand for these services.
On the other hand, Italy legislated against single and gay parenthood in 2004 also being very restrictive to un-married couples, requiring a comprehensive series of medical examinations, to prove the couple to be infertile. In addition, embryo freezing, sperm donation and egg donation as well as surrogacy are forbidden by law.
In the United States of America, medical insurance companies and state law demand that couples follow a lengthy bureaucratic process before agreement to undertake treatment can be reached. Individual State laws differ, for example, in California, state law does not require insurance companies to include fertility treatments in their contracts, while in Connecticut, women over 40, are not covered by insurance companies.
Our 31 years of experience has shown that a lot of couples, motivated by their strong wish to have a baby, while hindered by restrictive legislation in their own country, seek Third World countries exposing themselves to avoidable risks due to inconsistency and clarity in standards of health care and hygiene as well as failure to conceive. Lack of a robust and transparent ART legal framework has been known to complicate the experience many couples have had abroad in unfamiliar cultures and societies.