Fertility treatments using donor sperm or eggs in Greece

By (embryologist) and (fertility counselor).
Last Update: 04/12/2016

Egg donation and/or sperm donation are fertility treatments allowed in Greece under the provisions of law 3305/2005 on medically assisted reproduction. This set of provisions contains two fundamental aspects that define egg and sperm donation in the Hellenic Republic:

  • Anonymity of donors
  • Altruism

As for altruism, it should be noted that donors can get a refund of the potential expenses derived from the egg donation process. Through this, clinics usually give a maximum of €100 in the case of sperm donors and up to €800 to egg donors to compensate time off work and loss of earnings. As for travel expenses, the amount reaches €200 in the case of sperm donation and €600 for egg donors.

As for anonymity, another important point to note is that the donor-conceived child and the prospective parents will only have access to general information about the donor, like eye, skin, or hair color, as well as height, weight, etc.

It should also be mentioned, in accordance with Greek law, the age limit for women to become egg donors is 35, and 40 in the cae of prospective sperm donors. Furthermore, every candidate has to be screened (psychologically and medically) before being accepted.

Sperm donation

Donor sperm can be used for either intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF). It can be also used in the case of surrogacy, as Greek law is one of the few within Europe that allows the performance of this technique.

Sperm donors are mostly required by lesbian couples and single mothers. Greek law, however, does not expressly address this family types as potential users of assisted conception to have a baby. They can have access to this type of treatments provided that they file a notarial act stating what their family situation and legal obligations are. Such document is also a prerequisite for non-married heterosexual couples, regardless of whether they turn to donor conception.

Whenever donor sperm is needed, it will be a frozen semen sample, since Greek law 3305/2005 expressly forbids the use of fresh donor sperm.

Ovum donation in Greece

When egg donation is required, IVF is the only treatment of choice, which means artificial insemination is excluded. As in the case of sperm donation, Greek law allows surrogacy using donor eggs as well.

This way, even though the goal is to use the gametes of both intended parents, there exists also the possibility of undergoing surrogacy with donor eggs and the intended father's sperm, own eggs and donor sperm, gametes from both intended parents, or eggs and sperm from both egg and sperm donors.

Egg donation is usually the treatment of choice in cases of advanced maternal age in which egg quality and/or quantity is not enough as to achieve pregnancy. As for the age of egg donor recipients, they must be 50 years of age or younger in accordance with Greek law.

Surrogacy in Greece

As mentioned earlier, surrogacy is possible in Greece. Although at the beginning intended parents and surrogates had to be Greek citizens to be allowed, since 2014 this law was extended and today foreign patients have also the chance to travel to Greece in order to embark themselves on the surrogacy process.

According to Greek law, a special judicial permit is required. Besides, it must always be an act of altruism above all. A refund of the expenses derived from the gestation period and later delivery, such as time off work, screening tests, food or special clothing, etc.

In case the mother-to-be could not use her own eggs, she will have no option but to use donor eggs, which must have been donated by a woman other than the surrogate. By doing this, the genetic bond between the donor and the baby disappears, thereby reducing potential emotional and/or judicial problems.

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 Andrea Rodrigo
Andrea Rodrigo
B.Sc., M.Sc.
Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the University of Valencia along with the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Postgraduate course in Medical Genetics. More information about Andrea Rodrigo
Adapted into english by:
 Sandra Fernández
Sandra Fernández
B.A., M.A.
Fertility Counselor
Bachelor of Arts in Translation and Interpreting (English, Spanish, Catalan, German) from the University of Valencia (UV) and Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton Campus (Edinburgh, UK). Postgraduate Course in Legal Translation from the University of Valencia. Specialist in Medical Translation, with several years of experience in the field of Assisted Reproduction. More information about Sandra Fernández

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