By Andrea Rodrigo BSc, MSc (embryologist).
Last Update: 05/02/2016

Greek regulations governing the application of assisted reproductive technology operate in compliance with applicable Law 3305/2005, passed in 2005.

It stands for one of the most well-developed laws within Europe. The Law was drafted taking into account the best interests of the child as a primary consideration, as well as the set of bioethical principles related to assisted human reproduction.

Controversial techniques such as egg donation and/or sperm donation, as well as surrogacy, are some examples of techniques allowed in Greece and regulated under the above mentioned law.

IVF using donor eggs

When an individual person or couple needs donors eggs to be able to have a child, they have no choice but to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF). Criteria or requirements established by law in relation to the performance of IVF with donor eggs in Greece are:

  • Donors must remain completely anonymous and act in an altruistic manner, although a reimbursement of expenditure derived from the egg donation process is allowed.
  • Egg donors must be aged between 18 and 35.
  • Potential egg donors must be medically and psychologically screened, so that both their physical and emotional health are guaranteed.
  • The recipient of donor eggs, which is to say, the intended mother is the legal mother of the unborn child, but she cannot be above 50 years of age.
  • Double-donor IVF is allowed, i.e. using both donor eggs and donor sperm, as well as embryo adoption.

These are the requirements set out by Law 3305/2005 as regards in vitro fertilization using donor eggs. No particular mention is given to the type of fertilization technique of choice, which means that choosing between one technique or another (conventional IVF or ICSI) will depend on each particular situation.

If it is a case of severe male factor infertility, the technique of choice will be ICSI. Also in cases of fertilization failure when using conventional IVF or if some alteration likely to complicate the fertilization process is detected in the eggs, such as a thickened zona pellucida.

Surrogacy in Greece

Greece is included within the small group of European countries with a set of regulations that favor surrogacy. Thus, both straight couples and lesbian couples can have access to this technique, thereby leaving out single men and same-sex male couples.

Be it as it may, unmarried couples and single women must notify their marital status through a notarial deed, as established in Law 3305/2005. Besides, the surrogacy process can be started following approval by a judge.

The intended mother must prove that she is unable to become pregnant, as well as not being aged above 50. As for the surrogate, she cannot be the same woman who donates her eggs in case the intended mother is unable to use her own gametes.

Finally, it should be noted that commercial surrogacy is totally forbidden. However, intended parents will have to refund the expenses derived from the pregnancy and delivery processes, as well as work days lost by the surrogate during the gestation period.

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Authors and contributors

 Andrea Rodrigo
BSc, MSc
Embryologist
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

One comment

    1. Patrice Madison

      It is the saddest thing not being able to have a baby by your own mans, let alone if your hubby cannot also use his own semen. I guess double donation procedures are complicated, but they’re an option for those in the saddest situation… But I think surrogacy could be even worse, and especially in the European context. I mean, people from Europe are used to a culture in which distance is not so important as for ex. here in the UK, so I think surrogates can be even more attached to the child than un the US for instance. It’s a complicated thing I guess… and everyone is free to choose.