The problem of infertility and surrogate motherhood in Kazakhstan

One of the biggest problems of our times is infertility. According to WHO, large numbers of people are affected by childbearing difficulties: globally one in six people. Childless couples from all over the world are seeking for any available ways to become parents. The surrogate mother services are the last hope for many desperate ones. But it has not become so easy to do it over the last few years.

Ukraine has always been considered an unspoken center of surrogate motherhood all over the world and used to be one of the few countries where the legislation allowed people of different nationalities and confessions to make their lifelong dream come true, namely, to become parents of a baby. After February 2022, there have been radical changes. A lot of Ukrainian surrogacy centers left the country and started working in other countries due to military actions. In one case, the relocation had a negative impact on the quality of services.

A large Kyiv clinic that provided turnkey surrogacy services is meant here. The medical center has relocated to Kazakhstan since the war started. Hundreds of childless couples have lost the opportunity to experience the happiness of motherhood and fatherhood due to it.

People were ready to travel to the experienced Ukrainian experts, but Kazakhstan turned out to be not the best place to solve reproductive issues.

What’s wrong with Kazakhstan? 

The authorities have created several “trips” for those couples who are planning to use the surrogacy service in Kazakhstan. It is crucial to know about them before deciding whether to travel there and receive a child in this country.

In addition to moral and ethical issues (Kazakhstan supports Russia that has acquired the status of a terrorist country in the entire civilized world for the past year and a half), there are legal issues.

A number of bans regarding surrogate motherhood are established by Kazakhstani laws. All peculiarities are included in Chapter 9 of the Code “On Marriage and Family” of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Let’s list five most essential ones: 

1. Only married couples who have been officially married for at least 5 years are allowed to use the surrogate mother services. If partners have a civil marriage, they cannot participate in the program. This service is nether available to single men nor women.

2. Sperm and egg donation is prohibited in Kazakhstan. Only the couple’s own genetic materials (father’s sperm and mother’s egg) can be used for IVF treatment. If a wife or a husband is absolutely infertile, their problem won’t be solved in this country.

4. Kazakhstan is extremely unfriendly to foreigners. There are visa requirements for many European and developed countries. Citizens of those countries that are allowed visa-free: the duration of stay in Kazakhstan is limited to short periods. That is, only a Kazakh woman can become a surrogate mother who is able to stay in the country without restrictions.

5. The statistics says that 70% of Kazakhs are Muslims. A few years ago, the Ulema Council prohibited spouses to use the IVF treatment and the surrogate mother services due to religious reasons.

6. The Kazakhstan laws are active in protecting its citizens’ interests. Even if a foreigner is right, it will be very difficult to achieve justice.

To cut a long story short, it’s very doubtful and risky to solve the issue of childlessness in Kazakhstan.

By the way 

In the late 2022, a law was passed in Russia banning surrogacy services for foreigners. The program is only available to married Russian citizens and single women.

India, once considered the mecca of reproductive tourism, banned commercial surrogacy in April 2022. Now only relatives can bear children for a childless couple at no cost. The program is not available for single parents.

Where the service should be looked for 

Currently there are not many countries that support the delivery of surrogacy services at the legislative level, namely, the USA, Canada, Cyprus, Greece and Georgia.

As a matter of fact, this is Georgia where many Russian and Ukrainian reproductive clinics have moved within the last one year and a half. However, the legislation of this country doesn’t have everything so simple regarding the surrogate motherhood. Potential clients should be vigilant and scrutinize the intricacies of the laws before going to Georgia to get a child.

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