Weak points of legislation concerning surrogacy in Lithuania
Surrogacy in Lithuania is actual but, at the same time, quite a controversial question which is far from the constructive solution. Nowadays the main problem is the uncertain attitude of the government towards this point as surrogacy in Lithuania isn’t regulated like a method of ART.
Despite the evident negative attitude of catholic church, community (especially childless spouses) is for legalization of surrogacy in Lithuania. It’s out of the question that this step will contributes for many families to have a child without a necessity to find a surrogate mother (GC) outside the country.
According to the Statistics Department, nearly 55 000,00 childless families of reproductive age (18-49 years old) live in Lithuania. Families who are unable to have children after the year of active unprotected sex life are viewed infertile. The exact amount of infertile families isn’t counted, but the number is nearly 50 000,00. It’s a pity, but in addition to this the increase of this amount for 2 000,00 families each year is predicted. For most of us, these are only simple numbers…But, as a matter of fact, these are people who dream to hug and cuddle, see the smile of their little baby. Unfortunately, not everybody has such an opportunity, but, luckily, majority doesn’t give up.
The meaningful influence of the catholic church and uncertainty of the government doesn’t allow to solve the problem of using ART (Assisted Reproductive Technologies), especially surrogacy like a method of infertility treatment in favor of infertile spouses. Legislative bodies of Lithuania stands aside to such important issues like IVF (in-vitro fertilization), creation and storage of embryos, surrogacy.
As laws are discussed and handled several times for a long period of time, adoption of the laws is delayed for the uncertain term. Despite the absence of significant governmental help of the country, medical progress is obvious: the rate of families who received medical treatment in time due to one or another legal method is increased, otherwise, the general birth rate gets lower. All the services connected with infertility treatment are paid by families on their own.
In spite of such a doubtful regulation of medical services in this sphere, there are several reproductive medical establishments in Lithuania ( Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipeda). Here patients might be diagnosed for infertility causes, get the necessary psychological support and, at the same time, pass the course of infertility treatment.
Legislation keeps silent towards the surrogacy. There is no official permission either official prohibition for the surrogacy usage for people who’ve faced numerous failures by traditional treatment. In some way, this uncertainty is the only chance for spouses who are ready to fight.
Taking all this into account, it’s quite clear why citizens of Lithuania search for clinics in other European countries. Most spouses choose Ukraine as surrogacy is completely legalized and strictly controlled here. The choice of a place and a surrogate depends on many financial and moral aspects. Not just relatives or friends but also women who because of different reasons do this for some payment can become a surrogate.
Opinions differ. That’s why, attitude towards surrogacy is always contradictory.
At one Lithuanian surrogacy forum one woman wrote: «If I didn’t have another choice to have children except using surrogacy, I would be sincerely grateful to a woman who has given me the happiness of maternity.” Some women were against surrogacy arguing their negative position with religious issues, others told that they would never become a surrogate by themselves. Among all the posters, I can’t but point out the following: “If my daughter, sister or close friend needs my help like a surrogate, I will always do this. As the most expensive present I can give them for their love is life…”