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conditions for having a child

The president of the National Authority for Medically Assisted Reproduction, N. Vrachnis, refers to the conditions for having a child by lonely men in Greece

19 Jun, 2023

World Fertility Day (15/6) was celebrated a few days ago with informative events highlighting scientific developments and the help that medically assisted reproduction (MART) provides to couples facing infertility problems or to single women who decide to have a child . At the same time, the new legislative framework in our country is supportive of infertile couples with its many provisions (increasing the age limit, cryopreservation of genetic material, individual right to cryopreservation of infertile reproductive material, changes in the procedure of donating reproductive material, etc.). But what about single men who would like to have a child in Greece?


Just a few months ago, a Greek court decision (and an enforceable one at that) justified a man who had appealed in order to have a child with a surrogate mother. The court decision was based on the principle of equality between men and women, however, it cannot be enforced, as in our country there is a legal vacuum, as he explains, speaking to GreekNews FLPresident of the National Authority for Medically Assisted Reproduction (EAIYA) and Associate Professor of Obstetrics-Gynecology of the National Kapodistrian University of Athens, Mr. Nikolaos Vrachnis, who points out that the National Authority is positive about the conditional adoption of a child by a single man:


"The single man, based on the existing legislation, does not have the possibility to have a child in Greece, in relation to the free-single woman, who has this possibility. The Supervisory Board of National Authority for Medically Assisted Reproduction (EAIYA) has discussed the issue and the conclusion was positive in favor of recommending EAIYA to the leadership of the Ministry of Health, so that so that in the future the single man can also have a child through a surrogate woman. That is, he will be able to use his own genetics materialdonor eggs and a third woman, who will be the surrogate woman who will carry the fertilized embryo. Note here that our law does not allow the surrogate to give her own genetic material for reasons of identification with the child. This possibility, of course, for the lonely man is something that we hope can be done in the future, if, of course, this provision is passed by the Greek Parliament".


  •        What is provided by the legislation in Greece for a couple of same-sex men and their desire to have a child?


"Since same-sex marriage is not allowed in our country, whether men or women, there is no possibility - based on today's data - for these people to use assisted reproduction methods. There are, of course, countries that provide this possibility. In Greece, however, important steps must be taken first, such as deciding and voting on marriage for same-sex couples and then being able to look at the issues of assisted reproduction. It is a step that must be preceded."


The positives of the new legislative framework for Medically Assisted Reproduction

It is very important that, in Greece, the framework of Medically Assisted Reproduction is constantly being modernized in order to ensure the rights of assisted individuals, even though our country already had one of the most liberal regulatory frameworks in FGM, compared to other countries.  

"Recently amended legislative framework governing medically assisted reproduction in Greece introduces innovative changes in the application of medically assisted reproduction methods, with multiple benefits for assisted persons, Medically Assisted Reproduction Units and Cryopreservation Banks", underlines Mr. N. Vrachnis.

"There are many important changes. One of them is increasing the age limit for women who wish to undergo medically assisted reproduction methods. Now it upper age limit is modified from 50 years to 54 years (54 years + 0 days).
Also, the new law provides the possibility of cryopreservation of reproductive material not only for medical but also for social reasons (social egg freezing).
Another change is the institutionalization of the individual right to cryopreservation of unfertilized reproductive material (eggs or sperm) without requiring the consent of the spouse/partner or the person with whom a cohabitation agreement has been concluded. Additionally, in the event of divorce, annulment of marriage, separation/expiration or termination of the cohabitation agreement and termination of free association, the unfertilized reproductive material is not destroyed, but preserved and used by the one to whom it belongs.
They also became important changes in the reproductive material donation process, by introducing a mixed system in terms of donor anonymity and branding.
It exists now possibility to modify the declaration of fate of surplus reproductive material from the assisted persons.
Finally, the establishment of MIYA (Medically Assisted Reproduction Unit) at the Attica Hospital exclusively for HIV positive people».

In conclusion, the President of EAIYA, Professor Mr. Vrachnis, points out the international dimension of the development and quality services in the field of IYA in Greece:


"The National Authority - through its work - primarily ensures women and couples that the services they receive are safe and reliable and aims to make it easier for even more people to fulfill their dream of having a child and starting their own family . The change in the legislative framework in Greece, which was proposed by the Authority, does not only favor the assisted persons – citizens of the Greek territory, but has a serious and significant impact on an international horizon as, as evidenced by the Authority's data, births have increased from submission to methods of medically assisted reproduction but also medical tourism in Greece for medically assisted reproduction".





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