Since the late 1990s, the fertility center of the Saint-Pierre University Hospital has been providing care to couples requiring the use of surrogacy.
Since 2015, our center has also been providing care to couples requiring the use of surrogacy combined with egg donation.
For information regarding egg donation, we refer you to the dedicated page. Here, we will only address the topic of surrogacy.
This procedure involves transferring embryos (obtained through in vitro fertilization) into the uterus of a surrogate mother. The surrogate mother therefore has no genetic connection to the child.
No legal framework
Currently, there is no clearly defined legal framework for surrogacy in Belgium. This practice is not illegal, but adequate legal advice is essential. For this reason, we ask intended parents and their surrogate mother to seek information beforehand from a lawyer specialized in family law before coming to our center.
There is no recruitment center for surrogate mothers in Belgium, and all commercial recruitment is strictly prohibited. Surrogate mothers are therefore “relational” surrogate mothers, most often family members or close friends of the intended couple.
In order to get to know the authors of the parenting project, the gynecologist and psychologist will first receive the intended couple alone.
In a second step, the intended couple and the surrogate mother (and her partner if she has one) will be received in consultation by the gynecologist and then in an interview by our psycho-medical team. During these consultations, all the particularities of such a process are addressed: legal, medical, ethical, psychological aspects, etc.
The eligibility process
If the surrogacy project also involves the use of donor gametes (eggs or sperm), additional appointments will need to be scheduled for the gamete donor.
The file will then be discussed in a multidisciplinary team.
If the file is received favorably, the couples are seen again for a gynecological consultation to establish the medical file, complete administrative formalities and schedule the treatment.
A controversial technique
Surrogacy remains the most controversial PMA technique currently, both among fertility and obstetrics specialists and among the general public. Unfortunately, the media often look for “sensational” stories that do not reflect our positive experience with the use of surrogate mothers. Properly accompanied, this, although difficult, step represents a real experience of solidarity between couples.
The studies carried out are reassuring for both the experience of the parents and the surrogate mother, as well as for the future of the children.
Advise and guide you
If you have a surrogacy project, we invite you to contact our PMA secretariat. You will then be properly directed to the various stakeholders involved in this step.