What is surrogacy?
Surrogacy is a treatment method that allows a woman who wishes to have a child and for some reason is unable to conceive or give birth using her uterus to have the fertilized eggs of her husband and wife (or egg donor) implanted in the uterus of a surrogate mother, a third party woman, and ask her to deliver the child. In Japan, there are no legal restrictions on this procedure, but the notice of the Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology prohibits it. Although a surrogate mother carries out the entire process from conception to delivery, a baby born from a fertilized egg made from her egg and her husband’s sperm will inherit 100% of the couple’s genetic material. Currently, under the Japanese Civil Code, the “woman who gave birth” is recognized as the mother on the family register, so a baby born to a surrogate mother is recognized as the child of the couple through procedures such as special adoption.
Contracts with agent companies
If you are considering surrogacy, you must first sign a contract with an agency offering a surrogacy program in Japan. Since it is currently impossible to conduct surrogacy in Japan, the surrogate mother must be a foreigner living abroad. In addition, some foreign countries legally permit surrogacy, and if a Japanese national wishes to have surrogacy, it is necessary to secure a foreigner who can serve as a surrogate mother in those countries. It is not feasible for an individual to fulfill these requirements, but there are private companies (agent companies) that offer surrogacy programs in Japan, and you should start by contacting these companies.
Indications for Surrogacy
It is defined as a case in which a woman who wishes to have a child cannot conceive and give birth using her uterus for some reason or other.
- Total removal of the uterus (e.g., uterine cancer)
- Uterine malformations (congenital factors)
- Uterine defects (congenital factors)
- Rokitansky syndrome (congenital uterine defect)
Backup Medical Treatment
For couples considering surrogacy, it is necessary to secure a fertilized egg of the couple’s origin to be implanted in the surrogate mother. These fertilized eggs can be secured through normal in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). We can provide Backup Medical Treatment for couples examining surrogacy, which covers the steps in securing frozen embryos.
- Infectious disease testing of the couple for surrogacy (usually, the agent will provide instructions on what tests are required).
- Egg retrieval for the wife and various steps leading up to egg retrieval, including ovarian stimulation (performed in the same manner as for regular IVF or ICSI).
- Cryopreservation of the couple’s fertilized eggs (usually fertilized eggs that have grown to blastocyst state are cryopreserved)
- Transfer of the couple’s fertilized eggs to the surrogate mother’s country of residence (usually using a carrier designated by the agent)
Surrogacy is prohibited by law in some countries. Therefore, the intervention of an agent to introduce a surrogate mother from a third country that allows surrogacy is essential. In addition, since each country has its laws and regulations regarding the treatment of the newborn child, legal procedures are required to make the newborn child the child of the client couple. The market price for surrogacy, including agent and surrogate mother fees, varies from country to country, ranging from 4 million to 20 million yen (in Japanese yen). Our surrogacy services include the creation of frozen fertilized eggs for embryo transfer to a surrogate mother in a third country. The cost of embryo creation at our clinic is approximately 500,000-1,000,000 Japanese yen (depending on the number of frozen embryos created, the number of days until egg retrieval, and the dosage of medications used).
We know some of you may be wondering what to do, as there is no one else you can consult. Our stance on surrogacy is not to aggressively recommend it, but to respect the patient’s free decision and do our best to provide the treatment they need, based on our belief that we can provide the best treatment available at our hospital. Surrogacy is not permitted in Japan according to the regulations of the Japanese Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology, but this does not restrict patients from undergoing treatment at overseas facilities. We will provide backup treatment according to the patient’s wishes to the maximum extent possible within the scope of the regulations of society.
If you are considering a surrogacy procedure, please feel free to contact us for more information.
Reservations & Inquiries
How to make an appointment
- Consultations are by appointment only.
- Please make your first appointment by phone or web appointment.
If you have any questions about our treatment methods, policies, or anything else, please feel free to contact us.