Turkish Health Ministry calls for jail time for those involved in surrogate motherhood

Turkish Health Ministry calls for jail time for those involved in surrogate motherhood

Meltem Özgenç – ANKARA
Turkish Health Ministry calls for jail time for those involved in surrogate motherhood

The Health Ministry has initiated work to outlaw surrogate motherhood in Turkey and seeks to have the relevant law changed, introducing a jail sentence of between two and five years for those found guilty of the act. 

The ministry plans to present a proposal to have Law No. 2238 on the Harvesting, Storage, Grafting, and Transplantation of Organs and Tissues changed, outlawing the surgical implantation of a fertilized egg for the purpose of carrying the fetus to term for another woman.

“Having a child or serving as a surrogate mother is banned if the pregnancy is undertaken through the reproductive cells taken from one or both of the partners, or if the embryo acquired from these cells are inseminated into others,” reads a provision that is expected to be added to the law. 

“Undertaking a donation procedure for the purpose of using someone else’s reproductive cells or embryo, as well as donating, selling, keeping hold of, using, stocking, transferring, importing and exporting reproductive cells or embryos for this purpose, as well as mediating these processes, are all outlawed,” it adds.

The vitro fertilization process is only legal if it starts and finalizes between married individuals, according to the ministry’s proposal. 

“If the couple cannot have a child in natural ways and there is a medical necessity, the virto fertilization process can be applied. This procedure can be applied only between married partners,” the ministry’s newly prepared draft law also states.

Turkish Criminal Law seeks between two and five years in jail for people who keep hold of organs or tissues acquired illegally, or who transfer or transplant them, within the context of Law No. 2238 on organ donation.