The Greek law on assisted reproduction techniques was issued on 27 January 2005. The Greek legal framework regarding medically assisted reproduction is one of the most advanced in Europe. It has been established to safeguard the interests of couples who wish to conceive addressing medical and biological issues and to outline bioethical principles. The main interest is that all methods of assisted reproduction are to protect the child to be born.

Main principles of the present legal framework

1.  As the upper age limit of natural reproductive capacity is deemed to be the 50th year of a woman’s age, assisted reproduction is prohibited for women who have exceeded this limit.

2. Oocyte and sperm donation is permitted, however, with the written consent of the wife/ husband or partner.

3. Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis is permitted upon consent of partners in order to diagnose whether embryos demonstrate genetic malformations.

4. Single women and unmarried couples may have children through assisted reproduction but in both cases a notarized proof of marital status is required.

5. The Greek Law strictly prohibits cloning for reproductive purposes.

6. Gender selection is not allowed, except in specific medical cases where a serious hereditary disease transmitted with gender is to be avoided.

7. Cryopreservation of genetic material or fertilized oocyte is permitted.

8. Surrogacy is permitted. This refers to cases where a woman gestates and gives birth to a foreign embryo conceived with IVF, on account of another woman who wishes to have a child but cannot gestate for medical reasons. Surrogate mothers must have undergone medical and psychological examinations. No financial transaction is permitted except for the expenses of the gestating woman related to tests, loss of work, etc. The entire procedure requires a special judicial permit.

9. Assisted reproduction units are set up and operate with a license from the competent body, upon consent of the Authority, which confirms compliance with all legal conditions. Any violations are subject to administrative and criminal penalties.

10. Upper age limits are set for sperm donors (younger than 40 years) and oocyte donors (younger than 35 years).

11. Donors must undergo clinical and laboratory tests and shall not be accepted if suffering hereditary, genetic or contagious diseases. Use of frozen sperm from a donor is permitted nevertheless, the use of fresh sperm from a third donor is not allowed.