Public Defender, Ucha Nanuashvili, said the Georgian Orthodox Church should be “more cautious” when discussing “sensitive issues” related to surrogacy and artificial insemination in order not to cause pain to those who already have or are planning to have a child through these methods.
In his written Christmas address the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Ilia II, laid out Church’s strong opposition to surrogacy, artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization, suggesting that families having children born by surrogate mothers will not be happy. The address also reads: "Those children born through artificial insemination will be problematic too.”
The Public Defender said in his written statement on January 8: “Because of the special influence enjoyed by the Patriarch over the Georgian society, opinion expressed in the epistle, that children born through artificial insemination or by surrogate mothers ‘will be problematic’, contains a significant risk.”
“Such statements may give rise to discriminative views in the society towards the children born through artificial insemination and surrogacy as well as to formation of negative public attitude towards them that may cause their stigmatization and alienation from the society in the future,” Nanuashvili’s statement reads.
“It is also important to take into consideration the condition of those families, who are preparing for having or are already having children born through surrogacy or artificial insemination. It is regrettable that an author of the text [of the Christmas message] failed to take into account their interests and pain the statement caused to many people,” it reads.
“I think more caution is required when the Church is discussing such issues, which may cause infringement of human rights, moreover the rights of children,” the Public Defender said.
Commenting on the Patriarchate’s position on surrogacy voiced in the Christmas message, Healthcare Minister Davit Sergeenko said on January 8: “Those experts, who have provided this recommendation, this analysis to the Patriarch, perhaps should have taken a more thorough look at the matter and should have made comprehensive and delicate analysis of such a sensitive issue.”