Surrogacy During the War in Ukraine

Updated May 12, 2022

See Ukraine as International Surrogacy Destination for context on the surrogacy industry in Ukraine

The Russian war on Ukraine is having a devastating effect on millions of people and the country’s infrastructure and land. One lesser-known area of anguish is the impact on newborn surrogacy-born babies, surrogates and their families, and the babies’ parents from other countries. Ukraine is one of the largest hubs for international surrogacy in the world, second only to the United States. Minimal regulation and low cost make it a popular destination for foreign couples—though only available to married heterosexual couples—and economic hardship gives rise to more women willing to provide surrogacy services. This roundup of stories presents two analyses (The Atlantic and BioNews) regarding the invisibility of surrogates in media coverage and the unequal options and resources available to commissioning parents vs surrogates in Ukraine; it also includes a number of stories of harrowing and dangerous situations for infants, surrogates, and new or soon-to-be parents. 

‘It’s a Terrible Thing When a Grown Person Does Not Belong to Herself’
Susan Dominus | The New York Times Magazine | May 3, 2022

Tampa non-profit working to rescue Ukrainian surrogate mothers
Rochelle Alleyne | ABC Action News | April 13, 2022

Babies in bunkers: the surrogate mothers and infants trapped in Ukraine (podcast)
Nosheen Iqbal, Sirin Kale | The Guardian | April 4, 2022

The impact of the war in Ukraine on the Russian fertility industry 
Dr Christina Weis and Maria Kirpichenko | BioNews | April 4, 2022

War in Ukraine Exacerbates Problems with Surrogacy Industry
Emily Galpern | Biopolitical Times | March 31, 2022

Ukrainian surrogate mother and her children flee to safety in Ireland
Ailbhe Conneely | RTE | March 31, 2022

UK visas made available to Ukraine surrogates as babies stranded in Kyiv
Hannah Flynn | BioNews | March 21, 2022

Safety Concerns For Ukrainian Surrogate Mothers And Babies
Bianca Facchinei | Newsy | March 25, 2022

How one Ukranian doctor is trying to keep 19,000 embryos viable during the war
Danielle Campoamor | TODAY | March 23, 2022

Surrogacy industry in Ukraine hit by war, citizenship of newborn babies unclear (video)
WION | March 17, 2022
The Russian invasion of Ukraine jolts surrogacy market: Citizenship of newborn babies unclear (video)
WION | March 16, 2022

“I Just Want To Live”: A Pregnant Surrogate In Ukraine Speaks Out
Lizzie Cernik, Anastasiia Levchenko | Refinery 29 | March 16, 2022

In a Kyiv Basement, 19 Surrogate Babies Are Trapped by War but Kept Alive by Nannies
Andrew E. Kramer and 

Parents Relying on Ukraine Surrogates Desperately Seek Their Newborns
Christine Chung | The New York Times | March 11, 2022

Ukrainian Surrogates: a surprising silence
Kirsty Horsey and Zaina Mahmoud | BioNews | March 7, 2022

The desperate mission to get an Australian baby out of Ukraine
Jordan Baker | The Sydney Morning Herald | March 4, 2022

Four Irish babies born to surrogate mothers in Kyiv evacuated from Ukraine
Simon Carswell, Conor Gallagher | The Irish Times | March 3, 2022

Up to 400 Ukrainian surrogate mothers could be given refuge in Ireland
Neil Michael | Irish Examiner | March 2, 2022

A Southern California couple and their newborn daughter escape Ukraine, one step at a time
Roxana Kopetman | Times Herald | March 1, 2022

Ukraine’s Surrogacy Industry Has Put Women in Impossible Positions
Alison Motluk | The Atlantic | March 1, 2022

They found a surrogate in Ukraine. Now a U.S. couple must get their preemie twins out of a war zone
Kim Bellware | The Washington Post | February 27, 2022
Dad speaks out after preemie twins evacuated from Kyiv in 14-hour rescue mission
Katie Kindelan | ABC News | March 9, 2022 [Follow-up video to Washington Post story]

Ukraine: Ireland ‘speeds up’ exit for surrogate babies
BBC News | February 21, 2022

Irish Parents of Babies Born Through Surrogacy Face €88-a-day Fee for ‘Nanny’ Care if They Can’t Travel to Ukraine
Laura Lynott | Independent.ie | February 13, 2022