Wartime Labour: How Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Has Exposed the Reality of the Surrogacy Industry

Anna Feigenbaum | Globe and Mail | May 20, 2022

The war in Ukraine not only illuminates the complexities inherent in international surrogacy, but also requires us to confront broader issues raised by this form of reproduction: how to prevent exploitation of women on the one hand while simultaneously ensuring women have bodily autonomy, and how we think about parenthood, genetic connection, and race and reproduction.

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Committee Urged Not To Rush Decisions on Surrogacy Law

Patsy McGarry | The Irish Times | May 13, 2022

Ireland’s Oireachtas Committee had 3 months to make recommendations on international surrogacy arrangements. Gov’t Special Rapporteur on Child Protection Conor O’Mahony criticizes the relevant bills and research as incomplete and recommends another year of prep.

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Historic Surrogacy Legislation Passes

Mirage | May 12, 2022

Australia’s Northern Territory passed the Surrogacy Bill 2022, which regulates domestic surrogacy for the first time and outlaws commercial surrogacy. The Bill establishes frameworks for intended parents, prioritizes children’s rights, and protects surrogates’ autonomy.

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Couple Face Belarus Prison and Loss of Surrogate Child Amid UK Visa Delays

Matthew Weaver | The Guardian | May 10, 2022

A couple intending to enter into a surrogacy arrangement in Belarus is facing imprisonment because their travel visa is going to expire, but they cannot leave the country because the wife’s passport is stuck in an administrative backlog in the UK. 

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What Singapore’s Move to Legalise Egg Freezing Says About its Society

Yvette Tan | BBC | April 28, 2022

The Singaporean government announced that single women from 21-35 years of age can freeze their eggs starting in 2023. The caveat is that women can only use the eggs once they are legally married, which excludes women who remain single and lesbian couples.

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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

Will India’s Surrogacy Ban Drive Childless Couples and Poor Women Underground?

Amrit Dhillon | South China Morning Post | April 16, 2022

The Surrogacy (Regulation) Act outlawed commercial surrogacy in India in December 2021. Though some worry about the emergence of a black market, Dr. Manish Banker argues that the law is fair and protects surrogates and newborns.

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Gay Couple Files Complaint Against New York City Over Denying IVF Coverage

Jo Yurcaba | NBC News | April 15, 2022

A gay couple filed a charge against New York City because the city’s insurance policy for IVF is discriminatory. The policy requires a diagnosis of infertility, which is defined as “inability to conceive after 12 months of unprotected intercourse,” which excludes gay couples.

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In Breakthrough, Israel Temporary Eases Gay Surrogacy Policy

Adir Yanko | Ynet News | April 11, 2022

Israel’s Health Ministry announced that single gay males or gay couples who have frozen embryos abroad, or are planning to freeze them until the end of April, can bring them to Israel for insemination via a surrogate.

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Does Money Affect the Morality of Surrogacy?

J.Y. Lee | Medical Ethics | April 11, 2022

Ethical concerns of commercial surrogacy include exploitation of women and commodification of women’s reproductive capacity. Many countries ban commercial surrogacy to take money out of the equation, but this may oversimplify the virtues and morality of surrogacy arrangements.

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