Surrogacy, Assisted Reproduction, and COVID: Stark Problems, Underlying Concerns

By Emily Galpern | Center for Genetics and Society | May 27, 2020

This blogpost provides an overview of the numerous unsettling situations that have arisen since COVID-19 changed the landscape of assisted reproduction and international surrogacy.  It shows how the pandemic is illuminating pre-existing problems related to assisted reproduction and surrogacy, highlights the need for stronger regulations, and calls for input from all who will be affected.

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Parents Struggle to Reach Newborn Surrogates in Georgia

By Pearly Jacob | Eurasianet | May 27, 2020

Georgia is an increasingly popular destination for commercial surrogacy, but COVID-19 travel restrictions have impacted surrogates, babies, and intended parents there as well.  The article reveals that at least 40 babies are stranded in Georgia without parents, 30 of them in Chachava Clinic, one of the oldest maternity hospitals in Georgia. The article also notes that surrogacy is unregulated in Georgia, has no system for recording births, and is only available to heterosexual couples with fertility challenges.

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International Surrogacy is not as Dead as You Think

By Alison Motluk | HeyReproTech | May 26, 2020

In this article, Alison Motluk presents a number of extremely difficult circumstances occurring with international surrogacy arrangements impacted by the COVID crisis. She raises issues of the well-being of babies who are institutionalized or cared for by surrogates as they await their parents in other countries; increased costs for intended parents trying to navigate border closures; and potential legislative changes that would change the international commercial surrogacy landscape in Canada and beyond.

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Assisted Reproductive Medicine in Ukraine Needs Legislative Regulation

Interfax-Ukraine | May 19, 2020

Olena Babych, a lawyer specializing in the field of reproductive law in Ukraine, calls for legislative regulation of assisted reproductive medicine in Ukraine, in particular surrogacy. Heads of the Ukrainian Association of Reproductive Medicine report that a corresponding bill has been submitted to Parliament addressing assisted reproduction overall. Efforts are also underway to allow parents to come into Ukraine to pick up children born through surrogacy who are stranded in facilities because of travel restrictions due to COVID-19.

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Surrogacy Is Complicated—Then Add a Global Pandemic

By Daniela Prugger And Oksana Parafeniuk | Marie Claire | May 17, 2020

In the wake of a video highlighting the state of surrogacy in Ukraine during COVID-19, Arina, a surrogate in Ukraine, shares her experience in lockdown. She is 28 weeks pregnant and separated from her children in another city, and the intended parents are currently unable to fly into Ukraine due to closed borders. She lists a number of concerns, including how the pandemic protocols will impact her birth plan and who will care for the child after she gives birth.

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100 Babies Stranded in Ukraine After Surrogate Births

By Andrew E. Kramer | New York Times | May 16, 2020

This article not only covers the situation in Ukraine, where at least 100 babies born to surrogates are stranded in a hotel, but also provides background on surrogacy practices in a country at war and the poorest nation in Europe.

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