Three-year-old Bridget was conceived in the Ukraine through a surrogacy arrangement but abandoned after birth when her parents discovered she was ill and had disabilities. Her case, as this article explains, is not isolated and is promoting critics to call for stricter surrogacy regulations.
As Ukraine transforms into a desirable hub for international commercial surrogacy, concerns are emerging. This article – like others found here – touches on irregularities and poor quality of care at fertility clinics, and focuses on the 30 Spanish intended parents unable to obtain passports from the Spanish Consulate in Kiev for their children amidst fears of the trafficking of minors.
Foreign couples have been coming to this corner of Europe in droves since 2015, when surrogacy hotspots in Asia began closing their industries one-by-one, amid reports of exploitation. Barred from India, Nepal and Thailand, they turned to Ukraine, one of the few places left where surrogacy can still be arranged at a fraction of what it costs in the US.
This article covers the “rise” of Ukraine as a destination for intended parents hoping to form families via surrogacy. It follows Ana, who became a gestational mother at 21 years and, at 24 years, is carrying another pregnancy for Japanese intended parents she will never meet.
It also provides a short overview of the current surrogacy law in Ukraine, the main tenets of which are as follows:
Surrogacy is available to heterosexual, married couples able to prove they cannot carry a baby themselves for medical reasons.
At least one parent must have a genetic link to the baby.
The intended parents are on the Ukrainian birth certificate; the gestational mother has no legal right to claim custody of the child.