How Ukraine’s Surrogate Mothers Have Survived the War

Maria Varenikova and Andrew E. Kramer | The New York Times | October 16, 2022

Despite wartime challenges, Ukrainian surrogacy agencies are resuming operations. Compensation has helped some surrogates and their families flee to safer areas, but the surrogates themselves face new dangers in an ethically complex occupation.

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Surrogacy, Ukraine And Me

Katie O’Malley & Sungsil Lee | Elle | September 21, 2022

Wartime has thrown the Ukrainian surrogacy industry into disarray for surrogates and couples alike. One couple’s surrogate had to be evacuated to Poland, and complex parentage laws across continents have made their #surrogacy journey “a mountain of challenges.”

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Surrogacy During the War in Ukraine

Updated September 6, 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 articles presents a number of stories of harrowing and dangerous situations for infants, surrogates, and new or soon-to-be parents as well as analyses regarding the invisibility of surrogates in media coverage and the unequal options and resources available to commissioning parents vs surrogates in Ukraine.

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Ukraine’s Surrogate Mothers Carry Foreigners’ Babies as Debate Grows Over Who Bears the Risks and Rewards

Janice Dickson | The Globe and Mail | August 19, 2022

In Ukraine, commercial surrogacy agencies are pairing foreign clients with Ukrainian surrogates again, even as the war continues. The Globe and Mail interviews multiple surrogates who say they need the money but are worried about their safety amidst the war.

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Ukraine Conflict Highlights Legal Issues Surrounding International Commercial Surrogacy

Sophie Cameron | International Bar Association | July 29, 2022

The recent Supreme Court decision in the US and the war in Ukraine Illustrate how the absence of an international convention on surrogacy arrangements and of parentage laws impact surrogates and children.

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In a Time of War, How Ukraine Sought Protection of its Frozen Embryos

European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology | July 11, 2022

During the annual European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology meeting, an IVF lab director gave a presentation on the courage and professionalism of Ukrainian fertility doctors amidst the Russian invasion. He also called on the international ART community to help employ these doctors abroad.

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Russia Moves to Bar Foreigners From Using its Surrogate Mothers

South China Morning Post | May 25, 2022

If passed, a newly-proposed Russian bill will bar foreigners from entering into surrogacy arrangements with Russian surrogates. This follows as Moscow’s relations with Western countries grow tense over the war in Ukraine.

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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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Irish Parents of Babies Born Through Surrogacy Face €88-a-day Fee for ‘Nanny’ Care if They Can’t Travel to Ukraine

Laura Lynott | | February 13, 2022

14 babies were born to surrogates between May 2021 and present-day in Ukraine, which is currently under threat of invasion by Russian military forces. The Irish intended parents, advised against  traveling to Ukraine under the current circumstances, may need to pay 88 Euros a day for nannies to care for their children.

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Trafficking in Newborns: Police Expose Scheme Involving Sham Marriage, Surrogacy Services

Staff | Ukraine Form | August 17, 2021

The National Police Chief of Ukraine discusses an ongoing investigation of a criminal group that trafficked in newborns under the guise of a surrogacy agency. A clinic chief arranged for foreign men to enter sham marriages and surrogacy arrangements with Ukrainian women; the men were then allowed to transport the surrogate-born children to East Asia. The police released three newborns to social services during the investigation, but at least 13 others had already been sent out of Ukraine. The chief expects more groups to be exposed and believes legislation is “too soft,” calling for lawmaker involvement.

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