The photograph of 35 babies in their cribs in a room of the Venice hotel in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, has already traveled the world and shocked those who have seen it and know that were conceived by surrogacy and now they are almost abandoned, without parents to take care of them. They are not the only ones, there are more than a hundred of them in total scattered throughout Ukraine and those who consider themselves their legal parents, all of them foreigners, cannot go looking for them because of the border closure imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The problem has already jumped to the State Rada, the Ukrainian Parliament, whose head of Human Rights, Liudmila Denísova, has taken steps in the matter to try to find a solution. According to your data, «More than a hundred babies wait for their parents in various medical centers». Denísova warns that there are pregnant Ukrainian women in accordance with the signed surrogacy contracts and, if the current situation of confinement continues, “children will continue to be born … whose number could reach almost a thousand”.
The head of parliament explains that a clinic in the Ukrainian capital, Biotexcom has been found out, organized the birth of about fifty babies, of whom 15 are with their parents, who were able to enter Ukraine before the closure of borders, and 35 are those found in the Venice hotel guarded by nurses. In his opinion, everything is under control and, when the time comes, they will be handed over to their parents.
But, according to her, a procedure has not been properly regulated so that, even in the current pandemic situation, those interested can obtain permission and move to Ukraine to take care of her children. Apparently, there are no clear orders from the Ukrainian Government and, therefore, the country’s consulates abroad cannot issue the corresponding visas. The bulk of these parents are French and Spanish.
At the same time, international organizations in favor of the abolition of surrogate motherhood, including the Spanish State Network Against the Rent of Bellies (RECAV), have sent a letter to the Ukrainian President, Volodimir Zelesnki, asking him to act so that the children trapped in that limbo stop being limbo and are placed in the hands of their biological mothers, foster families or sent to orphanages.
In the letter they point out that “the situation of these children, stranded in Ukraine due to the protection measures related to the current pandemic, is symptomatic of the damage caused by transnational surrogacy.” They also require a thorough investigation of the clinics involved in this business, the conditions in which they operate, and their “clients.” They also press so that prevent access to Ukraine who ordered the babies by surrogacy.
But the Association for Surrogacy in Georgia and Ukraine (Apingu) calls for “the urgent and equal protection of these children, as if they had conceived naturally.” “They urgently need their parents to be able to access them according to our greatest duty and desire, to take them in their arms, get them out of there and provide them with a home.” The parents reported last month that babies are “alone” in Ukraine and Georgia and there is no way to travel there to pick them up
While the coronavirus pandemic was not unleashed, Ukraine has been one of the countries preferred by parents who want to have children through the bellies for rent Because its legislation allows it, although only for heterosexual married and recognized infertile couples, and for the relatively affordable prices, around 30,000 euros.
A little over a month ago, seven Spanish families with babies due to surrogacy were able to return from Kiev to Spain, after being trapped there for a time. Apingu then accused the Spanish Foreign Ministry of “abandoning” the minors for denying them, according to the association, the possibility of issuing them passports or some type of safe-conduct to travel to Spain.
Foreign Affairs, for its part, replied that such documents cannot be extended to babies born by surrogacy, since an instruction from February 2019 prohibits the registration of these minors in the civil registry of the Spanish consulate in Kiev.