Many babies born to Ukrainian surrogates are stuck in the country as Russian forces invade.
As CBS News reported this week, “The war in Ukraine made it too risky for the biological parents of 21 surrogate babies to come get their children, who are spending their days in a bomb shelter nursery in Kyiv.”
The surrogacy business in Ukraine is considered to be one of the largest in the world. It is one of a few countries that provides surrogacy to foreigners who want to have a baby through the surrogacy process. “By some estimates, there may be as many as 500 women carrying babies for foreign parents,” the outlet noted.
Due to Ukrainian law, both of the biological parents reportedly have to physically go to Ukraine in order to claim the citizenship and nationality of the child, but under the circumstances of war, the situation is not only difficult, but treacherous.
The Wall Street Journal pointed out last week that some surrogate mothers are hesitant to leave Ukraine because they don’t want to be apart from their male family members who are not allowed to leave the country due to the conflict.
“We can’t force them obviously,” Julia Osiyevska, the head of the surrogate agency New Life, said, per the Journal.
As The New York Times reported last week, nannies were caring for some of the newborns in a basement in Kyiv.
“Of course we cannot abandon the babies,” Ms. Yashenko, one of the nannies, said. Her husband and two sons are currently serving in Ukraine’s army and have pushed her to get out of the city.
“They want me to leave, but I cannot abandon my colleagues, I cannot abandon my work, I cannot abandon these babies,” she said. “I will remain here until everything is back in its place.”
“The parents are very worried about the situation in Ukraine,” Yashenko said. “They are just waiting for the end of this senseless war.”
“This is just a nightmare,” she said. “I want to wake up.” But she noted that the basement center was safe, and that she would stay with the infants.
To the parents of the children, she said: “They are cared for, they are fed, they are loved. We have all we need.”
The Times noted that the surrogacy industry has taken off in Ukraine in large part due to poverty. “Surrogate mothers here typically earn about $15,000 per child. Ukraine does not allow surrogacy for same-sex couples, or for couples who wish to choose the sex of their child,” the outlet noted.
There are 14 companies that provide the surrogacy service in the country, including BioTexCom, which is the largest. It is operating the basement center in Kyiv.
The Times reported, “Albert Tochylovsky, the owner of BioTexCom, said in an interview that he had faced a hard choice in setting up the basement nursery. The other option, he said, had been to drive about 40 women who were near term across Ukraine during the fighting. He promised to care for the babies.”
“Maybe I made the wrong decision,” he said. If the situation got worse, he said he would shut down the basement facility and try to get the babies out.
The situation in Ukraine continues to worsen.
As The Daily Wire reported on Friday, “[a]t least 43 Ukrainian hospitals and health facilities have been attacked by Russia since the start of its invasion last month, according to a report from the director of the World Health Organization (WHO).”
“WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the U.N. Security Council on Thursday during virtual remarks that it has documented 43 attacks on hospitals and health facilities that have killed 12 people and injured 34 others,” The Daily Wire added.
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