After dozens of surrogate babies ordered by wealthy Westerners were left abandoned in Ukraine due to coronavirus border closures, now 11 couples from Argentina traveled to Kiev last week to pick up their babes after obtaining permission to travel to Ukraine via a special flight.
The couples from Argentina are currently under a two-week quarantine. Despite Ukraine’s borders being closed due to the pandemic, the Argentinians received special permits from the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry. Many surrogate babies still do not have their parents and are stuck in clinics within the country.
Video published in May by the BioTexCom clinic in Kiev showed 46 crying surrogate infants residing in the “Venice” hotel who were unable to unite with their parents due to border closures. The viral video became the most prominent example of what happened to surrogates, but represented only a fraction of the estimated 500 such surrogate children are thought to have been left in these “human hatcheries”.
The Ukrainian ombudsman, Lyudmyla Denisova, is helping foreign couples pick up children ordered through surrogate reproduction agencies. Denisova stated that over 90 couples from other countries have asked her for help in completing the formalities necessary to claim babies born through surrogate mothers in Ukraine.
This is yet another dreadful chapter of history which does not necessarily have a happy ending.
The now infamous clip of the abandoned infants was made by an agency responsible for surrogacy, which is in the business of recruiting women who get paid for giving birth to children who will later be sold to a client.
The agency had a purpose for releasing its video, as it was trying to influence Ukraine’s authorities to permit travel for clients from Western Europe and Argentina to pick up their babies. In the video, the company notes that babies have been ordered from countries like Spain, Italy, France, Germany, the United States, Great Britain, but also others outside the West, such as China, underlining the global nature of this business.
Another 1,000 babies are expected to be born before coronavirus restrictions are lifted, which will only exacerbate this tragedy.