Damaged babies and broken hearts: Ukraine's commercial surrogacy industry leaves a trail of disasters

Samantha Hawley - ABC News

This article from ABC News in Australia investigates the phenomenon of Australian and other foreign couples who "commission" surrogates in Ukraine, only to abandon the babies after they are born. Similar incidents in Thailand and India caused those countries to ban commercial surrogacy, and "as a result, Ukraine is quickly becoming the 'hot' new surrogacy destination" says the article. The author of this article details the experience of tracking down one girl "abandoned by the very people who paid for her to be born — her American parents" who was placed at a children's home southeast of Kiev. The girl has disabilities requiring medical attention and the journalists met with her and the pediatric nurse who cares for in the children's home.

Her American parents allegedly sent a letter giving their consent for her adoption, but it was recognized under Ukrainian law and the girl is therefore is "essentially stateless as she wasn't considered a Ukrainian citizen and no application had been made for her to become an American citizen." Furthermore, the Children's Ombudsman, Nikolai Kuleba claims "his office is aware of a further 10 cases where babies born via commercial surrogacy in Ukraine have been abandoned by their foreign parents." According to the article, the girl will soon receive legal recognition as a Ukrainian citizen, making her available for adoption. "If a family cannot be found for her, at the age of 7 Bridget will be moved to another institution where there will be no therapy on offer."