In the Czech Republic, single men can buy a child


Central Europe


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To bypass Europe’s most liberal surrogacy legislation in Ukraine, the newborn business of surrogacy set foot in the Czech Republic. Here, homosexuals and single men can order a child with virtually no monitoring.

To bypass Europe’s most liberal surrogacy legislation in Ukraine, the newborn business of surrogacy set foot in the Czech Republic. Here, homosexuals and single men can ‘order’ a child with virtually no monitoring.

For as much as 60,000 euros, foreigners can take a child from the Czech Republic. In the last three years, at least thirty children were born in Prague hospitals and then transported worldwide. According to the Czech news website Seznam Zprávy, among those interested are gay couples and singles, men who have lived without a partner for a long time. Some of them only want a child, because their mother wishes for a grandson.

According to Seznam Zprávy, the service is provided to clients worldwide by a private clinic based in Ukraine. Ukraine is Europe’s most liberal country in the field of surrogacy. Because foreigners can ‘order’ a child quite easily, the country’s surrogacy business is booming. However, there are some rules. One of these rules is that only heterosexual couples can apply for surrogacy.


In the Czech Republic, there are no legal rules for surrogacy. Therefore, it is a potential hotspot for the unregulated surrogacy industry. “Children are made for a fee; this is not primarily about providing services for infertile couples who have health complications and cannot have their own children”, says Jaroslav Ibehej, a spokesman for the National Center against Organised Crime.

The lack of regulation makes the industry shady. According to Seznam Zprávy, one child got lost by the authorities somewhere in the United States. And there is also the case of a man who did not pick up the child – according to the police; he simply lost interest.

An international investigation further revealed a father raising the child in unsatisfactory conditions. “Fathers who have children are often older. The eldest father in the investigation is 66 years old. In some cases, there is absolute ignorance and inexperience of the fathers needed to care for newborns”, said police spokesman Ibehej.

Human trafficking

According to the news website Euractiv, the service is provided by a private clinic based in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

A nurse cares for newborn babies in Kyiv, Ukraine. Photo AFP, Sergei Supinsky

At the end of last year, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry released a report, with police arresting six people connected to an unnamed reproductive clinic, which, according to Ukrainian investigators, effectively covered human trafficking by providing surrogacy. “The perpetrators have recruited low-income women to participate in the so-called surrogacy program. The women went to give birth to babies in the Czech Republic.”


However, according to the findings of Czech police officers, the allegations made in Ukraine did not change much. The business of “producing” children runs as before, albeit on a smaller scale.

Those interested from all over the world can still choose which child they would like in the Kharkiv clinic catalogue. According to Seznam Zprávy, it is even possible to choose twins of different genders.

After a choice is made, the clinic selects a suitable egg donor from its database. These women, surrogate mothers, then move to Prague before giving birth. They are taken over by a well-organised team: a nanny, an interpreter and a man who can deal with the authorities.

“After the birth of a child, the mother signs a set of documents in which she waives her rights to the child and consents to his or her travel to the father’s country,” says Ibehej.

None of the thirty “Czech” cases documented by the police confirmed that anyone had abused or misused children born in Prague by surrogate Ukrainian mothers. When Czech authorities asked fathers why they were buying a child in this manner, they received various reasons. One Swedish client said that he made his mother happy, who awaits his grandchildren in vain. Another in Germany explained that he wanted a daughter.

Since surrogacy is a grey zone in the Czech Republic; it is not regulated. Therefore, the Czech criminal investigators had to end the investigation, since the Ukrainian group did not commit human trafficking under Czech law. According to the Czech journalist Vojtěch Blažek, who investigated the matter, the established practice in the Czech Republic will probably not change. "I blame it on the fact that it doesn't feel like a societal problem", Blažek says in a podcast of Seznam Zprávy.

The practice of surrogacy in EU member state Czech Republic is remarkable, since the European Parliament is very outspoken against this practice, as was said in a resolution early May. The representatives then said that this practice had to be seen as “reproductive exploitation”. The resolution was about Ukraine and the problems the war caused there, but the statement was made in general. In Ukraine, more than 2,000 babies are born every year from surrogate mothers. That is much more than in the Czech Republic.



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