Adoptive parents for Italian child left behind in Ukraine


Southern Europe


Nurses hold babies as foreign couples gather to collect them in the hotel Venice in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on June 10, 2020. Eight foreign couples picked up their babies born to Ukrainian surrogate mothers. Photo AFP, Sergei Supinsky

Serenella might soon have a mom and a dad. The (biological) Italian parents of the girl born in Ukraine to a surrogate mother, have told the judges that they do not oppose adoption.

An adoptive couple has already been found, reports the Italian newspaper Avvenire.

In August 2020, the couple from Novara, northwest Italy, went to Ukraine to follow the birth of their child from a surrogate mother. After having recognized the baby girl, the parents returned home.

However, they left the baby in the Ukrainian capital, entrusting her to a babysitter. After a few months, however, the nanny in Kyiv no longer received the agreed salary and went to the Italian consulate. An investigation was launched, and on 11 November, the Italian police and the Red Cross brought the girl back to Italy.

For the good of the child

The final word in the story was written in recent days by the Juvenile Court in Turin. Serenella’s ‘formal parents’, the Novara couple, presented themselves to the judges and said they would not oppose adoption. On the contrary, they formally asked the Court to take care of the little girl; the couple reiterated their willingness to accept all the procedures in the case “for the good of the child”.

The judges will take a final step for starting the adoption procedure in the coming weeks. They have already indicated that they have a suitable adoptive family in mind. Serenella’s new family lives far from Novara and Piedmont.

Criminal case goes on

From the point of view of the Juvenile Court, the Serenella case is, therefore, on its way to conclusion. It brings the civil proceedings to an end.

This does not apply to the criminal side of the case. The prosecutor of Novara will further investigate whether any rules have been violated concerning surrogacy and marital status. He will also investigate whether the girl was abandoned as stated in the penal code.

The investigations are continuing, and developments are expected in the coming days.

Within the European Union, surrogacy is still a controversial issue. In most countries, especially commercial surrogacy is forbidden in most countries, as advertising for ‘social’ surrogacy. That stimulates fertility tourism to countries as Ukraine, where surrogacy is a means of income.



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