Ukrainian prosecutor indicts alleged surrogacy traffickers


Eastern Europe


Photo AFP, Aleksey Filippov

Ukrainian prosecutors have filed charges against several Ukrainians who allegedly trafficked surrogacy babies worldwide. Restrictive national laws were circumvented by cleverly using country borders.

Officially, it is forbidden for singles and gay couples to get a child via surrogacy in Ukraine. But a lot is possible when you make clever use of national borders. As o CNE reported earlier, authorities from the Czech Republic completed a three-year investigation into human trafficking in early June. They investigated cases where Ukrainian women gave birth in the Czech Republic to a child supposedly intended for single non-Czech nationals. Now, the Ukrainian public prosecutor filed an indictment against suspects who "made and sold" newborn babies, according to the Czech news outlet Seznam Zpravy.

The investigation centred on a Kharkiv clinic allegedly starting surrogacy processes in Ukraine. Interested parties worldwide would choose the colour of their skin, sex and hair via a catalogue. The clinic then selected a suitable egg donor, and a surrogate mother would be fertilised. These women were mostly poor, according to Seznam Zpravy.

Then, the logistical trick happened. Since it is forbidden for singles or gay couples to pick up a child in Ukraine, the pregnant surrogate mother would travel to the Czech Republic and give birth in Prague, after which she would give the client full custody over the child. The buying parties would then easily be able to leave the country without any questions asked.

According to Seznam Zpravy, the suspicion that children end up with paedophiles or that they do poorly has not been confirmed. "However, when interrogating the fathers at the Ruzyne airport, the police came across those who bought the child in Prague only because they wanted to give their mother a grandchild. Or they took the child as an addition to a luxurious lifestyle."


Martina Hluštíková, the Czech representative of the European Unit for Judicial Cooperation, confirms that an indictment had been filed to the Czech news outlet. "But the main trial has not yet started, as the question of the court's jurisdiction is currently being resolved."

In the Czech Republic, no one will be prosecuted since surrogacy is not in the Czech Criminal Code. The Ukrainian clinic calls the accusations "slander."



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