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Ukraine: Babies born to surrogate mothers found stranded in hotel

As travel restrictions begin to ease in many countries, couples are being allowed into Ukraine to collect their babies born to surrogate mothers.

As couples meet their infants for the first time, the Ukrainian Catholic bishops' joint statement denouncing surrogate motherhood still stands. It was released in mid-May after 46 newborns were found stranded in a hotel in Kyiv because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Head of Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church
“They're babies without parents, babies without human affection, babies being treated like objects of human trafficking. It's precisely because of a lack of legislation on the topic of assisted motherhood, or assisted procreation.”

The head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church says surrogate motherhood is both detrimental to the babies, and an affront to women's dignity. He explains that it is often women with financial issues who are targeted by surrogacy clinics and pressured into signing contracts and selling their bodies to provide children to paying couples.

Head of Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church
“Then, for whatever reason, this couple, who asked for a baby from a rented uterus, can deny any responsibility. They can abandon this woman with the baby. It's really heartbreaking, because this type of relationship between the woman and these reproductive health centers is truly a relationship of slavery.”

Although Ukraine is a surrogacy hotspot, the head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church says the problem extends far beyond the country, since it is typically foreigners who pay for surrogate mothers.

Head of Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church
“If, in the world, we live the throwaway culture, as Pope Francis says, or the culture of death, as St. Pope John Paul II used to say, one way or another, these centers will continue to be built, to fill the demand that emerges from these sorts of cultures.”

Thus, the Catholic bishops of Ukraine continue to appeal to the Ukrainian government and all people of good will, to defend the dignity of women and children, starting with legislation banning surrogate motherhood.