Sonya and Christoph: Interview about surrogacy


– And now we welcome a couple of Sonya and Christoph. Good afternoon, Sonya, good afternoon, Christoph!

– Good afternoon!

– Thank you for joining us this morning. Thanks to you we will touch upon the topic which is certainly important, but we have not talked about it since the beginning of quarantine. You are waiting for the moment when you can go to Ukraine to pick up your child, conceived within a surrogacy program. He should be born very soon, on May 2, as far as I understand. And at the moment, the borders of Ukraine remain closed, and you do not have permission to enter. This is, of course, a dramatic situation that applies to all parents whose children should be born from surrogate mothers, as well as to those who are in the process of adopting children from abroad. So, let’s go back a bit: you went through numerous IVF attempts, experienced many miscarriages, tried to adopt, and came to a surrogacy program. You have chosen Ukraine, where, unlike France, this procedure is legal and well organized. Are you in good relations with a surrogate mom who carries your baby? How are you communicating with her from the beginning of pregnancy?

– We can come to all ultrasounds or participate in them by video link from the very beginning of the pregnancy. And then we communicate with her through social networks.

– How does your surrogate mother feel, considering that there is quarantine in Ukraine, as in other countries?

– Well, she is waiting for going into labor, which is expected on 2 May. And she is a little worried about the future of the child. She says that so many babies are already waiting for their parents. This is, of course, very stressful, both for her and for us.

– As I said, the borders of Ukraine are now closed, and you, Christoph, have made many attempts to get into Ukraine in time for the delivery. What were you trying to do and at what stage are you now?

… (Bad connection).

– We cannot hear you well, Christoph. Now it’s better, thanks!

– Do you hear me better now?

– Yes, it’s better now.

– So, we turned to the French Embassy in Ukraine. They replied that they can’t do anything until the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France gave the go-ahead. For 3 weeks we were regularly sending requests but did not receive any response, until the evening of the last Friday. We were denied consideration of our request due to measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

– According to the clinic, borders can be closed until the end of summer. This means that children will stay without parents until that moment. What impact does this situation have on you, what state of mind are you in?

– We are psychologically exhausted, we do not sleep at night. We should look forward to the birth of our child, but we are afraid that we will be informed about that before we find a way to come to Ukraine. It’s a nightmare!

– Have you been told who will look after the children in your absence?

– Yes, our clinic allocated a large room in its hotel, which is temporarily turned into a nursery. New babies arrive day after day, there are already about 20 of them in our clinic, and babysitters take care of them 24 hours a day.

– The clinic sent you an incredible video from the nursery in Kyiv you are talking about. All these children were born from surrogate mothers, their parents are from different countries, and they cannot come to Ukraine to pick them up. We will show some incredible shots, I suppose your heart is breaking looking at them. Did you manage to contact some of the parents?

– Yes, thanks to social networks we managed to find a dozen couples who are in the same situation as we are. Thus we communicate with them and together try to find the strength to fight for our children.

– Besides, you have one more problem … These images shock me! I think they do not encourage you, do they?

– No, when we saw them, we burst into tears, because even if there are babysitters, our newborn child remains with people whom we do not know and whom we did not choose. Who would leave their baby with a nanny for a few months, not knowing if sanitary standards are being followed, this is terrible!

– We will see this video once again, here it is, this is the nursery in Kyiv. (shows videos of children and nannies from the Venice hotel). You get a lot of good wishes in the comments! We and the audience of our program are wholeheartedly with you in your waiting, which seems to be endless. We will soon find out more news. I cannot express how your story shocked us, we are with you!

– Thank you so much!

– Stay strong, we hope that things will get better soon!