What happens to children born through surrogacy during the border closure due to coronavirus?

When Marta was born in Kyiv last week, the borders of Spain and Ukraine were already closed because of a worldwide coronavirus emergency. But her father managed to seize the moment, flying out 24 hours before the border closure.

It was an emergency trip, explains Martha’s mother, Spaniard Maria Falagan, who was supposed to stay in Spain. She does not know when she will be able to see her daughter in person.

The British couple Nadene and Sam Ghouri are in a similar situation.
While Nadene is stuck with little Gilbert in Kyiv, Sam can only see him via a video call from the United Kingdom.

But the situation could be even more complicated. Many couples who were planning to become parents through surrogacy in Ukraine were unable to cross the border on time.

Surrogacy and coronavirus: when the most desirable comes at the most unexpected times

The Ukrainian clinic of reproductive medicine BioTexCom decided to install cameras on tripods that focus on each cradle so that parents can see their babies via a video call at any time of the day. “A link with a username and password is sent to parents, after that they can see their children at any time,” Albert Tochilovsky, the owner of the clinic, explains for Euronews.

“We have three buildings specially equipped for children,” says Tochilovsky.

“Children are under the 24\7 supervision of specially trained babysitters with medical education and a pediatrician. Food and housing, all hygiene items and full assistance are included.”

This clinic announced a 50% reduction in the cost of children’s maintenance during a pandemic: from 50 to 25 euros per day.

What happens to Ukrainian surrogate mothers?

“Communication with pregnant surrogate mothers takes place online, as well as communication with the clinic and with parents who send their questions to Ukrainian women through interpreters.

“Previously, they were coming straight to the clinic for an examination. Now our managers work mainly online, they don’t talk with mothers in person, direct (physical) contact is not allowed, ” Tochilovsky explains. “All ultrasound scans are performed locally (in the regions where mothers live) due to quarantine.”

Childbirth is a critical moment. “If it is impossible to come to Kyiv for childbirth, surrogates will give birth at their place of residence,” says the owner of BioTexCom. If the birth takes place there, we have coordinators in all regions, and the corresponding team will accompany a surrogate mother in this case. ”

Do you have new customers?
The BioTexCom clinic did not stop signing contracts during the pandemic and demand remains high.
“Since a large number of couples are waiting for the start of their program, we decided to sign contracts online. For this we need to be provided with the necessary package of documents, and it is also necessary to make an advance payment of 5% of the total contract amount,” Tochilovsky says. “After that, the couple is put in the queue and starts participating in the program.”
This Ukrainian clinic decided to establish an emergency care protocol until August of the next year, increasing its abilities to shelter more children.

“We are ready to provide 50 places of intensive care, also for citizens who do not participate in the program,” adds Tochilovsky.
“We have two mechanical ventilators”.
Ukraine is considered the European capital of surrogacy. It attracts couples from all over the continent and from countries where this practice is not regulated.
With one of the most flexible surrogacy laws in Europe, this country allows foreigners to use surrogate mother services only on the condition that the couple is heterosexual.

Written by Marta Rodriguez Martinez& Natalia Liubchenkova :06/04/2020