United Kingdom

British couples must quarantine before meeting babies after arriving at Ukrainian surrogacy clinic

British couples will have to quarantine for two weeks before they can hold their babies after arriving at a Ukrainian clinic where 97 newborns are marooned due to coronavirus lockdown. 

Four desperate British couples have flown to Kyiv and are now on a fortnight's quarantine before meeting their infants at the BioTexCom human reproduction centre. 

Last month shocking images showed 46 babies at the clinic's Venice Hotel waiting for their parents, many of them Westerners who have spent tens of thousands of pounds but are unable to travel.

Lyudmila Denisova, Ukraine's parliamentary commissioner for human rights, revealed that there are a total of 97 surrogate babies in Kyiv at eight clinics. The number at the Venice Hotel now stands at 73, with 62 'still waiting for their parents.'

A happy mother wears a protective masks as she meets her baby for the first time on May 13 (left) and parents meeting their baby (right) at the BioTexCom Center for Human Reproduction in Kyiv

Now this clinic's Venice Hotel has a total of 73 children, of which 62 are 'still waiting for their parents', said Lyudmila Denisova, Ukraine's parliamentary commissioner for human rights.

In 11 cases, parents have arrived, undergone two week's quarantine, and are now caring for their babies.

Denisova is helping 91 overseas parents reach Ukraine despite the pandemic - and complete the necessary red tape to take their babies home.

Nikolai Kuleba, the Ukraine president's commissioner for children's rights, is so shocked by the scandal of newborns left alone in the surrogacy clinics that he is calling for a ban on the practice which is illegal in many countries.

'We need to close this market for foreign couples,' said Kuleba.

Denisova revealed that there are a total of 97 known newborn surrogate babies in Kyiv whose foreign parents are desperately seeking to reach their children in a total of eight clinics

A shocking video shows almost 50 surrogate babies stranded in Ukraine due to the coronavirus lockdown

A BioTexCom clinic representative named Svetlana said today: 'We have currently four British couples who have arrived to pick up their babies.

Foreign parents at the clinic meeting their baby

'They are all isolated under observation for coronavirus in public institutions, as required under the law of Ukraine.

'In the first half of June these parents will see their kids but only after the end of observation.

'I cannot share with you the exact number of UK babies as this is private information.

'But all these parents are currently in Kyiv.'

The British couples - who had planned to be in Ukraine at the time their children were born but were prevented from doing so by lockdown curbs - have declined to be named.

They will need to obtain UK passports for their children from the British embassy before leaving Ukraine.

Among parents to arrive and in quarantine before collecting their babies are 11 couples from Argentina.

They are due to be collected by parents from the UK, USA, Italy, Spain, France, Israel, Germany, China, Mexico, Romania and other countries

Newborns are crammed in a dormitory at the Venice Hotel in capital city Kyiv

One couple took out a five year loan to pay for the surrogacy arrangement.

An unnamed 29 year old woman said she was paid £12,750 to be a surrogate mother after living hand to mouth as a bank clerk in Kyiv.

'I was ready for this,' she told Fakti newspaper. 'I went into. It consciously, perfectly understanding what I was doing and why.'

She used the money to open her own business.

'I prepared myself that this was not my son,' she said. 'I told myself that I was just helping someone else's child to be born. I know that psychologists work with some surrogate mothers. But I didn't need it.

Midwives looking after the babies at the Venice Hotel, where 73 are now waiting to be collected by their parents

'Even when I was talking with the child, I told him: 'Wait a little longer, soon you will meet your mummy and daddy.

'I had the same emotions after childbirth. When I saw him, I immediately noticed how much he looked like his parents, not me, but them, especially the mother.

'I had no maternal love for this child. There is probably interest, curiosity, but nothing more.' 

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