Ukraine clinic under investigation for using someone else’s DNA
Under Ukrainian law, couples undergoing surrogacy are required to have a genetic link with the child, so that at least one of them is the genetic parent. The announcement is that an Italian couple who underwent surrogacy through Biotex in 2011 have discovered following a DNA test undertaken in Italy that there is no genetic link between them and their child.
The Minister of Justice announced that other cases were being investigated. He called upon surrogates to help provide information to the Ministry in its investigations.
The Minister said that the Ukraine considered that what had happened amounted to “child trafficking” and that the Ukrainian government would sue the relevant clinic. He also said that new laws would be enacted to crack down on practices to prevent any further recurrences.
If this has been occuring, whose eggs were used? Given eggs donors are anonymous in the Ukraine, if record keeping is lax, then it may have been another woman’s egg, even that of the surrogate.
Biotex has been a large and popular clinic for those seeking to undertake surrogacy in the Ukraine.
One might be forgiven for thinking that this is a long way from Australia, but the fact is that Australians have undertaken surrogacy in the Ukraine. According to Biotex’s map it has representative offices throughout Europe, Asia, North America- and in Sydney and Melbourne.
Those undertaking surrogacy in locations that are developing countries or post-Soviet countries must take extreme care. It should never be assumed that IVF clinics and agencies are backed by some government guarantee or rigid regulation. They might be rigidly regulated- but it is very much a case of buyer beware.
I remember all too well the gay couple who went to a Thai clinic for surrogacy- man A and man B. Sperm was provided by each of the men. Man A’s sperm was deemed better than Man’s B. The couple were told that Man A’s sperm was used to conceive the child. All went well. A child was born. Man A was named on the birth certificate as the father. A DNA test was undertaken. Man A was excluded as the father. It appears that Man B’s sperm was used. Luckily this did not prevent the child obtaining Australian citizenship.
Or the gay couple who went to India in its heyday. Sperm was only provided by one of the men for legal reasons. The child was conceived and born. A DNA test determined that the man’s sperm was not used. Who knows who the father was. Luckily, Australian authorities were sympathetic and allowed the child to obtain Australian citizenship.