Ukraine pain for surrogates, babies and parents

Ukraine pain for surrogates, babies and parents

Sadly, as I predicted before the Russian invasion, there have been great difficulties for surrogates, parents and babies in Ukraine. As of a few days ago, 19 babies born through surrogacy were trapped by war in a Kyiv basement but kept alive by nannies.

The BBC has reported the story of an Australian couple, Emma Micallef and her husband Alex, and their Ukrainian surrogate Svetlana:

“I thought having cancer was stressful or having a baby while having treatment was stressful or having round after round of IVF and it not working was stressful,” Emma says. “But it just does not compare.”

With the help of the surrogacy agency, Emma got in touch with two other parents who had surrogates in Ukraine. They found a bus that would take the three women and their 10 children on an 18-hour trip to the Moldovan border.

When they finally got to the Moldovan capital they were crammed into a small apartment. Emma was horrified when she heard that there weren’t enough beds. “Our lovely, pregnant Svetlana was sleeping on the floor,” she says.

But Svetlana was too devastated to care. She had left her husband behind in Ukraine and her mother had fled to Germany. When her mother calls she just cries down the phone.

“It hurts so much that this war is tearing families apart,” she told me. “I feel safe in Moldova but my heart is in Ukraine.”

There are too many stories like them. I hope that the Australian government and other Western governments are able to protect these most vulnerable people at this time.

Sam Everingham, from Growing Families, has been helping evacuate parents, surrogates and babies from Ukraine. The more who manage to get out, the better. I hope all can.

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