Thailand farms

Debra Saunders: Ukraine’s Baby Farms | Columnists

Video on the website of BioTexCom, aka the Center for Human Reproduction, shows Ukrainian men driving babies, born to surrogate mothers, to bomb shelters where smiling caregivers cradle the precious cargo and protect the infants from the Russian firepower. The company wants future parents to know that it is doing everything possible to protect these children in the midst of war.

That’s what the video doesn’t show – the 66-year-old Swedish woman who gave birth to twins after IVF treatment with donor eggs, according to the organization’s website. According to the company’s website, “women in their 40s, 50s, and even 60s have successfully become mothers through BioTexCom’s IVF, surrogacy, and egg donation programs.”

Surrogacy is big business.

“Europe’s cheapest surrogacy is in Ukraine, the poorest European country,” says BioTexCom.

“Ukraine is one of the few countries that offers surrogacy services to foreigners,” reports The New York Times. “By some estimates, its industry is the largest in the world; Lawyers involved in the business say around 500 women are now pregnant in Ukraine as surrogate mothers for foreign clients.

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There’s a lot of money in raising babies, notes Jennifer Lahl, a former pediatric nurse who founded the Center for Bioethics and Culture, and she warns, “There are a lot of bad actors in high fertility.

The arrangement is an invitation to exploitation – with wealthy couples (or individuals) paying women in need of money to have children in poor countries at their peril. To be clear: the blame lies with the wealthy future parents, not the women who carry their children out of financial desperation.

CBC warns of the unknown consequences of “the exploitation of poor, low-income women who are in desperate need of money”, as well as “the moral and ethical consequences of transforming a normal biological function of the body into a woman in a commercial transaction”.

It is not known what will happen to the surrogate babies from Ukraine. When COVID-19 hit two years ago, travel restrictions prevented hopeful parents from picking up newborns for a year, affecting surrogacy arrangements around the world.

Now the war prevents future parents from coming to pick up their children.

Couples who want to adopt Ukrainian children face the same obstacles, but they are trying to unite with orphaned or abandoned children and need the security of a forever home. Their adoptive parents didn’t plan to have custom-made babies in rented wombs without thinking through anything that could go wrong.

Without war, things go wrong in surrogacy cases all the time. Sometimes expectant parents don’t like the product they thought they were buying.

Lahl mentions a famous case involving “Baby Gammy”. The boy, who has Down syndrome and other health issues, was left behind in Thailand where he was born, while Australian parents Wendy and David Farnell brought the healthy twin sister home. Later, it was learned that David Farnell had 22 convictions for sex with children, ABC News Australia reported.

Raising babies is an industry, but also, notes Lahl, the Wild West.

Since Russia attacked Ukraine, the world has seen the devastating effects on children – as they have endured bombs, bullets, depravity and painstaking labor just to get to safety.

Children of surrogate mothers face additional uncertainty, as laws in Ukraine and the countries to which they have been moved must determine which adults have rights over a child under which set of laws. For some kids, this could be another long nightmare labor.

For Surrogate Babies From Ukraine, One Thing Remains The Same: They Are Still Treated Like Commodities

Debra J. Saunders is a Fellow of the Chapman Center for Citizen Leadership at the Discovery Institute. Contact her at [email protected]