It’s heartrending to see pictures of babies stuck in a nursery in Ukraine,” said Ruth Institute President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D. “These children were born to surrogate mothers. But due to a ban on foreign travel, caused by the coronavirus, foreign families aren’t able to claim the babies for which they contracted.”
Surrogacyis a thriving business in Ukraine. It’s estimated that each year between 2,000 and 2,500 surrogates produce babies for foreign families. For this, they receive between $15,000 and $17,000. The companies that act as go-betweens get twice that amount.
“What should be the result of love between two people becomes a commercial transaction, where money is paid and a product delivered,” said Morse. “The child will likely never know the identity of his birth mother. He’ll never know his heritage.”
“The surrogate mother is paid to rent her womb for nine months. In poor countries like Ukraine, $15,000 to $17,000 is hard to resist. The companies that facilitate the transaction are exploiting these women,” Morse said.
She continued: “The most important immediate problem is finding a way to get these children out. If they remain institutionalized in Ukraine, who can say what will become of them.”
“After that, the public – in both the United States and Europe, where the market exists — must begin to face the hard questions about surrogacy, which is now a $30-billion global business. Surrogacy should be banned, though the Ukrainian company is in full compliance with its government’s regulations. The buying and selling of babies is so egregious, however, you can’t put enough regulatory band-aids on it. This business does not belong in a humane society,” Morse said.