Ukraine has now become the major destination for many intended parents seeking affordable surrogacy arrangements outside of the US, especially after such countries as India, Thailand, and Mexico either banned or significantly restricted access to such services for foreigners. In addition to surrogacy, thanks to the well-developed fertility industry, Ukraine is also often considered as good European alternative for many other types of infertility treatments, including surgical procedures, such as laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis, fibroids, etc. In addition, a favourable legal environment allows very high level of flexibility when it comes to oocyte donation programs, as compared to most other European countries. In particular, intended parents may choose from anonymous to open or semi-open donors, whereas a proximity and close ties with neighbouring Belarus and Russia, allows to extend a donor search to the area with population of over 200 million and satisfy all needs of even the most demanding recipients.
Unethical and Exploit Women
Occasionally, some media outlets that are on the hunt for dramatic stories attempt to depict all gestational-carrier arrangements in Ukraine as unethical and exploitative of women. Of course such reports are greatly exaggerated. All Ukrainian clinics are subject to licensing and strict control on behalf of authorities, whereas, the treatment protocols, including those related to surrogacy, contain explicit requirements in relation to fully informed consents, screenings, etc.
Nevertheless, it is true that many in the industry are out to get more clients and offer lower prices by cutting corners whenever they can. Some clinics or intermediaries (quite often even located in other countries) will try to sell you one-size-fits-all surrogacy packages in Ukraine. As a consequence of dealing with such dubious entrepreneurs, you may come across heart-breaking stories of intended parents getting stuck in Ukraine with their new-born babies because no one fulfilled all the requisite formalities. In other cases, surrogate mothers were misinformed of their rights and obligations and poorly treated. Still, such stories and incidents are the exception, not the rule.
Ask the right questions, read what you sign, and you should not have any issues with finding a diligent and reputable agency or a clinic that will do things in the proper and ethically acceptable manner.
Please keep in mind that demand creates supply and intended parents are fully responsible for what type of services they purchase and what contractual provisions they agree to. In other words, if the lowest price is the only concern, don’t expect to receive a state-of-the-art and fully ethical services. It unlikely that people who offer a cheap “package” of solutions would know what the word “ethics” means.
But if you do your homework well, ask the right questions, and read what you sign, you should not have any issues with finding a diligent and reputable agency or a clinic that will do things in the proper and ethically acceptable manner.
Not Safe to Travel
One of the key concerns you may have about Ukraine is whether it is a safe place to travel. Most Ukrainian cities, including its capital Kyiv, are as safe as any other European city (we know because we live here). Yes, there is an ongoing “frozen” military conflict in easternmost Ukraine (parts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions that comprise 3% of the country’s territory). However, those areas are very far from where you would travel. The distance from Kyiv to Donetsk is over 700 km or 450 miles (which is more than the distance between Amsterdam and Berlin). Thus, if you take standard precautions and don’t travel to Crimea or the conflict zone, there is really nothing to worry about. There are many travel blogs, articles and videos available online that provide information on this topic.
Most Ukrainian cities, including its capital Kyiv, are as safe as any other European city (we know because we live here).
Please note that COVID-19 pandemics have globally influenced the ability of people to travel from one country to another and Ukraine is not an exception here. All foreigners that enter Ukraine are required to have medical insurance that covers COVID-19 treatment and observation, valid for the period of their stay. Depending on the country from which an individual arrives (red or green zone), they may be also required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test (taken no later than 48 hours before crossing the border) or self-isolate themselves using a special mobile phone application, which may be negated by a negative COVID-19 PCR test result. The entry rules are subject to constant changes, therefore, please contact us for an update or search for your government’s travel advisories for Ukraine before you decide to go.