Newborns rescued from grim Ukraine ‘baby factory’ as new parents in UK & US can finally collect them after lockdown
BABIES born in a "baby factory" in Ukraine have been united with parents previously unable to collect them because of the coronavirus lockdown.
Dozens of surrogate newborns were left stranded at a hotel in capital city Kyiv for weeks, with travel restrictions leaving parents from the UK, US, and elsewhere unable to enter the country.
Pictures showed eight foreign couples, six from Argentina, two from Spain, smiling as they met and held their babies for the first time on Wednesday.
Other parents of the stranded children are reported to have been from the Italy, France, Israel, Germany, China, Mexico, and Romania.
They have paid between £5,000 and £57,000 for help in starting their families.
Video released last month by the organisation caring for the babies showed dozens of them lined up in a room at the Venice Hotel.
The hotel is part of a clinic run by surrogacy firm BioTexCom.
The impact of coronavirus in Ukraine has been relatively low, with only 28,381 infections and 833 deaths so far.
The hotel was able to care for the babies until coronavirus restrictions were eased, but the number of babies packed into one room alarmed many.
“This video confirms that the situation with the provision of surrogacy services by this clinic is mass and systemic, and surrogacy technologies are advertised and presented as 'high quality goods'," said Liudmila Denisova, the human rights ombudsman for the Ukrainian parliament.
Surrogacy programmes are banned in most countries in Europe.
Daria Kaleniuk, executive director of Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Action Center, told the Daily Beast: “Surrogacy is not illegal in Ukraine but it is not guided by any law or state regulation either, which is a problem."
An administrator at the hotel previously told parents: “Our baby sitters take care of your babies 24 hours a day in a baby room.
“Every day they spend some time with the children in the open air and bathe them.”
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