Lyudmila Yashenko is busy with the newborns at the bottom of a dusty staircase, sheltered from the carpet of bombs whose echoes are constantly echoing around the Ukrainian capital. They are 19 and sleep in their crib between two rations of baby milk or make little noises.
Ludmila and the other nannies rock the children on their knees and put their bibs back on while they watch the TV for the latest war news.
“We can’t abandon these babies”
Death and destruction are everywhere in Ukraine, but this basement harbors new life – and new problems.
These children were born to Ukrainian surrogate mothers and their biological parents are still abroad. Because of the war, the nationality of these children is a complicated issue. This also applies to the question of who her legal guardians are, as Ukrainian law requires her birth parents to be present to confirm her citizenship.
The question of their security also arises: How can it be guaranteed and is it even possible?
Elsewhere in Ukraine, surrogates are embroiled in fights. Couples abroad are wondering how to get their baby back.
In this Kiev basement, Ludmila and the nannies watch over the children, even as their fear grows with the intensity of the fighting over their heads. “Of course we can’t give up on these babies”, says Lyudmila, 51. Her husband and two sons, all three in the Ukrainian army, begged her to leave the city of Kyiv. She explains :
“They want me gone, but I can’t give up my colleagues, I can’t give up my job, I can’t give up on these babies. I’ll stay here until everything is back to normal.”
The booming surrogacy industry
Ukraine is one of the few countries that offers surrogacy services for foreign couples. According to some estimates, it is number one in the world in this sector. According to Ukrainian lawyers, i
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The web edition, which had more than 3.7 million subscribers as of October 2019, offers everything you’d expect from an online service plus dozens of specific sections. The archive collects articles published since 1851, which can be viewed online from 1981 onwards.