War in Ukraine: the journey of Mila, born under the bombs by GPA, and her family to return to France

Manuella, Loïc and Mila Vaidie Ukraine Arquenay
Manuella and Loïc Vaidie, safe at home in Arquenay (Mayenne), are now fighting over their little Mila’s papers. ©Julie HURISSE/Sabled News

Manuella Gendrot Vaidie and Loïc Vaidie crossed theUkraine to war to bring her few days old baby from GPA (Gestation pour Autrui). Kyiv, under the bombs. Today they have to fight for little Mila’s papers.

Becoming parents has been a very long journey for Manuella and Loïc. After 15 years of PMA (medically assisted reproduction) attempts and three pregnancies “that have stalled,” the couple is turning their backs grade point average in Ukraine in 2020. 10-20 clinics offer it in Kyiv.

“Tatiana was our guardian angel”

Not easy to find. They decide to hire the services of an intermediary, Tatiana.

You cannot imagine then how important this choice is.

She was our guardian angel, if we are alive today, we owe it to her.

Manuela and Loic

You will be assigned a first surrogate. She loses the baby at 13 weeks gestation.

“We were assigned a new one in mid-May 2021 surrogate mother, Natalie. We found out on June 29th that she was pregnant.

Nathalia, 38 years old and residing inirpinShe is the mother of two children, a requirement to be a surrogate in Ukraine.

Videos: currently on Actu

“We had no idea there was going to be war”

They meet in video July 14, 2021. Bonds are forged. They then communicate regularly via Whatsapp and travel to Ukraine on the weekend of November 1st. A highlight.

“We hugged each other, we cried,” says Manuella, touched. They are distant witnesses to the various ultrasound scans. Mila is due on March 3rd. Manuella and Loïc arrive in Kyiv on February 19.

Everything was fine, we moved into our apartment, we toured the city. We had no idea there would be war. Ukrainians thought it was Putin’s bluff.


War broke out on February 24th. On the first day of the conflict, Nathalia’s husband is able to accommodate her near the maternity ward.

Mila is born between two bombings

The days pass and the little one is in no hurry to give birth. ” The Quai d’Orsay urged us to return”.

No way for the couple to leave without their baby. Nathalia has been spending her nights in the maternity ward since February 26th bunkeron a bench.

Little Mila will finally be announced on March 3rd. The couple can attend the birth after passing numerous checkpoints across Kyiv to reach the clinic.

Little Mila was born at 12:59 p.m., between two bombings.

Manuella Loïc and Mila in the maternity hospital in Kyiv (Ukraine)
At the maternity ward in Kyiv, Manuella was able to do “skin to skin” with her baby immediately. ©Manuella and Loïc Vaidie

La Marseillaise sung by Mireille Mathieu

“The gynecologist was constantly taking photos,” smiles Loïc. “They even gave us the Marseillaise sung by Mireille Mathieu”. Less than four hours later, a bomb threat leads them into the basement.

We were able to get back up, but we were very exposed. Above all, the light should not be on. We fed and changed Mila using the cell phone light.

Loïc and Mila in the basement of the maternity ward in Kyiv
A few hours after Mila’s birth, the family fled to the basement of the maternity ward in Kyiv. ©Manuella and Loïc Vaidie

A flight through Ukraine

Thanks to Tatiana, they reach the meeting point where three minibuses chartered by the French Embassy are parked.

As we saw the world, we said to ourselves that it is not possible, everyone will not be able to bear it.


The two couples succeed in climbing up. Tatiana and Nathalia follow them by car. Then a flight through Ukraine to Poland begins.

“We left Kyiv on March 4 at 1:20 p.m. and arrived Ternopil at 3 a.m. non-stop. Nathalia, refusing to leave Ukraine, stopped in Umat.

A bus escorted by GIGN in Ukraine

In Ternopil, the French are housed in a school. “We were eight or nine per class and slept on mattresses on the floor.”

Two days later, they board a bus, flanked by the GIGNtoward Elvive.

Our driver drove in the left lane. We overtook 300km of trapped vehicles.


At the Polish border they board another bus. “For 55 places we had to be 75. We stayed up and it took us eight hours to cross the border, which was only a few tens of meters away.”

Pictures from the Exodus

pictures ofExodus that the couple will never forget. “We saw them misery People who only had one suitcase, women with prams and children who were on their feet for hours. It was terrible “. And despite everything, Manuella maintains an image of calm.

There were only two people at the border post to check the identities of thousands of people, and yet there was no shouting, no crowding.


On the other side of the border refugee camp. “We have realized the immensity of what has been launched on a humanitarian level.”

Warsaw, Mila is four days old

Embassy services take the French to a huge supermarket that has been converted into a reception area.

Then new bus direction Warsaw where they arrive five hours later. Today is March 7th. Little Mila is four days old.

The couple worries several times about Mila’s papers with the consul. “He told us to go to the French embassy to have the papers legalized.”

Mila crossed the border illegally

And there the couple experiences a very nasty surprise.

We were told the little one had no birth certificate and had crossed the border illegally.


“The embassy just gave us ID after we did an act of recognition with the surrogate on it.”

The mother of the baby is the woman who gave birth

The family journey is coming to an end. Manuella, Loïc and Mila return to Paris by plane on March 10, convinced that they can quickly solve these administrative problems.

It’s a new obstacle course that begins.

Legally, Loïc is the father of Mila and Nathalia, his mother, while genetically, Manuella is Mila’s mother. Ubuesque situation.

“If something happens to Loïc, I have no connection to Mila,” Manuella is alarmed.

“If a lawyer wants to defend our case”

The couple risks turning to a lawyer to represent their case before the French judiciary.

Loïc and Manuella each did two jobs to be able to pay for the surrogacy for a budget that the couple speaks of without difficulty, €50,000.

Difficult today to finance a lawyer.

“If a lawyer wants to defend our case, he should not hesitate to contact us.”

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