Wednesday, June 1, 2011

MATERNITY - No passport for babies last chance

Like many other infertile couples, Alan and Margot [the names have been changed] have tried to conceive a child, then adopt one. After ten years, they eventually give up and sought help on the Internet. Their research led them to the agency Biotex in Kiev. His boss, Albert Mann, has promised to find them a surrogate mother and they also offered legal help to get the baby out of the country.

The two French nationals have joined the growing number of infertile couples foreigners who flock to Ukraine to find a woman who, for compensation, will give birth to their baby. Since 2002, when the "surrogate motherhood" became legal in Ukraine, surrogacy agencies have multiplied. In the absence of regulation, corrupt practices have emerged.

That is why many countries, including France, have banned the use of surrogate mothers and others were subjected to stringent controls. Ukraine provides inexpensive. "The country offers the same services as the U.S. but for three or four times cheaper and there is no problem to find a surrogate mother healthy," says Serhiy Antonov, director of the Center of Medical Law, in Kiev.

The cost of the process in Ukraine is about $ 30 000 [21 000]. According to officials of these agencies, the clientele has doubled each year. Last year, the center Intersono in Lviv hosted 50 foreign customers. Many surrogate mothers come from poor rural areas. They receive 12,000 dollars [Euro 8400], and a premium for the twins and food aid during pregnancy.

Albert Mann finds most of its surrogates in villages near Kiev. "I put an advertisement in a local newspaper and candidates flock," he said. Alan and Margot went to Kiev in February 2010 to sign their contract at Biotex. They took this decision despite the French law which, since 1994, prohibits the use of surrogate mothers and prevents them from bringing their twins in France.

The desire to have children was stronger than their willingness to obey the law. "We have seen that many Italian couples had used the services of Biotex and brought back their babies at home [surrogacy is banned in Italy]," says Margot. After the birth of twins in January, Alan and Margot received birth certificates issued in their name.

According to Ukrainian law, surrogate mothers have no legal right over the child. Albert Mann advised them to report the twins as their own children in applying for a passport for them at the Embassy of France in Ukraine. But employees of the consulate suspected the transaction. They sent the case to a French prosecutor and two French have issued any document authorizing them to bring the babies in France, where maternity rights revert to the woman who gave birth to the child.

"The Embassy of France has asked for statements, bills, hospital records, a gynecological checkup, lists Margot. On the list there are many that we could not provide. "Passports have been refused. "We guarantee our customers by establishing our legal department all the necessary papers for the baby," says the head of a center.

"We guarantee them as they can bring their baby into their country without any legal problem." Josette For Mira, consul of France, this statement is "clearly misleading". To avoid further "tragedies for children and parents," the embassy intervened with the centers and the government they put an end to these scams.

Desperate, Alan and Margot are now using other European countries to grant citizenship to their binoculars and they may well leave Ukraine. Even if their dreams of parenthood come true, their lives became a nightmare. But Albert Mann Biotex center who helped the couple is convinced they will eventually be allowed to return home with their binoculars.

"The embassy officials always start growing outcry, he said, but ultimately, they deliver all the papers for the trip of babies."

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