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Hearing from Ukranian Surrogates

For many couples who have experienced medical complications in pregnancy, including the heartbreak of late miscarriage or still-birth, working with a surrogate to create their family becomes the best way forward. However surrogacy arrangements can be complicated emotionally and logistically.

Our information days profile surrogates, egg donors and parents who have gone down this route. They are a welcoming introduction to others in the same situation as well as providing insights on legal issues, eligibility, costs, risks, medical and psychological considerations.

For surrogacy and even egg donation can be expensive routes to parenthood. While some engage with altruistic surrogates at home, an absence of binding contracts and lack of surrogate screening and payment turns many off local arrangements. So increasingly Europeans are choosing cheaper destinations such as Ukraine, Russia and Georgia.

Growing Families has been running events in Europe since 2014. Back then many were creating families in India. Thailand became popular also. However with the closure of many south-east Asian countries to surrogacy, hopeful parents were forced to look at other options. Since 2015, many dozens each year turned to countries like Ukraine.

Our events have regularly showcased success stories in Ukraine. But always missing was the voice of Ukranian surrogates. So for the first time this March, Ukraine surrogates will come and share their own stories at our London and Dublin events, along with local surrogates from Ireland and the UK. 

Oksana (pictured above) is a 35-years old Ukranian surrogate and the mother of three beautiful daughters. She carried for a US couple in 2018, giving birth to twins and is still in contact with this family. Since then, she has begun a second journey for a UK couple. Oksana is also an active member of the Ukraine surrogacy community, representing the rights of surrogates. She will speak at the London event on 21 March

Irish mum Joy has Cystic Fibrosis. Her and Shane’s surrogacy journey began two years after Joy had a double lung transplant. Until then, Joy’s health was failing, and her medical team advised a pregnancy would most likely kill her within 2 – 3 years. However given the success of Joys transplant, and her new found health and energy, they started again to dream of a family. Five snowy clinic visits later and they selected a Ukraine team to help  on their journey. Ten months later they returned to Kiev to welcome their son.

Joy will share her insights in Dublin on 22 March along with other heterosexual and gay parents via surrogacy. Other mums like Shabana will do the same in London on 21 March. Their insights into risks, and practicalities are essential for those navigating or contemplating this route.