Ukraine Has Legally Regulated Surrogacy, Not Baby Farms

Фото: Принтскрин видео

Photo: Screenshot from the video

It is not true that the video calls upon Ukrainian women to transform their uteruses into baby-making machines. One can easily see in the original video that it is intended for foreign families concerned about the surrogacy process in wartime conditions. The post presents surrogate mothers as exploited, although they give their written consent for surrogacy for financial compensation, and the entire procedure in Ukraine is legally well-regulated. In addition, 200 thousand children are not victims of organ trafficking, instead, it is estimated that 200 thousand children live in orphanages. The claim that a kidney on the black market is worth 30 thousand dollars is not confirmed by any source


We are fact-checking a post on the social network Facebook (screenshot here) stating:

MJTruth Тv USA.
Baby farm for pregnant women discovered in Ukraine; a total of 200 thousand children victims. Child organ trafficking included. One kidney 30 thousand dollars.
Mike: More and more evidence will appear,
This is just the beginning. The end will terrifying to watch.
Long live Trump, Putin and all patriots.

The video recording presented as part of the post is meddling with the facts, thereby providing a false or, more precisely, incorrect factual presentation. The description of the post quoted above is definitely incorrect. No baby farm was discovered in Ukraine.

There is no “bunker for desperate women”

The video also incorrectly presents (starting at the 35th second of the video) „how desperate women can come to the bunker and have their uteruses turned into baby-making machines”. However, the video is from the clinic BioTexCom in Ukraine that, in a legal manner, renders medical surrogacy services, a legally provided service in Ukraine in a regulated manner. The video clip, contrary to the allegations of the hosts, (from the 35th second of the video we are fact-checking), shows that the clinic is demonstrating how it operates in wartime conditions i.e., after Russia carried out its military invasion of Ukraine. The video was made for the people expecting the baby after the medical surrogacy to not be anxious, i.e. to assure them that the mothers and the babies are safe in the bunker. Unlike the claim in the video, the purpose of this bunker is not for ”desperate women” to come there, but for the hospital i.e., the clinic to continue working in wartime conditions. Only women in surrogacy procedures who are expecting and who were in the hospital up to that point or who have documents and written informed consent and who willingly have decided to be surrogate mothers are in the bunker. However, at the 30th second of the video of the post, the host is saying the following:

Here is a video of BioTexCom explaining how desperate Ukrainian women can come to their bunkers and have their uteruses turned into baby-making machines.

However, it is not true that the video is calling upon Ukrainian women to turn their uteruses into baby-making machines. The video in its original form is published on the following link, explaining that it addresses foreign families concerned about the process in wartime conditions, asking themselves whether the baby they will receive will be well and cared for, since they are not in Ukraine.

The clinic, as can be seen in the introduction of the video (from the 32nd second), is ready to safeguard its clients, surrogate mothers, and newborns, even in conditions of aggression. The video presents a bunker made for preventive purposes, enabling medically supported surrogacy to continue in case of wartime conditions in Kyiv.

Legal provisions regulating surrogacy

The official website of the BioTex clinic contains an application form, where women themselves can see whether they fulfill the requirements to become surrogate mothers. It is not something they are forced into. Apart from the fact that the decision must be made voluntarily, some other specific conditions must also be met. Therefore, the activity is not illegal and not even close to child trafficking, since the children are given to married families abroad, with good living conditions, but without a possibility to have children.

The surrogate babies, unlike the claim made in the text of the post about ”200 thousand children victims”, are not victims at all, nor are they subject to trafficking, but are given to families i.e., clients of the clinic under strictly regulated procedures. It is true that some surrogate mothers experience, as they say, emotions involved in the process. They also say, however, that they are not forced into becoming surrogate mothers and that they do that to secure good higher education for their biological children or for other purposes related to their aspirations. In Ukraine, commercial surrogacy has been fully legal since 2002. To be a surrogate mother in Ukraine, the woman must be married and submit a marriage certificate. Ukraine is a surrogacy-friendly country, but in the post, it is represented as a child trafficking country, which is not true.

In Ukraine, the couples that want a child from a surrogate mother are considered the biological parents from the moment of conception and they are specifically named as biological parents in the birth certificate without any mention of the surrogate mother. The surrogate mother cannot legally keep the child after the birth. The surrogate mother concludes a surrogacy agreement with the parents of the baby. Ukrainian laws do not limit surrogacy-related payments, and the parents need not adopt the baby because the baby is deemed theirs from the moment of conception. Agreements must be concluded between parties, as well as an agreement with a medical facility responsible for insemination, surrogacy, etc. All laws are extensive, indicating an exclusively regulated area. They can be accessed on the following link.

Contrary to the facts, the video and the post manipulate by claiming that in an underground bunker a baby factory is established and that “desperate women are exploited” (3 minutes and 7 seconds of the video). The reality is, however, that a medical facility is providing assurance of the entire surrogacy procedure during the Russian military invasion of Ukraine. Women are not exploited but are persons willing to become surrogate mothers by means of informed consent, usually motivated by financial reasons.

At 3 minutes and 19 seconds of the video in the post, the following is claimed: ”Surrogates have to be from poorer places than their clients” and the director of such a medical facility is quoted. But looking at his original statement on the following link, one can see that he is explaining that women in Europe who have a better life and have a better economic standing, do not want to be surrogates.

This is the full statement of the director of the medical facility is the following:

We are looking for women in the former Soviet republics because, logically, they have to be from poorer places than our clients. I have not met a single woman with a good economic situation who has decided to go through this process out of kindness, because she thinks she has enough children and wants to help someone else who wants them. They do this because they need the money to buy a house, for their children’s education. If you have a good life in Europe, you’re not going to do it. Pechenoha says he doesn’t understand why the business is prohibited in much of the world because, as he puts it:
”No one forces these women to do it. They do it freely and with informed consent. Eligible are only couples made up of a man and a woman, married, who prove that they can’t have children”.

There are no baby farms

From the wording of the post, one can easily be deluded that on a baby farm in Ukraine, there were 200 thousand child victims. However, when the original video is viewed, a completely different outlook appears. In the video, there is an estimate that up to 200 thousand children live in orphanages in Ukraine. That is not the same as the statement published in the post – that there were 200 thousand children victims in Ukraine living in some kind of baby farms. The post is substituting theses, mixing terms and issues thereby providing a completely wrong summary – description of the video.

There is no organ trafficking in medical facilities for artificial insemination under medical surveillance in Ukraine because that area is strictly regulated. Women are not forced into surrogacy, but they freely decide to do so, usually motivated by economic reasons. The law regulates that the babies belong to the parents from the very conception of the surrogate mother!

The video quotes an article from HuffPost from 2015. The article specifies that between 82 thousand and 200 thousand children are said to live in orphanages in Ukraine. As the article states, the estimate comes from non-specified activists, not from a factual number.

In addition, the post claims that ”a baby farm was discovered” leaving the impression that something was concealed, while, in fact, the video was published by the medical facility that has built the bunker to protect its business and the women and babies within.

Then it adds that “USA in the State Department report from 2014 outlines that the children in the orphanages and crisis centers continue to be vulnerable to trafficking in Ukraine”.

Truthmeter acquired the 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report on Ukraine which states that in 2014, the Ukrainian government did not meet the minimum requirements for eliminating people trafficking, but that it made serious efforts to eradicate the problem. During the tenure of Viktor Janukovych, the government adopted standards for social care of victims, established a special unit for fighting trafficking and significantly increased the number of employees in the anti-trafficking unit. 2014 is identified with three times fewer victims of trafficking in people compared to 2011. This refers to both adults and children, unlike the narrative in the post specifying solely the children. In addition, the fact-checkers of USA Today noted the Russian narrative that Putin attacked Ukraine to “save the children from trafficking”.

The USA Today article reports that Ukraine is not the main center for child trafficking. In 2023, the State Department in its report classified the country as a state that has not fulfilled the criteria for eliminating trafficking in persons but has made significant efforts to do so.

State Department wrote that “the Russian government is carrying out a military intervention against Ukraine thereby creating conditions for millions of refugees leaving Ukraine and for externally displaced persons, including those who require humanitarian aid and protection in Ukraine to be significantly vulnerable to trafficking in persons”. At minute 9 of the video in the post, without specifying the source, it is said that the going rate of one kidney is 30 thousand dollars on the black market. However, that is not related to the babies in the surrogacy medical facility.

Due to the above-noted facts, we assess the post fact-checked as omitted context, thereby “mixing apples and oranges” and making a completely legitimate business to look like a business for trafficking people and organs. Surrogate mothers are presented as exploited, although they sign consent for surrogacy for financial compensation and the whole procedure is well regulated in Ukraine. In addition, Ukraine does not have 200 thousand children victims of organ trafficking, but 200 thousand children are estimated to live in orphanages. The information that one kidney sells for 30 thousand dollars on the black market is not confirmed by any source, nor is it connected with Ukraine. Putin and his war in Ukraine is not helping improve the situation with people trafficking. On the contrary, according to the 2023 Report on Trafficking of Persons of the State Department, the people fleeing the war are endangered of becoming trafficking victims.


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