December 3, 2022

“Baby factories” in the Ukraine exposed

Damning reports have emerged of systemic exploitation in Ukrainian surrogacy businesses, with one expert labelling some of the worst clinics “baby factories”.  

An Al Jazeera feature article published this week details the harrowing story of several surrogates and clients of the Ukraine’s largest surrogacy company, BioTexCom.

The company, which employs thousands of surrogates and accounts for over half of the surrogate births in the country each year, has been accused of grossly mistreating women and providing surrogates with substandard medical care.

According to Al Jazeera, the BioTexCom offers women generous remuneration (around US$11,000 plus a monthly stipend). Yet it provides “employees” with terrible accommodation during pregnancy, threatens fines if women break strict rules imposed during pregnancy, and fails to provide adequate medical attention through the nine months of child-bearing.

“We were treated like cattle and mocked by doctors”, said one woman who bore a child for a client of BioTexCom in 2017. That particular woman fell seriously ill after giving birth due to a retained placenta — an emergency condition that should be treated by doctors within hours. Yet the placenta was only removed five days later after woman started bleeding heavily and had to be rushed to intensive care.

The owner of BioTexCom, Albert Tochilovsky, was charged earlier this year with human trafficking, document forgery and tax evasion in Ukraine. If convicted, they could face up to 15 years in prison.

The Ukrainian surrogacy market also made the news recently after scores of Spanish couples who had commissioned surrogates in the country were unable to obtain Spanish passports for their newborn children.