In recent days, a video has been widely spread online, published by a Ukrainian company devoted to the practice of surrogacy. The video shows around 46 crying babies in a hotel conference room converted into a nursery, explaining that these “babies are waiting for their parents” (sic). In fact, the foreigners who agreed a contract for the purchase of these babies are not allowed to enter Ukraine due to the current public health crisis. The video ends by asking countries which forbid the practice of surrogacy to “make an exception from their policy and to let their citizens united with their children” (sic).
The President of FAFCE, Vincenzo Bassi, commented that “watching these images, one cannot remain silent and even more today, when we celebrate the International Day of the Family: these babies need a family and they cannot be treated as merchandise. We urge all the interested authorities to take the necessary steps that the institute of the international adoption may be applied”.
As the Ukrainian Catholic Bishops have denounced, “the coronavirus pandemic reveals many pathologies in our modern public life. One of them is the phenomenon of surrogacy, where persons are treated as a commodity that can be ordered, manufactured and sold (…). Such a gap in Ukrainian legislation significantly destroys European integration efforts and discredits our country in the eyes of European society”. In recent years, Ukraine has become an international hub for the practice of surrogacy, due to its competitive prices and its closeness to the ‘wealthy Europe’. But its practice has been spreading throughout the world, “creating a slippery slope towards the right to a child, and having no respect for human dignity or fundamental ethical principles” (FAFCE Board Resolution, Fatima, 13 April 2016). It represents a threat to human dignity that generates a deep divide in the international community and a huge debate in our societies.
FAFCE fully supports the appeal made by all the Ukrainian Catholic Bishops, hoping that this will help in awakening the consciences of all Europeans. “The European Parliament has stated that the practice of surrogacy ‘shall be prohibited and treated as a matter of urgency in human rights instruments’* – the President of FAFCE concludes – We reiterate our call on the European decision-makers to take the necessary steps to ban the practice of surrogacy internationally“.