Dozens of Spanish couples who are on the territory of Ukraine under the surrogacy program, again fell into the bureaucratic trap last week; they are denied registration of newborn surrogate children as Spanish citizens according to a recent instruction from the Spanish Ministry of Justice.
History repeats itself. The Spanish embassy in Kiev has become the scene of a new protest by families who require registration at the consulate of their children born in Ukraine under a surrogacy program, allowing them to return to Spain with their children. The same plot as last year, when thirty families faced the same problem of hopeless waiting for the registration of their children since December last year.
Last time, the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to the claims of Spaniards infringed on their rights, and in just over a week contributed to the return of these families to their homeland after registering children as Spanish citizens and ensuring their safety. As it turned out, it was an exceptional measure, and in February the government announced that henceforth the consular department of the Spanish embassy in Kiev intends to suspend the registration of children born by surrogates in Ukraine.
The ministerial directive, issued on February 18, instructs Spanish consulates in foreign countries not to accept minors born under the surrogacy program to register, which has resulted in a situation that currently affects dozens of Spanish families who have been in Kiev for more than two weeks hoping to resolve the issue of returning home with their children.
Now the option offered to these fathers and mothers is that they must provide a Ukrainian passport for their children, a document that will allow them to leave Ukraine in order to start after they return to Spain the procedure for obtaining Spanish citizenship for these children.
Outraged parents gathered at the door of the Spanish Embassy in Kiev, demanding to withdraw the instruction canceling the registration. These families believe that the Government of Spain does not fulfill the requirements of international rules, which, in their opinion, stipulate that, if the practice of surrogacy is legal in the country of birth of the surrogate child, particularly in Ukraine, this means the unconditional right of the child to register as a citizen of the country of his parents, otherwise the actions of officials are tantamount to the statement that neither the parents nor their children are Spanish.
“They [officials] sold our children for a handful of votes. This is all a pre-election strategy,” complains one of the mothers, Ilanit Snir, a native of Tenerife. In her opinion, the Government of Spain adheres to a hypocritical position that does not act in the interests of the welfare of minor children. Ukraine is accused of committing illegal actions and at the same time encourages our children to leave here with a Ukrainian passport,” says Ilanit. Spanish families believe that the Spanish government violates their rights without protecting their interests, since children arriving in Spain with Ukrainian passports will not be eligible for social benefits.
Photo: JAVIER RICOU
Based on La Vanguardia