Surrogacy turned out to be bitter for a Belgian couple and their "surrogate" son in Ukraine
Story of this 1,5 years old boy Samuel is quite typical for the present day Ukraine. He was born in 2009 to a Ukrainian surrogate mother through a Kharkov surrogacy agency. He still cannot get to his Belgian parents who paid more than 30.000 Euros for his birth. Not a single Ukrainian official dares to take over responsibility for resolving this bitter dead-end situation.
The baby's biological father is Lorrain Ghilain, a 27 years old Belgian fitness-instructor (on the photo, left). Several years ago he concluded single-sex union with his friend, 37 years old cardiologist Peter Meurrens (on the photo, right). The couple lives in a small Belgian town near the French border.
The young fathers were waiting for the baby for a long time. They arranged a playroom for him and bought a bed (actually, even two, because one of them became already too small for him).
Two years ago young men contacted a surrogacy agency in Kharkov. This moment the Belgians still recall as a nightmare. Instead of implementing a gestational surrogacy program with egg donation the surrogate was inseminated by Lorrain's sperm. The attempt resulted in pregnancy. After Samuel's birth his genetic mother refused her parental rights after getting her fee and abandoned a new-born child.
Lorrain first saw his son in Kharkov right after his birth but couldn't take him out from the country, because his Samuel's papers prepared by the agency were not in proper order. Unlucky parents went back home having instructed their Kharkov representatives to settle all legal issues with Ukrainian authorities and to take care of the baby. The child was sent to a nanny Natalya Vovk (grandmother of 2 grandchildren from Kharkov) just for 1,5 months but this term lasted for 2 years (the Ukrainians charged EUR 1000 per each months).
Once Kharkov businessmen failed to receive a transfer and threatened Samuel's parents saying that they would transfer their son to an orphanage for future adoption by some Ukrainian couple. Desperate parents tried to save their child and rescue him from Ukraine having sent there their friends, a 56 years old Belgian and a young polish girl, but the Ukrainian officials confiscated Samuel when crossing the border.
The Yavorivsk District Court Judge, Ivan Gutsal, is quoted as saying: "The 2 women were accused of child trafficking for using his organs for transplants but having examined the case I realized that they just tried to bring him to his father". After a 3-months process Gutsal sentenced them to 3 years term, but given the situation released them on parole. They could return home, but entry to Ukraine is prohibited for them from now on. As for the baby Samuel – he is still kept in the Lvov orphanage and can be adopted any time (as there are many childless Ukrainian couples claiming him).
Anna Ligostaeva, the chief physician of the Lvov's Orphanage № 1 says: "Despite his young age, the baby suffered a lot".
Now the baby is officially considered to be an orphan and lives in the orphanage despite the fact that he has parents. Not a single Ukrainian bureaucrat dares to decide on his future while the surrogate mother is pregnant again for the new clients of the same agency. We hope that their life will be at least a bit happier than bitter life of the hopeless little Samuel's parents.