Irish parents expecting babies through surrogacy in Ukraine are being urged to register with the Irish Embassy in Kyiv as tensions with Russia increase.
It is believed around 14 babies are due to be born to Irish parents through surrogacy in Ukraine between now and May.
Currently, the Department of Foreign Affairs is advising against all non-essential travel to the country due to the increase in tensions on its border with Russia.
All Irish citizens living in or travelling to Ukraine are urged to register with the Embassy of Ireland in Kyiv and the Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has urged parents expecting children through Ukrainian surrogacy to contact his office.
Senator Mary Seery Kearney raised the issue in the Seanad yesterday and on Newstalk Breakfast this morning, she said parents should be prepared for any eventuality.
“I suppose the first and most important thing is, life on the ground in Ukraine, from the feedback we are receiving - myself, the legal advisors and the surrogacy campaigning groups - life on the ground is normal.
“So, there was an anxiety, naturally when you hear of the escalating tension in the news cycle regarding Ukraine, there was an anxiety for parents of, will they be able to travel? What is going to happen.
“They are concerned for the safety of their surrogate and of their baby.”
She said she contacted Minister Coveney who said parents should be prepared.
“Preparation is not an acceptance of any one outcome or that there is an inevitability here but at least if we have preparation by ensuring that every one of these parents is registered with the Irish Embassy in the Ukraine, that they are registered with the Department of Foreign Affairs and everyone knows the due date of their baby, then there can be an anticipation and they can be included in any contingency plans so there is an assurance of process here,” she said.
Senator Seery Kearney said there are two surrogacy sites in Ukraine, one in Kyiv and one in Lviv, and there are contingency plans to move surrogates due to give birth in Kyiv to Lviv – which is closer to the Polish border.
“Lviv is very close to the EU and the potential to ensure the process of Irish couples bringing their new-borns home to Ireland can be directed, advised and supported from there,” she said
“Then obviously there is the consular assistance and a whole heap of other things that come in given the proximity of the EU in a situation like that.
“But that is way down the road as yet. On the ground in Ukraine, they are not in that place and it is important that parents don’t panic but that they are fully prepared for whatever eventuality there is here.
“The best way to do that is to make sure they are registered. There are multiple contingency plans in place for different situations because we may have incremental sanctions on sanctions on sanctions before there is any change on the ground there.”
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