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Spain to reject registration of babies born to surrogate mothers in Ukraine

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Spain to reject registration of babies born to surrogate mothers in Ukraine
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The Spanish embassy in Ukraine announced on Tuesday that the Spanish government had decided to begin rejecting registrations for babies born to surrogate mothers in Ukraine.

In the statement posted on Facebook, the embassy said that while a number of existing cases would be individually considered, "no new registration records of children born through the surrogate pregnancy technique can be authorised."

AVISO De acuerdo con el criterio establecido por el Ministerio de Justicia de dejar sin efecto la Instrucción de la DGRN...

Publiée par Embajada de España en Ucrania sur Mardi 19 février 2019

This is not the first instance of Spanish authorities cracking down on international surrogacy.

Back in August of last year, dozens of Spanish families who had children via surrogate mothers in Ukraine were blocked from returning home for up to 10 weeks, with the Spanish government citing concerns of medical malpractice and human trafficking.

READ MORE: Spanish families stranded in Ukraine with their surrogate babies

One Spanish woman, Cristina Álvarez, who had a baby girl via surrogacy in Ukraine last year and was among those affected by the block, said circumstances had since grown worse.

"The situation is now much worse because when we arrived we all knew there were registration problems," she said.

Before, "people were going to register, but wouldn't receive a refusal. We already knew what we were playing with, but now they are being much more unfair."

"They are going to register the children who are here now, but not the ones born tomorrow."

She went on to explain the further issue of Spain's refusal to register the children as the parents were not Ukrainian, and, therefore not citizens, which could potentially lead to a child being stateless.

Why Ukraine?

To get a clearer idea of why Ukraine is becoming an increasingly popular hotspot for people seeking surrogate pregnancies, it is important to look at other laws across Europe.

Much of Europe has outright banned surrogacy, including Spain, while other countries such as the UK and Portugal outline strict restrictions.

Ukraine, however, is quite relaxed on its laws, allowing surrogacy for heterosexual couples that are either Ukranian nationals or foreigners.

Significantly, the law in Ukraine states that the baby belongs to the “intended parents” and the surrogate mother has no parental rights from the moment of conception.

It also does not place any limit on how much a surrogate can be paid.