On the 24th of February 2022, all Ukrainians were awakened by the explosions at 5 am. Since that very moment, our lives have changed completely. There were lots of gossip and tension about the full-scale invasion, but we all were hoping that it would not happen.
First of all, a quick short review of the logistic operations that we managed.
We had 12 pregnant surrogates, one surrogate who had an embryo transfer one day before 24th February, and three who had embryo transfers a few weeks before.
On the 22nd of February a baby was born, her parents were from Australia. It took them a few days to get to Ukraine because their flight from Dubai to Odesa was canceled, but we managed to drive them from Moldova to Ukraine successfully.
The day before the full-scale invasion started, on the 23rd of February, the Swiss baby boy was born. His parents managed to arrive in Ukraine on the 8th of March, they received the birth certificate and discharged their son from the hospital, and left Ukraine the same day. At that time we were the only agency in Ukraine that could receive a birth certificate in Ukraine, as other agencies in other locations struggled and were not able to get birth certificates because civil departments in other locations did not process and did not issue birth certificates for quite a while then even in Kyiv.
On the 8th of March, an Australian baby boy was born. On the 15th of March, he was discharged from the maternity house after his parents received his birth certificate.
On the 11th of March, an Australian baby boy was born. On the 17th of March, he was discharged from the maternity house after his parents received his birth certificate.
On the 12th of March, a Canadian baby girl was born. On the 18th of March, she was discharged from the maternity house after her parents received her birth certificate.
After four deliveries at the beginning of the war, we managed to evacuate one of our surrogate mothers from a dangerous part of our country to Portugal, where she lived with her daughter at her parents' house and safely gave birth to a baby girl at the end of spring.
One more surrogate was evacuated with her husband and daughter from Kherson to Odesa, where she stayed safely by our side before she gave birth to an American baby boy on the 2nd of June. His parents arrived in Odesa to receive the birth certificate and discharge their son from the maternity house on the 9th of March.
Also after the 24th of February three twins were born by our surrogates!
Romanian twins were born on the 30th of May, their parents received birth certificates on the 9th of June, discharged the babies from the maternity house, and left Ukraine.
After the twins, an American boy was born on the 15th of July, and his birth certificate was received by his parents on the 23rd of July.
Australian twins were born on the 18th of July, their birth certificates were received on the 29th of July. The same day the family left Ukraine.
American twins were born on the 19th of July, their birth certificates were received on the 29th of July. On the 3rd of August, the family left Ukraine.
The same day, when the USA twins left Ukraine, a USA baby girl was born. Her birth certificate was received on the 9th of August and the next day they safely left Ukraine.
One more Australian boy was born on the 23rd of July. On the 4th of August, his parents received the birth certificate, discharged him from the maternity house, and left Ukraine.
All children at the moment have their citizenship, and passports, and all families are safe in their home countries due to the brilliant and professional work of the Perfect Surrogacy team. We have even assisted couples from other agencies that were abandoned amid the chaos with no assistance provided to them from their agencies.
I want to tell you our story, a story of a surrogacy agency in Ukraine that had to deal with the aggression towards Ukraine, how we handled it, how we changed our lives, and what we sacrificed for our clients, for surrogate mothers and for the most important – the children. Right away, I can tell you, dear reader, that we did it and this article has the only purpose, to tell the story of this year and to dedicate it to the team that acted like heroes and to all the intended parents that had the courage to walk through everything with us to get to their children and get them home.
This is our picture on the 24th of February at the meeting.
On the 24th of February 2022, we were absolutely shocked by how the situation unfolded in the morning we had many surrogate mothers around Ukraine that were pregnant on different terms and also already-born children that were in maternity houses, expecting their parents to meet them for the first time and pick them up. My personal reaction was instant – I am not going anywhere and staying here for all my parents and surrogate mothers and babies as their lives directly depend on me staying in Odesa and in Ukraine, at least till I physically can. Too many lives depended on me and my team and after an emergency meeting, we decided to stay and work our best to help our clients to go through this horrible situation. Nobody knew how the situation would unfold and what to expect and all the people around were running abroad, streets got silent and nothing worked properly to do our job as we used to. We had to adjust every hour to the new reality. I told my team – “you can go, you are free to save your families, nobody will judge you for that and you have the full right to do so. It will be hard for me only to handle the programs, but I have no right to hold you back”. The answer was – “no way we leave, we are staying”. Only one assistant left our team, her place took another assistant that was very good at handling the surrogate mothers' support during the war.
The first thing we did as an agency team, we have created a step-by-step safety measure and a plan on how we act and what actions we take. We have decided to evacuate all surrogate mothers from other territories of Ukraine to our city Odesa, which was the safest at that moment (as it is now as well in my personal opinion) as it is close to the border of Moldova and Romania and quite far from any ground troops attacking. Obviously, we could not know what to expect at all and the air defense alarms were active every day and night so we had to rush to shelters underground not to be hit by a rocket. We also informed all parents of the steps that we make and provided them with their surrogate mother's details in any case for them to be connected by phone and location. Our team was in constant communication with all our clients and surrogate mothers to coordinate our actions in order to provide security and keep everybody safe. One of our dear clients proposed to make a general WhatsApp group for all our clients and offered this group for quick updates, which was a great idea and the situation required quick responses and updates. We had already had experience creating work groups for our surrogacy programs in Ukraine for the surrogacy process and working group to coordinate the programs, so it was only a matter of time before such a group appeared. Immediately all intended parents created a community that I will never forget! It was a group of wonderful people that started to help each other and take an active part in planning the trip of their lives with us. We have gotten enormous support from this community, so from all our previous clients and parents throughout the 11 years of our work. They all reached out to us providing support by words and donating for us to stay on the board and be able to operate and help current parents.
I have witnessed acts of pure kindness from all our clients from the past, whose children are already grownups and going to school. It was an inspiring feeling of a huge surrogacy family that we have worldwide and getting the support that we received was a true blessing for us! It gave us the strength to move forward no matter what the future held for us, it gave us the courage and faith that we will make it!
Our main goal was to keep everyone safe and finalize all active programs in the best way possible, and stay alive on top of that.
At the moment our agency is operating and we have new pregnant surrogate mothers and freshly signed contracts as of March 2023. Our region was not affected as other regions in Ukraine. The location of Odesa in Ukraine luckily gives us the possibility to reach the border of Moldova or Romania quite fast. We made a decision to proceed with new programs for new couples only after a throughout evaluation of safety measures and alternative legal actions within the program for possible birth abroad for surrogate mothers. Also important point is to mention, that we have restarted all programs that were on force-majeure during the year (around 12 awaiting couples signed to the program), that in my opinion can speak volumes about our agency’s reputation and level of standards towards our work.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or requests.