In Spain, as in many other countries around the world, surrogacy arrangements are still against the law. Because of that, it is not uncommon for Spanish parents to enter into surrogacy agreements with gestational carriers in other countries. Unfortunately, dozens of Spanish families who made arrangements with surrogates in the Ukraine are now dealing with a frustrating turn of events: The Consular Department of the Spanish Embassy in Kiev has stopped issuing Spanish passports to the babies born from these surrogacy arrangements. Until July 2018, the Spanish consulate issued passports for babies born to surrogates without issue, registering the Ukrainian mother and the Spanish father as the child’s legal parents.
According to reports, the Spanish Foreign Affairs Ministry issued a statement explaining that passport issuance would be halted because the Spanish Consulate in Kiev had identified concerns about malpractice and potential trafficking of minors associated with surrogacy arrangements in the Ukraine. The Spanish Embassy issued its own statement warning Spanish citizens that some Ukrainian assisted reproduction clinics have been found to engage in scams designed to get foreigners to pay for additional rounds of costly in vitro fertilization (IVF.)
Spanish couples affected by this freeze on passport issuance must wait until their scheduled appointments with the Spanish Consulate to determine their options. One possible solution being explored is for Spanish parents to apply for Ukrainian passports for their babies, so they can return to Spain. After returning to Spain, the parents could formally establish their parentage in court.
This situation only reinforces the importance of conducting thorough due diligence and investigating assisted reproduction clinics and agencies before entering into surrogacy arrangements. Working with an attorney who specializes in helping families struggling with infertility is an important step and one that can help you identify and address potential problems before you sign surrogacy contracts. Contact us today to learn more!