Choosing to have a child via surrogacy can sometimes prove to be a difficult choice. In the last few years, the Ukraine has proven its dependability in business of surrogacy. With progressive legislation, excellent medical care, and lower costs, it has become a go to choice for couples across the globe. We talked to two couples and a surrogate mother for the inside scoop on what exactly to expect with surrogacy in Ukraine
Chris and Megan Doucy
Chris (38) and Megan (33) had been married for four years. Their relationship had started in high school. “I’ve known him forever” Megan laughs. “He was a friend of my older brothers and I had always kind of had a crush on Chris. He would always be hanging out at our house and I would do anything to find little excuses to hang out with the boys.”
“Her brother hated it” Chris jumps in, smiling.
“By the time I got to college, he just wasn’t on my radar anymore, I was so busy with school.” Megan then recalls when she had to come back to their hometown to help take care of her ailing mother. She ran into Chris at the local grocery store and they “just started talking”. Their relationship continued over the next few months and a year and a half later they were married. “That was four years ago and nothing has changed for me” Megan says, “he’s exactly the person I want to be with in my life”. A few years following their marriage, Megan and Chris decided that they wanted to try for a baby. After months of trying, it seemed like it would never work out, and then one day “the little stick was blue! I’ve never been so excited in my life. I immediately called Chris at work”
“My foreman actually gave me the day off” Chris remembered even his co-workers being excited for it, as he “couldn’t stop talking about it. It was so important for us to have a child. We were ready, and we knew that we were made to be parents.”
Several months into the pregnancy, Megan became ill and they lost their child. “I was absolutely devastated. I couldn’t come out of my room, or go to work. It was horrible.” Chris doesn’t comment here, but instead lovingly rubs a hand over Megan’s back and nods. “We thought about trying again” he finally chokes out, “but it was too hard for us, the thought of… you know, it not working.” A friend of the family suggested that they look into surrogacy. “For us that was absolutely the best option” he continues, “for Megan’s health and both of our happiness. We decided to go through a surrogate agency that was from the Ukraine because it’s really smooth. The Ukrainian legislation surrounding it makes great sense and they have amazing medical care for the surrogate mothers” So Megan and Chris took the plunge. Nine months later they have a beautiful, healthy, and happy baby girl, Adeline. “She’s my everything” Megan gushes, holding the child gently against her chest. “It’s the most wonderful feeling, being a parent. Knowing that this little muffin is mine and Chris’. Like, entirely ours. Because we were still able to use Chris’ sperm and my eggs, Adeline is entirely our child. 100% Doucy”.
“Which is sometimes a bit of a handful” Chris interjects “maybe next time we’ll add a little something else!”
Natalie and Alice Taylor
They met at a nightclub when they were 18 and as Alice says “it was love at first fight.” Natalie giggles at the memory “We weren’t fighting” she says abruptly, “Alice was bartending at a brand new bar that had opened a block away from my office and I was out having drinks with co-workers. Some guy crashed into another and spilled his drink or something and the two got into it.”
“My bouncer was outside dealing with another issue and I tried to break it up myself” Alice admits it wasn’t going very well. “Then all the sudden I see this gorgeous, fiery redhead storm up and start cussing both of them out. They stopped in their tracks, and I stopped in mine. She was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen.” Natalie says that Alice bought her a drink for her heroics and the rest was history. Alice and Natalie have been partners for eight years and bought their second home last January. “We knew we wanted somewhere bigger for Leo to grow up” Leo, Alice and Natalie’s two year old son, was conceived via surrogacy. “You can tell by the hair who’s egg they used” Alice jokes. Leo sits placidly on the carpet playing with an avalanche of blocks and small car toys. “He’s such a happy kid, he was a really easy baby too. Never cried, loved to sleep. He’s wonderful, we’re really lucky.” Natalie beams in the direction on the similarly crimson headed child. Natalie and Alice say that their main motivation for going with a surrogacy program in Ukraine was the cost. “It was really reasonable compared to other programs that we looked at.”
Even though surrogacy Ukraine laws apply to heterosexual married couples for joint custody, the biological parent legally retains all parental rights. “Alice had to apply for guardianship when we brought Leo home, so she wasn’t on his initial birth certificate. I think the part that was really difficult was having to wait a few weeks until we were able to get him home with us. We had to apply for (Leo’s) passport in Kiev at the embassy. DNA tests and the birth certificate as well as some of the medical documents from the IVF and my egg donation were required. It wasn’t as bad as we were both expecting, but at that time, we just wanted to be home with him. Luckily the agency we went through (ilaya) we went through was really amazing and helped us with all of the legal paperwork and stuff that we needed to get him home with us.”
Ulyana, A Surrogate
“My sister was unable to have babies. I remember it being so hard for her, seeing her go through all that heartbreak was really difficult for me.” Ulyana, a 24 year old woman, chose to become a surrogate when she was just 20 years old. “I was not with an agency at that time, but instead performed the pregnancy as a favor to my sister. She was so happy. I saw that in holding her child, her life was complete.” Ulyana recalls how beautiful that moment was, seeing her sister with the child she never thought she could have. She also talks about how much she enjoys being pregnant. “It is a wonderful feeling, having a child in your belly. Knowing that you are caring for it and being able to give the gift of healthy life to the child and it’s family.” Ulyana has since helped two other families realize the joys of parenthood, and couldn’t be more convicted of her choice to become a surrogate, “Some people are not so nice, I think, when they [find out] what I do to help others, but it is not for them to know. It is not their place. Maybe they have children and don’t understand what it would be like, living in a world without them.” She says that some people she meets can be unkind, but feels like most are just curious. She says that it usually turns out very well when she has a chance to explain to them what an amazing thing she does, and how much she truly enjoys it. “Everybody loves a pregnant woman anyway. We are cute and glow.” Ulyana admits that she does very much enjoy when people come up and touch her belly. When asked if she plans on having children of her own, she laughs and says “maybe when I meet the right man and it is a good time for me. Until them I am much more happy to give the gift of life to another”.