Spain Cracks Down on International Surrogacy


On February 13, the Spanish Consulate in Kiev refused to register babies born to surrogate mothers in Ukraine. Spain intends to dissuade its citizens from having recourse to this practice, which is a serious violation of human rights.

A source from the Ministry of Justice explains that “These parents have resorted to a practice that is illegal in Spain, and which is used to exploit women’s bodies in exchange for money”.

Every month a dozen babies had been registered in Ukraine on behalf of Spanish sponsors. The embassy said that while existing cases will be handled individually, no new cases will be accepted.

Already last summer, dozens of Spanish citizens were blocked for several weeks from returning home with their surrogate babies born in Ukraine. The Spanish government mentions concerns about medical malpractice and human trafficking.

In Spain, surrogacy is strongly opposed by the ruling Socialist party, as well as the right-wing People’s Party and Podemos. Only the Ciudadanos (liberal moderates) are in favor of surrogacy.

Ukrainian law permits surrogacy for heterosexual couples who are either Ukrainian nationals or foreigners. Prices are known to be cheaper than elsewhere, even though they reach 50,000 €, which includes a compensation – which is not fixed by contract – for the surrogate mother. The law in Ukraine states that the baby belongs to the “intended parents” or sponsors, and the surrogate mother has no parental rights from the moment of conception.

Surrogacy is illegal in Spain, but agencies continue to encourage this practice abroad, without any sanctions for the moment.

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