the women who carry out pregnancy for others are mostly from Central Asia Photo: BBC

Surrogacy business moves from Ukraine to Georgia

With the war in Ukraine the business moved to Georgia, Chinese couples among the «clients.» The women who lend themselves are mostly from Central Asia, in need of money. Now Tbilisi assumes a restrictive law, but many agencies already plan to move to Belarus or Azerbaijan.

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Vladimir Rozanskij

(ZENIT News – AsiaNews / Tbilisi, 12.18.2023).- One of the consequences of the war between Russia and Ukraine concerns the practice of pregnancies through surrogate mothers, which were widespread mainly in the two countries in conflict throughout the ex-Soviet world.

In Russia, laws have also been approved that drastically limit this practice, which is in fact a real business, up to and including the judicial indictment of the doctors who support it. In Ukraine there have been no similar initiatives, but the war and the exodus from the country of a third of the population has greatly reduced access to surrogacy, and Kiev has now been replaced by Tbilisi.

In fact, the capital of Caucasian Georgia has become home to clinics that focus on international markets. The clients are childless couples from China, Arab countries and many other regions of the world, and the women who carry out pregnancy for others are mostly from Central Asia, those most in need of money to pay off debts, guarantee education for their children or buy a house.

Kyrgyz journalists from Radio Azattyk interviewed several of these women, such as 31-year-old Nazira, who recently had two embryos installed in a clinic in Tbilisi. If all goes according to plan, in nine months she is expected to give birth to twins for a Chinese couple, whom she does not know personally.

“I only know that they come from China, the whole procedure takes place anonymously – explains Nazira – but if the parents wanted it, we could at least call or write to each other in some time, if the desire was shared by both parties”.

Nazira came to Georgia from Bishkek, she is a single mother with three children and she incurred very large debts to buy land, which she now struggles to repay. The possibility of earning money with the surrogate pregnancy has appeared on a social network, and she should ultimately receive a compensation of 20 thousand dollars. In your opinion, you would not be carrying out a reprehensible or immoral action.

The business of surrogate mothers is exploding in Georgia, women who are offered are paid very large sums for their needs, but relatively small compared to the standards of other countries, and also what happened in Ukraine and Russia.

The medical infrastructure is quite high in the Caucasian and Central Asian context, and has been encouraged by a number of factors, in addition to the upheavals of war: among other things, Georgia has a very simplified and easily accessible entry visa system for most countries.

Several operators in the sector have moved from Russia and Ukraine, such as Ljudmila Volkova, who had an agency specializing in surrogacy in Moscow: «Russians today easily enter Georgia and Armenia, and we also have an office in Bishkek «, says Ljudmila, «we find many customers through TikTok or Instagram, but many come at the suggestion of acquaintances who have already offered their services.»

There are some rules to be accepted: the woman must be over 20 years old and have already given birth to at least one child, a caesarean section can be admitted, but with two or more she is refused. Most of the mothers Lyudmila works with are from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

In Georgia, in imitation of Russia, they would like to prohibit foreigners from accessing the possibility of having local women give birth to their children, also out of fear that those asking for it are actually homosexual couples, who are not accepted even by Georgians.

If the limitations were to be approved, many agencies are thinking of moving towards Belarus or Azerbaijan, especially those linked to Kyrgyzstan, the most permissive country in the region, where there are no legal limits on the use of surrogacy.


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