His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halych, Head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church; and Archbishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki, Metropolitan of Lviv, Interim of the Head of the Episcopal Conference of the Roman Catholic Church of Ukraine, issued the following statement to raise concerns about the practice of surrogacy.
ADDRESS TO THE UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT AND TO ALL PEOPLE OF GOOD WILL
The Coronavirus pandemic has brought to light many diseases in the life of contemporary society. Of these is surrogate motherhood, that is, treating people like merchandise that can be ordered, manufactured, and sold. Unfortunately, this is permitted by current Ukrainian legislation. As religious leaders, we have repeatedly drawn the attention of the competent state authorities to this problem. Such trampling on human dignity compels us, the Catholic Bishops of Ukraine, to appeal to the Ukrainian authorities on all levels, once again, to condemn and ban this shameful phenomenon.
In recent days, we witnessed a video posted on the BioTexCom clinic page from the Venice Hotel in Kyiv, which shows a makeshift children’s room and 46 crying babies in beds. These newborns were in modern incubators, deprived of maternal touch, parental warmth, selfless care, and much-needed love. They were shown as a purchased product for no-show buyers. Such a demonstration of contempt for the dignity of the human person is difficult to contemplate. And all this is made possible by legalized surrogate motherhood.
Legalization of the so-called surrogate motherhood, which should never be called “motherhood,” not only involves the horrible phenomena recently shown on video, but also an underlying moral evil that brings immeasurable suffering and persecution to both the child and to the woman who bore it, to members of her family, and to the those who produce children as if they were pets.
Of its essence, the practice of surrogate motherhood, its qualities, purpose, and means, are morally unacceptable. The same applies to the so-called altruistic surrogate motherhood, which has the same moral value. For even if the intention of the surrogate mother is good, the means and the object itself are bad. The commercial basis of surrogate motherhood deserves even harsher assessment, from a moral point of view, because it adds the moral evil of buying and selling functions of the body and of of the person of the newborn child. No circumstances or consequences can justify the practice of surrogate motherhood.
Every child is a gift of God that should be gratefully accepted in married life. Every child has the right to be conceived naturally, and every child has the right to be born into a family and to be brought up in an atmosphere of love by father and mother. Surrogate motherhood severely violates these rights and makes it impossible for Ukraine to follow the path of development, the path of the great European heritage. Such a gap in Ukrainian legislation significantly destroys European integration efforts and discredits our country in the eyes of European society.
We stand in solidarity with the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Ukrainian Parliament’s appeal to ban international child trafficking in Ukraine at the legislative level. We exhort and demand the banning of surrogate motherhood in any form (altruistic and commercial) and to assure to newborn children proper protection and the possibility to be adopted into families.
We reinforce this appeal by condemning a number of international institutions for this shameful phenomenon, which we present in the appendix to this letter.
We also appeal to the state authority to finally pay attention to family policy in Ukraine – to create an appropriate government body that could take care of Ukrainian families and ensure that Ukrainian mothers do not have to trade their bodies and the children they carry within for their own survival and that of their families.
In the name of the Synod of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church
His Beatitude Sviatoslav,
Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halych,
Head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church
In the name of the Episcopal Conference of the Roman Catholic Church of Ukraine
Archbishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki
Metropolitan of Lviv
Interim of the Head of the Episcopal Conference of the Roman Catholic Church of Ukraine
to the Appel regarding surrogate motherhood
- The European Parliament unanimously condemened the practice of surrogate motherhood, not distingushing between its “altruistic” and “comerical” aspects. On 5 April 2011 the European Parliament approved the resolution asking for “member-states to recognize the serious problem of surrogacy, which manifests itself as the exploitation of a woman’s body and of her reproductive organs.” (European Parliament resolution of 5 April 2011 on priorities and outline of a new EU policy framework to fight violence against women, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P7-TA-2011-0127+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN (21/01/2016), §20). This resolution also emphasizes that surrogate motherhood also leads to trafficking of human beings: « women and children are subject to the same forms of exploitation and both can be regarded as commodities on the international reproductive market, and that these new reproductive arrangements, such as surrogacy, augment the trafficking of women and children and illegal adoption across national boarders” (European Parliament resolution of 5 April 2011 on priorities and outline of a new EU policy framework to fight violence against women, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P7-TA-2011-0127+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN (21/01/2016), §20).
- The 2014 Annual report on human rights and democracy in the world and the EU policy on the matter), adopted at the plenary session of the European Parliament on 30 November 2015, “Condemns the practice of surrogacy, which undermines the human dignity of the woman since her body and its reproductive functions are used as a commodity: (European Parliament resolution of 30 November 2015 on the Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2014 and the European Union’s policy on the matter http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&reference=P8-TA-2015-0470&language=EN&ring=A8-2015-0344 (21/01/2016), §115).
- The practice of surrogacy violates international and European law, in particular the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, Art. 1 and 3, (2000), the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Art. 7 and 3 (1989), and the Protocol on Trafficking in Children, Art. 2 (2000), Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, Art. 6 (1979), On the adoption of children, Art. 4c (3) (1967 and 1993), On human trafficking, Art. 4; (2005), Human Rights and Biomedicine Art. 21 (1997).
- In report of the special referrent on the Sale and Sexual Exploitation of Children, including Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Other Materials of Sexual Violence against Children (2018), we find warnings against abuse and practices of all forms of surrogacy, and our Country is criticized there as one of the international centers of commercial surrogacy. motherhood (https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G18/007/71/PDF/G1800771.pdf?OpenElement).