WATCH: Ukraine's surrogate-born babies in limbo as they wait for parents
Kiev - Dozens of foreign parents have been unable to see their babies after they were born to surrogate mothers in Ukraine, as coronavirus-related travel restrictions have prevented them from entering the country.
So far, 119 families have applied for entry permits to the country to pick up 125 babies, parliamentary human rights commissioner Lyudmila Denissova said in Kiev.
"88 families have already received such special permits, and 31 are already in Ukraine," she said.
Since mid-March, non-resident foreigners have been banned from entering the country due to coronavirus restrictions.
Regular international flights have stopped and are set to resume on 15 June.
In a turn of events, 11 foreign couples, previously barred by coronavirus restrictions, have entered the country to meet their newborns, the New York Times reported. But births are still outpacing pickups.
It was a first step in whittling down a backlog of babies born into Ukraine’s surrogate motherhood industry during the pandemic that some officials have said could swell to as many as 1 000.
A service provider for surrogacy in the country published a video in May explaining the difficult situation of newborn babies who were stuck in Ukraine.
According to the video, the parents of the children are from European countries including Germany, Austria and Spain, with some from Argentina and a large number from China.
In the multilingual clip, the surrogacy company calls on the parents to exert pressure on Ukraine through their governments. The company says the country should issue special permits so the children may be picked up.
Because of its liberal laws, the former Soviet nation is considered one of the centres for artificial insemination and surrogacy in Europe.dpa