Feminist perspectives

On COVID 19 and commercial surrogacy in Ukraine

In 2013 I returned to Ukraine from Budapest, Hungary with an MA in Gender studies – not surprisingly it sounded strange to my friends and parents as it did not seem to make me very employable. A month of fruitless job searching made me desperate enough to pay an entrance ticket to a job fair in Kyiv, where I was given an actual newspaper full of job announcements – something I had completely forgotten about in the era of the Internet. Out of curiosity, I looked through it. I stumbled upon a two-pages full of ads promising USD 9 000,00 to women under thirty who already had at least one child and were ready to work as surrogate mothers (as a comparison, an average monthly salary in Ukraine was around 300-400 US Dollars at that time). That was when I found out that surrogacy was a legal practice in Ukraine. As the recent reaction of numerous Ukrainians in social media and on news forums demonstrated, this was news to them too, even though, for the past two decades, Ukraine had already been a popular destination for thousands of foreign couples unable to conceive a child.

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