Several families who have been waiting since December in Kiev to complete the registration process for children born in rent belliesr have received this Wednesday a refusal. The Consulate of Spain in Ukraine has refused to register them for failing to present a judicial resolution that, to date, was not required in this Eastern country. It is the second time that it occurs in barely half a year. In August, a score of couples reported that they had stayed trapped in Kiev because Foreign refused to register minors. On that date, the Ministry alleged that there were ongoing investigations for possible trafficking of minors.
Every year, hundreds of Spanish families come to Ukraine to access a practice that is not legal in Spain and that the Government rejects forcefully and that the Embassy of Spain in Ukraine discourages. The also known as surrogate pregnancy or substitution is that a woman gestates a child and gives motherhood and paternity to third parties. In Ukraine it is legal for married heterosexual couples who can prove the impossibility of having children or that pregnancies are at risk. It is one of the most popular destinations because the process is cheaper than in other countries. The process in Kiev costs between 40,000 and 60,000 euros, half of what can be paid in the United States.
Fernando Frontela, 40, and Ana Reyes, 45, arrived in Kiev on December 6 and picked up a girl raised by a Ukrainian woman. They settled in an apartment that was included in the closed rate with the agency with which they made the contract, Interfertitilty. Since then, they have had two meetings with the Consulate staff, who set an appointment for February. Last 7, officials collected their documentation and this Wednesday they have denied the request, as half a dozen other families have gone to the consular offices. After the refusal, they have concentrated with others affected to ask for a solution. According to Interfertility there are nine families pending the registration of 13 babies who have counted on the advice of this agency. His estimate is that there should be about 30 families affected at this time.
The Embassy informs them, in a letter signed by the person in charge of the Consular Civil Registry, Rodrigo de la Viña Muhlak, that they have not presented a judicial decision of a competent court "that determines the filiation of the minor". The registrar "can not control or consider guaranteed" the process, "the veracity or reliability of the documents provided" and notes that the Ukrainian Prosecutor's Office "keeps open judicial investigations into possible international trafficking of minors", according to the document This newspaper has had access. The ministry sent a statement in August warning that the files required "special care" following allegations of possible cases of medical malpractice or trafficking of minors.
The judicial ruling that is now requested is a requirement foreseen in the 2010 Instruction of the General Directorate of Registries and Notaries that opened the possibility of registering these minors in Spain. It is a document that, to date, had not been requested in Kiev, according to Ana Miramontes, expert lawyer in this area and member of the Legal Affairs Committee of the association Son Nuestros Hijos. "It's a change of sudden and unexpected criteria," says the lawyer.
"The judicial resolution can facilitate access to the registry, as in California, but in Ukraine that has not been requested until now," explains Miramontes. The Consulate of Spain in Ukraine claimed until August a DNA test to prove that the Spanish father is the one who contributes the genetic load. This test, according to the families, is no longer requested. And they requested in addition an official document of resignation of the pregnant Ukrainian as mother of the baby.
"All families and agencies know that it is a domain that is legally very ambiguous, each consul interprets how to incribir", says Santiago Agustín, founding partner of Interfertility. "The problem is that in such a delicate matter, involving minors abroad, the criteria are changed from one day to the next and when families have already been promised to enroll children."
This newspaper has requested the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and is waiting for your response, the reasons for the change of criteria. He has also requested to know if, as reported by those affected, the Consulate has not alerted the families in advance of the changes so that they could have already begun in December the procedures to obtain a Ukrainian passport for minors.
"The most serious problem now for these families is to leave Ukraine," explains lawyer Franco Antonio Zenna, who advises three clients who are waiting in Kiev. He believes that processing a Ukrainian passport for a baby can lengthen the process by one to three months more than families should wait in Ukraine. "We are going to try to get it done as soon as possible and we will initiate a trial in Spain to initiate the recognition of the sons' affiliation," says Zenna.
"We are not potentates, we have asked for several credits to be able to do this," explains Frontela, who works as head of a glassware workshop. His wife is retired due to illness. Their total income is around 1,800 euros per month. They assure that on Thursday they will return to demonstrate in front of the consulate waiting for a solution.