The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has requested an "urgent" report to the Embassy of Spain in Kiev on "the legal grounds that have motivated" the denial of registration of several babies born through the practice of rent bellies and ensures that it will consult with Justice about them, according to a statement sent to this newspaper. The ministry points to the department headed by Dolores Delgado because the instruction that opened the possibility of registration of minors, issued by the General Directorate of Registries and Notaries of 2010, is from the Ministry of Justice.
Several families have been waiting since December in the Ukrainian capital to complete the registration process for minors. On Wednesday, there were at least three who received the refusal to enroll the children. This Thursday has been denied to three others, according to those affected. Interfertility, agency with which several couples closed the contract, estimates that there are about 30 couples in the Ukrainian capital pending a solution.
Foreign does not clarify, either in writing or in conversation with this newspaper, how many families it is or why the Consulate of Spain in Kiev has changed its criteria. Last January, the manager of the Consular Civil Registry, Rodrigo de la Viña Muhlak, met with the families, assuring, according to them, that they would have a solution and they would go out with the minors before the expiration of 90-day tourist visas. Some of those affected have concentrated on Thursday before the Consulate in Kiev and say they were prevented from entering.
Ukraine has for years been one of the main destinations for Spanish couples who resort to renting wombs, a practice that is not legal in Spain and that assumes that a woman gestates a baby and gives motherhood and paternity to third parties. In this eastern country it is only allowed for married heterosexual couples who can prove the impossibility of having children or that pregnancies are at risk. And it is one of the places with more demand because the total cost paid by families – between 40,000 and 60,000 euros – is up to half of what it costs in the United States.
In the denial letter delivered to the families who are now in Kiev, signed by Rodrigo de la Viña Muhlak, the Embassy requests a court ruling from a competent court "to determine the child's filiation", something included in the aforementioned instruction the General Directorate of Registries and Notaries of 2010, but which had never before been demanded in Kiev.
Until August, to register the babies a DNA test was requested to prove that the Spanish father contributed the genetic material. Families claim that this test is no longer requested. It went on to demand that the pregnant mother recognize the man as father and authorize the baby to register in the Spanish Civil Registry, in addition to two certificates that identify the pregnant woman (birth) and Spanish applicants (birth).
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which "since 2016 has been warning of the problems of surrogacy" in Ukraine and, therefore, "discourages recourse to that country." Despite this warning, registrations have continued in the following years. The Foreign Ministry maintains that only the Embassy in Kiev has the concrete data to analyze the files. The ministry recommends that those affected "evaluate the possibility of re-applying for registration before said Embassy or presenting the appropriate recourse if they do not agree with the denial."
The ministry "shows willingness to try to give a solution according to the interests of children and they are looking for that solution beyond the abuses they are doing," says Ana Miramontes, expert lawyer in this matter and member of the committee of Legal issues of the association Son Nuestros Hijos.
On the Foreign offer for families to retry registration at the Consulate or present a recourse, it states that "each case must be assessed individually." A possible solution is to manage a Ukrainian passport for minors and, once in Spain, begin the procedures for Spanish nationality. This new way can extend the stay of families in Kiev. "The problem is not that children have a foreign passport, but the situation is so erratic and the unjustified delay that these people have lived," concludes Miramontes.