The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the country's Parliament, is set to consider a bill introducing criminal and administrative liability for violations in the field of reproductive technologies, says MP Oleksandr Danutsa who authored the draft.
"Also, we are also talking about the fact that the issue of licensing, as well as medical and sanitary requirements for reproductive clinics is yet to be settled," the MP from the ruling Servant of the People faction told a press conference held at UNIAN on May 19.
This uncertainty could be exploited by shady businesses, which poses a risk to the health and life of newborns and their mothers, the deputy added.
"Therefore, today we are talking about making this market absolutely transparent, while all clinics that will remain in place must be licensed," Danutsa said.
He noted that now the relevant licenses are granted indefinitely, while the bill provides for 5-year licenses at a price of 1,000 subsistence minimums per year, "which will ensure revenues to the state budget, as well as the unconditional implementation of medical and sanitary standards".
"I note that now we must make this market absolutely transparent, which today, unfortunately, is 70% shadow, and the state does not receive (funds),” the deputy emphasized.
Lawyer at the Samsonenko law firm, Denys German, who joined the team of bill developers, says its provisions criminalize planting an embryo into a womb without the woman's consent; disclosure of personal data of participants in the surrogacy program without their consent; and breach of the child's inheritance of his parents' genetic ties during the planting of the embryo into the surrogate mother's body.
In addition, administrative responsibility is laid down for violation of the requirements on the use of assisted reproductive technologies or their use without participants' consent, as well as a failure to pay for the relevant license.
Founder of Biotexcom Medical Center Albert Tochilovsky says he approves of the legislative initiative, noting that surrogacy technology, in addition to allowing childless spouses to become parents, gives Ukrainian women participating in the program an opportunity to earn significant sums to support their other children and to ensure their education and better living conditions.
As UNIAN reported earlier, nearly 50 infants born to surrogate mothers in the Biotexcom clinic were stranded in one of Kyiv's hotels under medical supervision amid a national COVID-19 lockdown while their biological parents, all foreign nationals, were struggling to make it to Ukraine.
Ukrainian Ombudsperson Liudmyla Denysova said she had received appeals from a number of such parents to help them cross in to pick up their babies.