The Ukrainian State Border Guard, which has been managing the flow of refugees, posted an update to their official Facebook feed confirming rumors that two Chinese nationals had been detained for attempting to exit the country with Ukrainian babies.
“Two citizens of China tried to cross from Ukraine to Romania on foot with two tiny children. There were no documents for the babies,” the post reads. According to the Border Guard, they were alerted to the fact that the Chinese detainees had entered the country without children.
“Where did the children come from, the foreigners couldn’t answer. Now, this issue will be raised by the National Police staff.”
Ukrainians on social media expressed their outrage, noting the widespread reports of unaccounted orphans who they fear have fallen prey to human traffickers. Ukraine has somewhere between 75,000-200,000 orphans depending on the source.
Others noted that it is now “impossible to obtain documents” for legitimate biological children born in surrogacy due to the ongoing war and that the industry is quite popular with Chinese visitors.
Commercial surrogacy, or, as Ukrainian corporations describe it, fertility tourism, is a lucrative legal industry. Women in Ukraine are paid $17,500-$25,000 for being a surrogate for foreigners. Hundreds of surrogate babies are currently trapped in facilities run by BioTexCom Center for Human Reproduction in besieged cities like Ukraine.
Some Americans, who pursued adoption prior to the invasion, have struggled to obtain asylum documents for their children and get them out of the country.