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MDR  Dokumentation Wunschkind aus Kiew
Image: MDR

A Child from Kyiv

February 21, 2022

Surrogate motherhood is illegal in Germany. Thus, it’s not an option open to couples unable to have children of their own. So, some 15,000 German couples go abroad every year, where the laws are different.

MDR  Dokumentation Wunschkind aus Kiew
Image: MDR

German couple Denise and Jens from Hessen talk openly about their desire to have children. They talk about their many failed attempts to conceive through IVF, and why they’re now turning to surrogacy. They’re among the some 15 per cent of all German couples unable to bear children.
In such instances, German law only allows for adoption or fostering. In view of the possibilities offered by modern reproductive medicine, many aren’t prepared to accept that. But surrogacy is highly controversial in Europe. 

MDR  Dokumentation Wunschkind aus Kiew
Image: MDR

The film accompanies Denise and Jens as they collect their "pre-ordered” child in Ukraine. Commercial surrogacy is legal there, and the commercial child-bearing industry is booming. It’s a business worth millions to agencies and clinics for reproductive medicine. The bureaucratic hurdles are low and the costs relatively affordable. For many childless couples, Ukrainian surrogates are often the last hope.

MDR  Dokumentation Wunschkind aus Kiew
Image: MDR

The film scrutinizes the system of surrogate motherhood: How does the system work? Who are the surrogates giving birth for cash? And what about the problems facing parents in Germany?

After all, once they’re back home, they need to brace themselves for a long battle with the authorities when it comes to recognizing their parental status. A legal gray area and a challenge for the German judiciary. The reportage "A Child from Kyiv" sheds light on a little-known story.

Broadcasting Hours: 

MDR  Dokumentation Wunschkind aus Kiew
Image: MDR

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