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20 babies from Ukrainian surrogate moms waiting in bomb shelter

Nannies take care of newborn babies in a basement converted into a nursery in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, March 19, 2022. Nineteen babies were born to surrogate mothers, with their biological parents still outside the country due to the war against Russia. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Nannies take care of newborn babies in a basement converted into a nursery in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, March 19, 2022. Nineteen babies were born to surrogate mothers, with their biological parents still outside the country due to the war against Russia. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

KYIV, Ukraine — In peacetime, Ukraine has a thriving surrogate industry, one of the few countries where foreigners can get Ukrainian women to carry their pregnancies. Now at least 20 of those babies are stuck in a makeshift bomb shelter in Ukraine’s capital, waiting for parents to travel into the war zone to pick them up.

They’re well cared for at the moment. Surrogacy center nurses are stranded with them, because constant shelling makes it too dangerous for them to go home. Russian troops are trying to encircle the city, with Ukrainian defenders holding them off for now, the threat comes from the air.

Nurse Lyudmilla Yashchenko says they’re staying in the bomb shelter to save their lives, and the lives of the babies, some of whom are just days old. They have enough food and baby supplies for now, and can only hope and wait for the newborns to be picked up, and the war to end.

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