The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Poverty and Pregnancy

Mar 28, 2022

Babies have been in the news since the start of the war in Ukraine. The horrific bombing of a maternity and children’s hospital in Mariupol injured 17 and led to the death of a mother and baby.

In addition, babies are in the crosshairs of this war because the Commercial Surrogacy Industry is huge in Ukraine. Childless couples in the United States, in Europe, and in China have been utilizing the “services” of poor women in Ukraine for the past 20 years. In most cases, technology is used to unite sperm and egg from the wealthy couple to produce their own biological baby in a substitute womb. There are hundreds of newborns trapped in bomb shelters because their surrogate mothers gave birth, but the biological parents cannot pick up their babies because of the war.

The poorest country in Europe, Ukraine is the world’s second largest provider of “surrogate motherhood” services to infertile couples. Experts say that between 800 and 2500 young women a year in Ukraine must turn to surrogacy to have money to live. There is grinding poverty in Ukraine. In 2020, the average yearly income per person (GNI or Gross National Income) was $3,540 a year! That is an hourly wage of roughly $1.75 an hour!

Childless couples pay commercial companies between $30,000 to $120,000 per baby. But the Ukrainian woman who carries and delivers the baby is paid as low as $3,000 for her “services.” Even before the war, surrogate mothers were forced to deliver the baby in the cheapest dilapidated hospitals, often lacking hot running water. Under these conditions, mothers risk infection and complications. The newborns, even during the war, are much better cared for because these babies are treated as a commodity that is making the surrogacy company money.

The war brought attention to this situation in Ukraine. But guess what country is number one in producing babies for money? That’s right, the U.S.A.!

This largely underground industry is legal in 10 states plus in Washington, D.C. Global Market Insights estimates that U.S. commercial surrogacy will be a 27.5 BILLION dollar a year industry by 2025.