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Surrogacy agency with paedophile boss accused of trafficking babies out of Ukraine

A surrogacy agency is under investigation after allegations including baby trafficking, falsifying marriage certificates, and providing clients with babies who are not biologically theirs were levelled against it. 

Ukrainian authorities are investigating the actions of surrogacy practitioners in the country which has become a hub for procuring babies due to relatively low costs in comparison to other jurisdictions such as the United States. 

Between 2,000 and 2,500 babies were estimated to be born to mothers in Ukraine specifically for the surrogacy market per annum before the outbreak of the current war with Russia.

This figure indicates that Ukraine is the world’s biggest supplier of babies for commercial surrogacy, a practice which is banned in many jurisdictions and in recent weeks has been causing a stir in Italy where moves are in place to ban the practice of international surrogacy. 

According to a report by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) the Spanish origin surrogacy agency at the centre of the investigation, Subrogalia,  is co-owned by a convicted paedophile, José María Hill Prados, and a younger man, Didac Giménez Sánchez,  who Hill Prados was previously convicted of sexually assaulting when Sánchez was a child. 

Spanish media reports say Hill Prados (62) spent eight years in jail after being convicted of sexually abusing the then 12 year old Didac Giménez Sánchez who he met at a children’s centre in Raval, Barcelona. 

He was also found guilty of sexually abusing the boy’s sister. 

Previous to this in 1996 Hill Prados had been accused of sexually assaulting minors, reportedly including his four adopted children, while he was the founder of a foster organisation for Russian children called Padres para Siempre (Parents forever) which he reportedly used to adopt two boys from Russia. 

Bizarrely the OCCRP reports claims that shortly after Hill Prados was released from prison after serving his sentence for abusing Sánchez and his sister he went into business with Sánchez who had opened up surrogacy agency Subrogalia in Barcelona in 2013 to help childless Spanish couples locate wombs for rent. 

The pair reportedly also run a ‘reputation management’ company called Eliminalia which has been accused of erasing information of public interest off the internet. The company promises to “erase your past” so you can “have a better future,” by deleting “unwanted” and “erroneous” information, 

In 2015 Hill Prados  became the head of another branch of Subrogalia based in Ukraine, a ripe market for the surrogacy business where – before the Russian invasion – it was estimated that some 2,000 per year were born there to surrogate mothers. 

In an interview from 2018 Director and Founder of the Ukrainian Medical and Reproductive Law Center Sergii Antonov BL spoke of the large surrogacy industry in the country saying, “The boom happened in 2015. Foreigners started to be the main clients. Thailand and India banned the practice and the demand moved here. The financial crisis meant that there were more women willing to be surrogates.”

Although the OCCRP report says that Sánchez claims to be the owner of Subrogalia Ukraine, Hill Prados and his adopted sons own large stakes in the business. 

In 2016 Subrogalia was ordered to pay €88,000 to a set of clients who had engaged their services but were left with no babies at the end of the process. 

According to reports in the Spanish media one of the couples was initially told that their Mexican surrogate was pregnant only to later be told that the pregnancy test result was a false positive. 

The couple were subsequently told that the rest of the embryos created in the surrogacy process had died and were urged by Subrogalia to start the process over again. 

Other clients said they were left with bills from the surrogacy process but no baby after engaging services from the agency with one of them lamenting that, “I don’t have embryos or children and on top of that I owe them money.” 

Subrogalia Ukraine changed its name to Eurosurrogacy in 2017 while the Spanish branch was reportedly “replaced” by another company named Gestlife who says 45% of their clients are “are single men, gay couples, or single gay men,”

Ukrainian police opened an investigation into Eurosurrogacy’s partner BioTexCom – which is one of the biggest IVF chains in the world –   in 2018. 

BioTexCom is reported to perform 95% of embryo creation and implantation for Eurosurrogacy’s Spanish clients.

Eurosurrogacy was named as an associate in the ongoing investigation and had its bank accounts frozen although BioTexCom claims that no actions have been taken since 2019 and that the investigation is closed.

As part of the investigation employees of BioTexCom were reportedly accused of using surrogacy programs to help foreign citizens make “illegal deals” which are alleged to amount to “trading children for financial reward”. 

The company reportedly cut ties with Hill Prados and Eurosurrogacy claiming that it was unaware of his past criminal convictions while doing business with his company. 

Despite this Hill Prados went on to open his own IVF clinic in Ukraine called InterFiv which was reportedly raided by Ukrainian authorities. 

Accusations of allocating genetically unrelated babies to surrogate parents, document forgery, and baby smuggling  were laid but no charges have been made against Hill Prados, his family, or Sanchez as yet. 

The investigation is ongoing despite being interrupted by the war between Russian and Ukrainian forces. 


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