Birth Certificates, International Consulates & Difficult Officials
Georgios* is Greek and lives in London with his Ukrainian partner Alexander* and their two-year-old twins who were born in the Ukraine.
In our Surrogacy Supplement Georgios shares their incredible international surrogacy journey: multiple pregnancies in two surrogates; crossing borders with the babies & a friend posing as mother; near-endless red tape to get into the UK; moral dilemmas and more.
The story so far: Georgios has decided to start a family through surrogacy, whilst living and working in Ukraine, he finally has twin daughters, born from two different surrogates…
Greek officials tell Georgios that because the children were born in Ukraine on the 9th of the month but the Greek paperwork he has is dated the 12th of the month, he was not the legal father for the first three days of his daughter’s lives.
“I explained that because we were issued a birth certificate with my name on it on the 9th that means I am recognised as the father under Ukrainian law. She said ‘yes but this is Greece, I don’t know Ukrainian law.’ She wanted an official letter from the Ukrainian authorities confirming that Georgios was the legal father from birth.
So he went to the Ukrainian consulate in his hometown of Thessaloniki.
“It took a bit of convincing, but the man wrote the letter in Ukrainian. I got it translated - I had to make it an official translation - then I went back to the official. She said ‘this is no good. It was done in Thessaloniki. We need it from the Ukrainian consulate in Athens.’“
“I couldn’t believe it! I said, ‘but it’s the same government, we’re in the same country!’ ‘No, no, no,’ she said, ‘we are in Athens and the official ambassador of Ukraine is in Athens, it has to be done in Athens.’
Georgios then met the Ukrainian ambassador in Athens. “I said ‘I have this letter from the consulate in Thessaloniki. Can you write the same letter but put your stamp on it, from the office in Athens?’ He said ‘no - you have the letter – it’s valid!’ I said ‘I’m desperate. Can you call the official and explain that to her?’ He did. When he hung he said, ‘tell her to go to hell – she’s crazy! I’ll write you the letter because I know who you are dealing with.’
Watch out for the next instalment: Leaving the Babies in the Hands of Strangers, and Paternity Leave – we’ll announce it on Twitter & Facebook
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* names have been changed to protect identity