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Babies carried by surrogates stuck in bomb shelter in Ukraine as war escalates

Surrogate babies trapped by war in Ukraine
Surrogate babies trapped by war in Ukraine 02:31

The sound of new life below ground drowns out the air raid sirens and explosions above. The war in Ukraine made it too risky for the biological parents of 21 surrogate babies to come get their children, who are spending their days in a bomb shelter nursery in Kyiv. 

The journey of German couple, Heka and Gerhard, to pick up their son, Leonard, meant braving a 12-hour train ride straight into the war zone. They decided the only thing more terrifying than coming to Kyiv was leaving their son here alone.  

"It's horrible, horrible. We want to take him home where he is safe," Heka told CBS News. 

"I think I can later [tell] him what is happen this time. We risk our lives for him," Gerhard added. 

The surrogacy industry in Ukraine is thought to be one of the biggest in the world. The country is one of the few that offers surrogacy services to foreigners, including Americans. By some estimates, there may be as many as 500 women carrying babies for foreign parents. 

Under Ukrainian law, biological parents have to be present in order to claim their children's nationality and citizenship, which leaves the babies in the bomb shelter in a sort of legal limbo. 

For now, a small team of nannies is keeping these babies safe. One of the nannies told CBS News that staff sleep for an hour at a time and that it's very scary looking after the defenseless babies. 

The German couple and their son may soon be safe after a long train ride back to the Polish border, but the rest remain in the hands of fate and those dedicated to their safekeeping, until they are safely on their way home. 

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