A COUPLE desperate to bring home their surrogate daughter from Ukraine risked their lives when they arrived in the bombed-out country.
Jessica and Kevin Van Nooten traveled to Australia to stay with their premature baby Alba – who is currently in the neonatal intensive care unit in Odessa, Ukraine.
The baby was born on Tuesday night, just hours before Russia invaded and declared war on Ukraine, where their surrogate mother lived.
Jessica and Kevin desperately pack a bag with the intention of traveling to a war zone, but their flight is diverted because of a conflict.
They boarded the plane on Wednesday, just hours before the Russian bombing began in Kyiv.
The Australian couple had previously exhausted all methods to try to have their child – having had 15 unsuccessful IVF attempts.
They’ve continued despite facing miscarriages – and they’ve also had to put their surrogacy plans on hold because of the pandemic.
But Jessica successfully sent the embryos abroad in May 2021 and the surrogate became pregnant in September.
Their daughter was born prematurely at 29 weeks in Ukraine – and she is now being cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit.
And now the conflict is causing even more problems for new parents who are determined to come to Ukraine to see their children.
Ms Van Nooten revealed the couple had planned to catch a flight from Melbourne to Ukraine with a stopover in Dubai.
She then received a direct call from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade during her stopover on Wednesday.
Jessica told ABC Radio Melbourne: “They told me, ‘All flights have been cancelled.’
“And I said, ‘We’re pretty sure they’re still going’.”
They eventually got a flight to Warsaw, Poland – but the couple had “limited choices” as to what they could do.
But Jessica and Kevin are still determined to reach their daughter in the Ukrainian city.
She said: “There was talk that if we could get to the border on our own, we could get a driver to take us, but then another said the border was closed.
“But I thinhk [the agency] would require us to keep the state as is, so I don’t know what we’ll do.
“We just wanted to go there.
“We’ve done 15 rounds of IVF, we’ve used surrogates, we have a global pandemic, a political war, and now a premature baby – like, what else? “
The surrogacy agency sent Ms Van Nooten a video message with an update on her newborn daughter.
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She added: “They said our baby was very premature and she was at the hospital.
“Her lungs weren’t developing… there was a bit of blood on her brain, and they also said something about the gut not being developed.
“But all of this is fitting for a premature baby, and they assure us she’s getting the best care possible.”
Mrs. Van Nooten said their biological mother is also in the hospital receiving care.
Speaking of little Alba, Jessica added: “I think she’s going to be famous, she’s a very special little girl.
“I just can’t wait to bring her home and show her off to everyone.”
Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said there was “active fighting on the streets of our city” as the conflict intensified.
This morning, a horrifying video showed the moment a rocket hit an apartment complex in Kyiv.
At least 198 Ukrainians, including three children, have been killed and 1,115 wounded so far since the Russian invasion.
Initial reports blamed the attack on Russia, a claim that the country’s Defense Ministry later denied.
Rescuers pulled survivors from the rubble of the compound, near an airport in the Ukrainian capital, where Russian forces trying to break into the city were facing stiff resistance.
Thumbnails from Kyiv show vehicles on fire, buildings blown up by rockets and flames lighting up the night sky.
CCTV from a nearby building showed the moment the rocket hit the building, near Zhuliany airport, on the outskirts of Kyiv.
Petro Prokopov, a firefighter involved in the rescue efforts, said the building on the southwestern edge of Kyiv was hit from the 16th to the 21st floors.
He said at least six people were injured and 80 had to be evacuated, as apartments on two floors were consumed by the fire.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/4777177/couple-desperate-surrogate-baby-ukraine-warzone/ Desperate couple bringing their surrogate daughter home from the war zone in Ukraine risked their lives to the bombed city