Surrogate 'baby factory' opens in Poland offering kids for couples at 11K a time
Aug 2 2008
By Will Stewart

A CONTROVERSIAL "baby factory" producing infants for 11,000 for childless couples has opened in Poland.

The Warsaw centre is home to 37 young surrogate mothers ready to give birth to children for couples unable to have their own.

The surrogate mums have been medically examined, given support and checked for any history of genetic disease.

The women undertake not to drink alcohol or smoke during pregnancy and sign a waiver giving up all rights to their children when they are born.

Addresses for the surrogate mothers and couples paying for children are cross-checked to ensure they don't live in the same area.

The aim is to avoid the risk of surrogates bumping into their children in later life.

Couples using the surrogacy centre have to adopt the babies immediately after birth, whether healthy or not.

The move comes as statistics show 1.5 million Polish couples are unable to have children naturally.

The centre's chief, nurse Elizhbeta Shimanskaya, 32, says she already has orders for babies and she will give birth to three herself in the coming years.

She said: "Poland needs more people. So many of our citizens live abroad and 1.5 million couples face being childless. We are offering a service."

The move has sparked fierce debate in Poland.

Recent opinion polls in the country showed that the majority of the Poles approve of the initiative, although the powerful Catholic Church vehemently opposes it.

One surrogate mother said: "The church is wrong. We can help these people - they can not. We are living in the 21st century."