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Clinic in Chania involved in illegal adoptions, reproduction and surrogate mothers

Nine persons accused of organizing illegal adoptions linked to an assisted reproduction clinic appeared before a public prosecutor in the city of Chania, Crete on Wednesday.

Among the nine persons are a 73-year-old well-known gynecologist in Chania, doctors, clinic staff, a woman from Romania and two women from Georgia.

Authorities on Crete are investigating a fertility clinic in the city of Chania amid suspicions that it may have operated as a front for an illegal adoption racket.

According to local media, several doctors who work at the clinic have been taken into custody for questioning. At the same time, investigators from Athens and Crete have raided the clinic and are going through its records, as well as searching the homes and offices of their key suspects.

The nine persons are facing charges of being members of a criminal organization, involved in human trafficking and illegal adoptions. The gynecologist is said to be the mastermind.

A statement issued by local police, stated that the ring exploited [mostly foreign] women who were in a vulnerable position and used them as egg donors and surrogate mothers. At the same time, they defrauded patients through virtual embryo transfers (in vitro) and brokering illegal adoptions

Since December 2022, at least 182 cases of exploitation of women in the field of oocyte removal and surrogacy have been recorded and more than 400 cases of fraud through virtual IVFs have been investigated

The benefit obtained by the criminal organization per surrogacy program usually ranged from 70,000 to 100,000 euros, while in some cases it reached 120,000 euros.

A case file was filed against them for – as the case may be – forming and joining a criminal organization, human trafficking, mediation in the adoption of a minor by profession, violations of the law on the implementation of medically assisted reproduction, forgery, disruption of family order, fraud, physical harm and violation of drug legislation.

According to cretalive.gr, at least 30 young women who are pregnant – some of them in the last weeks of the pregnancy – were located by the police officers of the Organized Crime Department of Crete during the recency investigations.

These are women from Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Romania and Bulgaria, poor women who did not even have a place to live in their own villages, and who were used by the criminal organization as egg donors and as surrogate mothers. The women lived in several houses under surveillance and were only allowed to go out for supermarkets and medical examinations at the …Assisted Reproduction Center.

The clinic in question is said to be a major facility that attracted clients from all over Greece, but also from Turkey and the Balkans.

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3 comments

  1. We are a couple weeks away from being patients of this clinic. We have given them so much money and they are connected with numerous clinics in Australia!
    What are their patients expected to do, we have our embryos in the clinic?!
    What about the patients involved, we knew nothing of these allegations.

  2. Which clinic is this? It doesn’t say which one?

  3. Elizabeth, I’m so sorry to hear your situation. How terrible and stressful for you and your partner. We did surrogacy at the MRI clinic back in 2017 and were fortunate to be there for the birth of our two children. We had a surrogate who came from Romania and had always been of the understanding that she was being well looked after by the clinic. I feel quite ill, and distressed to think that this may not of been the case. I hope it all works out for you xo