Some information that might be helpful during your stay in Kyiv
Normally 3 visits to Kyiv are required:
First visit: 2 full days would be necessary to start the program - to visit the clinic, meet the doctor, make all necessary tests and leave a sperm sample and also to meet our lawyers to discuss personally all sensitive details of your program, so our recommendation would be to come on Thursday and leave on Sunday.
Second visit: The wife (if egg-donation is not required) should come for the punction and IVF. There is no need to stay in Kyiv to undergo the whole IVF treatment here, as the doctor will prescribe the medication course during your first visit. You could buy all necessary drugs in Kyiv and take that course in your country. Your presence here is needed for the punction only (please come 2-3 days before the estimated punction date).
Third visit: It would take 10-14 days after the delivery to get all necessary documents so that you could leave the country with your child.
Reproduction clinic: We can recommend you the Nadija clinic - http://www.ivf.com.ua/eng/ , which in Ukrainian means Hope. It's centrally located on one of the most picturesque streets of the Ukrainian capital (28 a, Andrijivsky uzviz). The Isida clinic - http://www.isida.ua/en/about/loaction.html situated at 65 Ivana Lepse Boulevard is also very good. These clinics are of the same high level, very professional and efficient.
So that you could leave a sperm sample at the clinic, the doctor will need from you the sperm count, blood tests for HIV, Hepatitis B, C and Syphilis. All tests can be done in Kyiv as well, but it would be better if you make them beforehand and bring the results with you, so that the doctor could see your "medical history". Please bring also any medical information as for your health you think might be relevant for this program (if any). Medical tests - about EUR 100, sperm cryopreservation - about EUR 350 - depending on the actual exchange rate. Payment directly to the clinic, preferably in cash - Ukrainian Hryvnya, as credit cards are not always accepted.
Our office: Our office is conveniently located in downtown Kyiv at 30, Liuterans'ka str., entrance â„–3, office 33 - http://en.surrogacy-ukraine.com/office.php . Our lawyers will be glad to meet you any day and time that better fit your requirements (previous appointment is required and strongly recommended).
Lawyers: 1 hour legal consultation as for the legal scenario of your reproductive program with our lawyers (if you need it) - EUR 250. Our lawyers' services will be free of charge for you after the contract is signed.
Interpreter: If you need an interpreter during your visit to the clinic, our office or for meeting with potential surrogates or egg donors, it's EUR 45 per hour. Your program-related interpreter services will be free of charge for you after the contract is signed. If you need a professional guide to show you around and see the sights during your stay here, it's EUR 25 per hour.
Surrogate: If you'd like to meet a surrogate or an egg donor before the contract is signed, it's EUR 250 fee per meeting, covering her transportation expenses, meals, accommodation and missed time from work. Any meetings with surrogate will be free of charge for you after the contract is signed.
Balance: The balance for all extra expenses is to be settled in cash after our meeting. The bill will be prepared in advance.
General information on Ukraine
Country: Ukraine is a vast and diverse nation that continues to evolve politically, economically and socially. The country is undergoing profound political and economic change as it moves from its Soviet past toward a market economy, multi-party democracy, and integration into Euro-Atlantic and other international institutions. In recent years, the availability of goods and services has increased along with increased rates of growth in Ukraine's economy, and facilities for travelers have improved considerably. Nonetheless, the availability of travel and tourist services remains uneven throughout the country. Travel and living conditions in Ukraine contrast sharply with those in Europe and the United States. Major urban centers show tremendous differences in economic development compared to rural areas. While good tourist facilities exist in Kyiv, Kharkov and some other large cities, they are not developed in most of Ukraine, and some of the goods and services taken for granted in other countries are not yet available. Read the US Department of State Background Notes on Ukraine for additional information.
Currency: Ukraine is a cash economy. The Ukrainian Hryvnya (UH) is the only legal tender currency. It is illegal to pay for goods and services in any foreign currency except at authorized retail establishments. Worn bills or bills marked in any way are sometimes not accepted at banks and exchange offices. Traveler's checks and credit cards are gaining wider acceptance in larger cities. Expect credit card use to be limited to some hotels, upscale restaurants, international airlines, and the rapidly growing, but still select number of up-market stores. Some may turn down American Express or Diners Club. Visa and MasterCard are known, hence - more widely honored. ATM machines are widely available in major cities, but note: they do not have letters on the key pad, so if your PIN includes letters, do remember them as digits. Traveler's checks are sometimes hard to cash.
Exchanging U.S. dollars or EUR into Hryvnya, is simple and unproblematic, as licensed exchange booths are widespread, and exchange rates are normally clearly advertised. Currency exchange is only legal at such licensed exchange booths, banks, and currency exchange desks at hotels; anyone caught dealing on the black market can expect to be detained by the local militia.
There are many banks and licensed currency exchange booths located in major cities. ATMs (a.k.a. "bankomat") are becoming more common throughout Ukraine, particularly in Kyiv and in other larger cities. In smaller cities and towns, ATMs are still virtually non-existent. Most ATMs disperse cash only in the local currency. The difficulties of a currency shortage can be avoided by coming to Ukraine with a sufficient supply of hard currency just enough to cover necessary obligations during travel. Funds may be transferred by wire, advances may be drawn on credit cards, and traveler's checks may be cashed at many locations. The incidence of credit card and ATM bankcard fraud is high, and we strongly recommend that visitors refrain from using credit cards or ATMs.
Ukrainian law requires that travelers declare all cash and jewelry, regardless of value, upon entering Ukraine. Travelers should fill out a customs declaration and ask customs officials to stamp it. According to Ukrainian law, foreign citizens may bring up to $15,000 in cash, or up to $30,000 in traveler's checks, into Ukraine without a special license. A traveler must declare the imported currency. If customs officials determine that a traveler entering or exiting the country is carrying undeclared currency, they can and often do confiscate the undeclared funds. When leaving the country, foreign travelers are only allowed to take out a maximum of $3,000 in cash, or as much cash as they declared upon their entry into Ukraine. If a traveler wants to take out more than $3,000, the traveler must have a customs declaration proving that he or she in fact brought the corresponding sum of money into the country.
Visas: A passport valid for six months beyond the planned date of travel is required.
Visa-free regime. According to Ukrainian Presidential Decree #1008, dated June 30, 2005, citizens of the European Union, Switzerland, USA, Canada and Japan traveling to Ukraine on short-term (90 days or less) tourist, business, or private travel do not need a visa to enter Ukraine.
Visas are still required of other categories of travelers including those who intend to study, reside, or work in Ukraine. Any requests for extension of stay due to extenuating circumstances should be directed to the Ministry of Interior's Department of Citizenship, Immigration, and Registration (formerly known as OVIR). Extensions are not automatic, however, and are valid only for continued presence in the country. It is not possible to depart Ukraine and return on the extension, nor can an adjustment to visa status be made from within Ukraine.
If you are asked by consular officers when crossing the border about the goal of your stay in our country, always answer "tourism".
Visit the Embassy of Ukraine's web site the most current visa information. Also, see Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs' web site
Registration: Ukrainian law requires that foreign residents of Ukraine register with local authorities, but foreign travelers entering Ukraine under the visa-free regime do not have to register any stays of 90 days or less. So you are NOT required to get any additional registration in Ukraine. You are getting registered automatically going through the passport control at the airport. We strongly recommend you to make a copy of your passport and Immigration card and keep the originals in the safe at your hotel along with your flight ticket and other valuables. Please take into account that Ukrainian laws allow police officers to check passports and registration on the streets, so it would be better to keep a copy of the immigration card that you'll fill there along with a copy of your passport wherever you go till leaving the country.
Border. When crossing the Ukrainian border you'll be asked to fill in a special registration form (Immigration card). Immigration cards are available on special desks in front of passport officers' booths. Name and address of receiving company (point 11 of the Immigration form) should be the name and address of your hotel in Kyiv. If asked by the passport officer when crossing the border about the goal of your stay in Ukraine, always answer "tourism".
Customs: You can legally bring to Ukraine not more than $15,000 or equivalent in cash. You are required to declare in a written form a sum that is more than $3,000 or equivalent. You can legally bring out of Ukraine only $10,000 in cash. If you have more, the rest of the sum must be accompanied by a customs declaration confirming that you legally imported that amount or a special certificate from a Ukrainian bank called "Individual'naya litsenzia, forma 03" (Individual licence to export currency). Credit cards and travel checks are not to be declared and can be used freely. Travelers desiring to bring more than $15,000 into Ukraine must obtain a special license AFTER entering the country. Details for obtaining this license are available on the US Embassy's web site in the document "Ukrainian Customs: Procedures for Transporting Currencies, Monetary Instruments, or Precious Metals" at http://kyiv.usembassy.gov/amcit_travel_ukrcustoms_eng.html. Ukraine has strict limitations for the export of antiques and other goods and artifacts deemed to be of particularly important historical or cultural value. This includes any items produced before 1950. For more information on customs regulation visit http://www.customs.gov.ua/article.jsp?cataloguerId=6110&contentObjectId=9752
Accommodation: It will be a pleasure for us to help to book a hotel for you. As for the moment the lowest price for a DBL room BB at not so centrally, but quite conveniently located hotel Khreschatik http://www.khreschatik.kiev.ua/en/ is about EUR 100 per night. More prestigious and expensive Premier Palace hotel http://www.premier-palace.com/ can also be recommended. You can pay directly to the hotel by your credit card, authorization form will be sent upon request. Please precise if it fits your budget and requirements.
Transportation: In Ukraine, taxi fees are usually negotiated with the driver ahead of time. Do not use gypsy cabs or accept rides in cabs that already have a rider. We shall be glad to provide you with airport and city transfers by our company chauffeur-driven car. Please inform us about your flights numbers, so that we could arrange transfers for you. It's EUR 40 one way. The driver will be waiting for you at the arrivals section holding a card with your name. If you need the same chauffeur-driven car to move you around Kyiv, it's EUR 20 per hour. Don't pay directly to the driver, payment for transportation services should be made by cash at our office after our meeting.
Electricity: Electricity throughout Ukraine is 220 volt/50 Hz. The plug is the two-pin thin European standard. Be sure to bring your own converter as most places in Ukraine do not carry them.
Time: Time is GMT +2 for Kiev.
Internet Access: There is no problem to get internet connection in all major Ukrainian cities. Most hotels in Kyiv have internet connection in the rooms or at least business centers that provide access to the Net as well as some related services such as printing, CD-copying, scanning, etc. There are a lot of cyber cafes in all major cities of Ukraine that offer internet access as well.
If you bring your laptop with you and stay at a private apartment, it is possible also to set up a dial-up connection to the Internet via normal telephone line. Many providers sell "Internet access cards" that have account IDs and passwords valid for some period of time. The back side of the cards has the information on how to set-up your computer to connect to the internet.
Medical care: Remember to bring any medications you may need. Make sure to bring also diarrhea medicine with you so that you can treat mild cases yourself.
Many facilities have only limited English speakers. Basic medical supplies are available; however, travelers requiring prescription medicine should bring their own. There are no hospitals in Ukraine which accept foreign health insurance plans for payment (see the section on Medical Insurance below). Ukrainian public health insurance will be required at a state hospital. Private clinics are usually very good. They do not require Ukrainian public health insurance but can be as expensive as similar clinics in the US or Western Europe and may require payment in advance.
In order to secure western medical care travelers should make sure they have medical evacuation insurance, or have funds available for evacuation, should the need arise.
This option, however, is quite expensive and could take at least several hours to arrange. Travelers may wish to purchase medical evacuation insurance prior to travel, or have access to substantial lines of credit to cover the cost of medical evacuation. The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy has information on various air ambulance companies that perform medical evacuations to Europe or to the U.S. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to other European countries can cost from $25,000 to $50,000, and to the U.S. as much as $70,000 or more. More information can be found on the U.S. Embassy's web site in the document Medical Services in Kyiv.
Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection is available at http://www.who.int/ith.
Radiation and nuclear safety: In 1986, the Chernobyl incident resulted in the largest short-term unintentional accidental release of radioactive materials to the atmosphere ever recorded. The highest areas of radioactive ground contamination occurred within thirty kilometers of the Chernobyl nuclear power station. The city of Kyiv was not badly affected because of the wind direction. The Chernobyl nuclear power station closed officially on December 15, 2000.
The Ukrainian government has an effective program of monitoring fresh foods and meats sold in local markets. Nevertheless local wild berries, mushrooms, and wild fowl and game should be avoided, as these have been found to retain higher than average levels of radiation. Background levels of radiation are monitored regularly by the US Embassy and to date have not exceeded the level found on the Eastern seaboard of the United States or in Western Europe. So, in one word, the country is safe.
Medical insurance: We strongly urge all our clients to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.
The Ukrainian parliament passed a law in 1997 whereby all visitors to Ukraine are required to obtain mandatory health insurance. According to information from the Ukrainian authorities, the cost of this medical insurance depends on the anticipated length of a foreigner's stay in Ukraine. The cost for the insurance is approximately 25 cents per day (more for short stays). This required insurance can be purchased after arrival from the Ukrainian Department of Immigration, Citizenship, and Registration, and covers only the costs of basic medical care inside Ukraine; it does not cover medical evacuation. Failure to purchase mandatory health insurance often results in refusal of treatment at Ukrainian public hospitals and clinics. Private clinics do not require above mentioned Ukrainian public health insurance but can be as expensive as similar clinics in the US or Western Europe and may require payment in advance
Safety and security: Ukraine is free of significant civil unrest or disorders. However, occasionally, mass demonstrations occur in larger cities, such as Kyiv, usually sponsored by individual political forces. While the majority of these protests are peaceful, it is best to avoid such gatherings.
Crime: Most travelers do not encounter problems with crime in Ukraine. Nevertheless the country is undergoing a significant economic, political and social transformation, and income disparities have grown sharply. In spite of the fact that crime situation has considerably improved in Ukraine over the past couple of years and Kyiv is a lot safer than many American or European cities, visitors perceived to be wealthier might be targets for criminals. Precautions include not flaunting valuables, or walking alone at night through city outskirts or parks.
The most common scam in Kyiv is a wallet scam that involves a person dropping a wallet or a packet of money near you, then asking if it is yours. The scammers will then either threaten to call the police and try to get you to pay them not to call, or ask you to show them your wallet to ensure that you did not take their money. If you produce your wallet, they will grab your money and flee. . Avoidance is the best defense. Do not get trapped into picking up the money, and walk quickly away from the scene.
Credit card and ATM fraud is widespread. Although credit card and ATM use among Ukrainians is increasingly common, it is nevertheless strongly recommended that visitors of Ukraine refrain from using credit cards or ATM cards.
Computer fraud is also becoming more common in Ukraine. Internet scams appear to be on the rise. We suggest refraining from wiring money unless the recipient is well-known and the purpose of business is clear. Foreign citizens have reported transferring money to Ukraine to pay for goods purchased from residents of Ukraine via on-line auction sites, but never receiving the goods in return.
We regularly receive complaints from foreigners regarding scams involving surrogacy. Numerous foreigners have lost money to so called "surrogacy agencies" and individuals that claimed they could arrange for surrogacy services for comparatively low prices.
Tipping: Tipping is increasingly expected at restaurants. Tip 10-15% depending on service. It is typical to round up the amount due to the next round figure.
Weather: Here you can find a constantly updated 5 day forecast as for the weather in Kyiv http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/5day.shtml?world=0165.
Please don't hesitate to contact us should you have any further questions.
We'll do our best to make your dream come true!
See you in Kiev!