Australian parents are unable to bring their newborn babies home after a fertility clinic in Crete, Greece was raided by police.
The Mediterranean Fertility Institute has been accused of engaging in human trafficking and the illegal adoption of babies, according to Greek media.
7NEWS understands eight people, including the founder of the clinic, have been arrested by Greek authorities.
The clinic is accused of exploiting vulnerable women and using them as egg donors and surrogate mothers while deceiving patients through sham embryo transfers and mediating illegal adoptions.
While the clinic is accused of using foreign women as surrogates, some of the children have already been born to those surrogates.
These babies are now in a Crete hospital under guard and are effectively in the possession of the Greek government.
It’s understood eight babies are being held in a secure neonatal ward, however, parents have been denied access to see them.
Parents will need to provide DNA evidence that they are the biological parents of the babies to see them before the district attorney ultimately gives permission to take them home.
Of the children born, it’s understood a handful belong to Australian parents who’ve been forced to travel overseas to seek surrogacy.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told 7NEWS it is “continuing to provide consular assistance and engage actively with Greek authorities in support of a small number of families with surrogacy arrangements in Greece”.
“We understand that this is a distressing time for impacted families,” it said.
Phone calls and messages to the clinic are unable to go through, however, a Facebook post to the clinic’s page suggests they were previously encouraging support for the founder of the clinic during a recent court appearance.
Melbourne women have been left in tears after a surrogacy scandal involving a fertility clinic in Greece was raided by police. To discuss, @Rebecca7Maddern spoke with the founder of infertility support organisation 'Growing Families', Sam Everingham. #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/G6zVRMDsNo— 7NEWS Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) August 24, 2023