A 19-year-old Massachusetts woman and her 9-month-old son have finally managed to escape from the war-torn nation of Ukraine unharmed.

Aislinn and Seraphim Hubbard are now free. Image courtesy of boston.com

Born at the Height of the Pandemic

Aislinn Hubbard has been studying at the prestigious Kyiv Choreographic College since 2018, before the world took a turn for the worse. She had also been busy teaching English as a second language. Ms. Hubbard had her son at home during the pandemic and hadn’t managed to obtain the necessary documents (a passport or birth certificate) for traveling with her baby. At the time of his birth, she hadn’t anticipated an urgent need to have to flee the country.

Seraphim’s father is a Ukrainian national and is forbidden to leave due to his government’s requirement that all men aged 18-60 must stay and fight.

Not long after the birth of her child, Ms. Hubbard had been advised by her parents and the US State Department that she should get a DNA test to make exiting the country easier in the event war broke out. She did.

A family attorney working with Aislinn to get her the necessary identifying paperwork for Seraphim died of a sudden heart attack before making much progress. It seemed the odds were against her. She described her situation briefly over the last few months as “a series of unfortunate events.”  

Little Help From the Government

Aislinn’s father, Dr. William Hubbard, went to Ukraine shortly after the war with Russia broke out in an attempt to bring his daughter and grandson back to their home in Massachusetts.

Dr. Hubbard wrote to his Senators and Congressperson but ended up with little to show for his efforts. Regarding the situation, he said:

“They just give us lip service. They emailed us two weeks ago and said to go back to Lviv and wait several weeks with no place to stay for some imaginary birth certificate to show up from a civil authority that’s not functioning because everyone has left.”