Mon, 06 Feb 2023

The bill is aimed at protecting children and blocking ?reproductive tourism,? its sponsors say

The Russian parliament's lower house, the State Duma, on Thursday passed a bill that prohibits foreign nationals from contracting women in Russia to be surrogate mothers for them. The goal is to decriminalize this area of medical services and protect the rights of children, the authors of the bill say.

Under the new legislation, surrogacy will remain available to Russian married couples, in which one of the spouses is a Russian citizen, and to single Russian women. In addition, children born in the country to surrogate mothers will be automatically granted Russian citizenship.

The introduction of the ban "is a forced measure, caused by cases of death and trafficking in children born through surrogacy," one of the authors of the bill, deputy Vasily Piskarev, explained earlier. According to the lawmaker, who heads Duma's committee on security and countering corruption, about 45,000 children born to surrogate mothers in Russia have been taken abroad.

"The main goal of the law is to protect the rights of children and decriminalize this area of medical services, and block reproductive tourism at the expense of our treasury," he stressed.

The bill was first introduced in 2021. To officially become law, after passing all the three required readings in the Duma, the legislation now requires the approval of the upper house, the Federation Council. It must also be signed by the Russian president.

In 2012, Moscow banned the adoption of Russian children by US citizens, following several high-profile cases of mistreatment and deaths of adopted kids.


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