Unexpected resistance against surrogacy ban in Russia


Eastern Europe


Photo AFP, Genya Savilov

The bill to ban surrogate motherhood in Russia for foreigners has caused unexpected resistance from officials, including those in the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Justice.

This was stated by the Vice-Speaker of the State Duma and one of the authors of the law proposal, Pyotr Tolstoy. The bill proposes that only married Russians or single women with Russian citizenship can become potential recipients of surrogate mother services. In addition, the document states that children born in this way should automatically become citizens of the Russian Federation.

At the press conference, as reported by the Russian news website Nakanune, Tolstoy stated that the business of selling “surrogate” children abroad is flourishing in Russia. To him, that is not a good thing. According to him, around 300 companies in Russia are engaged in these activities. The total turnover is around 2 billion euros a year.

Tolstoy also suggested that lobbyists for this business “are in the executive authorities and in other high-ranking places. These people, apparently, receive some material benefit from the fact that Russia is a factory for the sale of children.”

The Vice-Speaker of the State Duma explained the need for a press conference by saying that society should know “how, who and how puts spokes into the wheels of the bill on child trafficking.” This reports the Russian daily Kommersant.

Dead baby

Surrogacy came on the agenda of the Russian parliament in the midst of the pandemic. In Moscow, babies born by surrogate mothers could not be taken abroad at that time due to travel restrictions. In January 2020, authorities found a dead baby and four other children in a Moscow apartment.

According to the FSB, around 45.000 children have been taken out of Russia over the past few years. Therefore, State deputies called for a complete ban on surrogacy for foreigners. The Orthodox Church is also not happy with the current situation. Kommersant writes about Priest Fyodor Lukyanov, Chairman of the Patriarchal Commission on Family Affairs, Protection of Motherhood and Childhood. He says that “completely immoral things” are happening: LGBT people registering for surrogacy. Father Fedor remembered the owner of a large perfume company in the Philippines, who, without hiding his LGBT affiliation, received parental rights for six Russian children and took them out of the country.



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