Russian bill: Surrogacy only available to Russian citizens

20-12-2021

Eastern Europe

Marc Derœux, CNE.news

In this photograph taken on June 12, 2020, Olga, a 26-year-old going through her second surrogacy and expecting twins for a Chinese couple, holds her belly as she walks in the small town of Sophiya Borshchagivka, near Kiev. Photo AFP, Sergei Supinsky

A group of parliamentarians has submitted a bill under which surrogacy programs will only be available to Russian citizens in Russia. Too many children end in abuse or sexual slavery, the politicians say.

Meanwhile, it is not the first bill submitted by the authors to the Duma, Interfax news agency reports. "We specified this regulation in the new edition of the bill: only a citizen of the Russian Federation can become a surrogate mother," State Duma Security and Anti-Corruption Committee head Vasily Piskaryov said in a commentary released by the press service for the Security Committee.

Besides, the ban will not apply to situations where a Russian citizen is married to a foreign citizen "to prevent discrimination against the rights of a Russian citizen based on the spouse's citizenship", Piskaryov said.

Children's rights

The parliamentarian said the proposed ban is a forced measure. It had to be introduced because the Russian state can no longer protect the rights of a child born by a surrogate mother in Russia after the child is taken out of Russia. Besides, the Russian authorities cannot thoroughly verify if the potential foreign parents have a criminal record for crimes against minors and "make sure they have good intentions."

"And we are getting a lot of reports from abroad on the bad fate of children born by surrogate mothers who found themselves in sexual slavery or were just abused", the parliamentarian said.

Ukraine

Surrogacy remains a controversial topic, not least in Eastern Europe. It became evident last year in Ukraine in the middle of the corona pandemic. Over a hundred babies born to surrogate mothers were waiting in Ukraine for their foreign, biological mother, the Dutch Christian daily Reformatorisch Dagblad reported. However, the latter cannot pick them up because of the corona crisis.

There was also a fuss in Italy this autumn about a baby called Serenella (not her real name), as CNE.news reported. The girl was born in Ukraine to a surrogate mother but left with a babysitter by her (biological) Italian parents. An investigation was launched after the nanny in Kyiv no longer received her salary and went to the Italian consulate. The girl was brought back to Italy, assigned to adoptive parents.

Human trafficking

Ukraine is not the only country where people from all over the world can implant their embryos in other women; it is the cheapest. The cost is about EUR 15,000. The only condition is that the parents live in a heterosexual relationship and may not have children themselves. Meanwhile, everyone knows that poverty is why women usually are willing to do this.

The babies go everywhere: Germany, Sweden, Israel, the US. There are no official figures on the number of children born to surrogacy mothers in the Eastern European country.

The Children's Ombudsman of Ukraine, Mykola Kuleba, believes that the situation resembles "human trafficking", Reformatorisch Dagblad writes. "Ukraine is turning into an online shop for little ones."

Chain

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