First surrogate mother sentenced in Russia


Eastern Europe


Photo EPA, Yuri Kochetkov

For the first time, a Russian court has sentenced a woman for being a surrogate mother for a foreign couple. Accused of selling a baby and thus human trafficking, she now faces three years in a penal colony.

According to investigators, the 28-year-old Tamara Yandieva, a Kazakhstani, gave birth in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk in April 2020 after she was inseminated in Cambodia. She had to fly to Kazakhstan for the promised payment of 13 thousand dollars.

The head of the organisation that assisted Yandieva took the baby from the medical facility in Krasnoyarsk. According to the Russian news website Klops, the initial plan was to transfer the baby to a family from China. However, due to the pandemic, the deal fell through. The child is still in an orphanage.


According to the Russian daily Meduza, the sentenced woman is part of a larger case against surrogate motherhood centre 'Didilia'.

The investigators believe that in 2019-2020, the centre's management was looking for citizens of Russia and Kazakhstan who were ready to give birth to a child for other people. Women who agreed to become surrogate mothers in Cambodia underwent an embryo transfer procedure. Among those to whom the children born in this way were handed over were citizens of China.

In total, 19 babies appear in the Didilia case. Nine people are accused in the case, including four surrogate mothers and the deputy chief physician of the perinatal centre in Krasnoyarsk.

According to the Russian press agency TASS, this is the first sentence of a surrogate mother in the Didilia case. Press agency RIA Novosti claims this is the first sentence for a surrogate mother in Russia. According to Radio Free Europe, the woman is appealing the verdict.


As CNE reported earlier, in May 2022, the State Duma approved in the first reading a draft law banning the services of surrogate mothers for foreigners. The bill's authors stated that over the past few years, "according to the roughest estimates", about 45,000 children born by surrogate mothers "in the interests of foreigners" have been taken abroad.

In 2020, a team of Moscow fertility doctors, who also worked with a surrogacy program, were accused of human trafficking. They were charged with 11 counts of "trading": babies born by surrogate mothers were supposed to go to foreign parents, but due to the pandemic, they could not pick them up on time. One of the children died, and the rest were placed in orphanages. Translator Kirill Anisimov, who worked with the documents of children and parents, was sentenced to six years in prison in 2021; the cases of the remaining accused are still pending.



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