The first child conceived through surrogacy in Russia was born in 1995. In this country, “surrogacy” is considered “to be one way of increasing the birth rate in the light of a worrying demographic situation”. It is available to married and unmarried heterosexual couples, single women and also single men. Nowadays, the current legal framework relating to this “technique”, which dates from 1993 and was slightly modified in 2002 and 2012, is being debated because it has “gaps”.
– “The surrogate mother may eventually decide to keep the child with the intended parents having no say in the matter”, because, at birth, the mother is the person who brings the child into the world – in this case, the surrogate mother. The surrogate mother, who is the legal mother, has to give her consent to change the parentage. This measure would prevent “a woman’s body from being viewed as an object governed by commercial transactions”.
– “The surrogate mother is no longer protected if the intended parents refuse to take the child”. Such cases arise if the couple separate in the mean time, or if the child is born with a disability.
A draft law presented in June“dispenses with the obligation to obtain the surrogate mother’s consent to register the intended parents as the child’s parents in the register of births” and would lead “to the automatic entry of the names of the intended parents on the child’s birth certificate if the child were to be abandoned by the intended parents and the surrogate mother”. This bill was rejected on 13 April 2017 by the Committee for Family, Women and Children.
A second draft bill, placing an absolute ban on surrogacy “since there is no legislative framework to guarantee that the rights and interests of the child’s surrogate mother and intended parents would be protected,”was submitted at the end of March (see Is Russia heading towards a ban on surrogacy?). On 21 April 2017, MPs agreed to an initial step – they will examine this second draft bill over the coming months.
The conversation, Alla Dyuka (27/04/2017)