Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed into law a bill that bans single males and foreigners from contracting women in Russia to be surrogate mothers.
Numerous Russian lawmakers have stated the legislation is intended to protect children.
The new rules prohibit both foreign nationals and single Russian males from utilizing surrogacy in Russia.
- Such services will be available only to married Russian citizens and single Russian women unable to bear or give birth to children due to medical conditions. The ban does not apply to a foreign national married to a Russian citizen.
A child born to a surrogate mother in Russia would automatically receive Russian citizenship.
Senator Margarita Pavlova, one of the legislation’s co-sponsors, claimed surrogacy had become a “conveyor belt” for taking children out of the country, with the fate of around 45,000 surrogate babies unknown.
- Her comments were echoed by Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the lower house of Russia’s parliament, who described this type of service as “a major illegal business venture with an estimated turnover of more than €2 billion ($2.12 billion).”
The legislation was initially introduced last year, and approved by Russia’s lower house of parliament in early December. Last week, the move was greenlit by the Federation Council, the upper chamber of Russia’s parliament.
Moscow banned the adoption of Russian children by US nationals in 2012, citing several high-profile cases of mistreatment and deaths of the adoptees, as well as Washington’s sanctions on Russian citizens.
Same-sex couples cannot legally marry or adopt children in Russia.
- In November, the Russian parliament passed legislation criminalizing LGBTQ, pedophilia and sex-change propaganda in a bid to “protect traditional values.”