Surrogacy in Russia

Today, surrogate motherhood is one of the most common infertility treatment methods applied in Russia. Russia is among few countries where  programs are fulfilled in conformity with the active laws. As provided for by Article 51.4 of the Family Code of Russian Federation, “persons who are formally married and give their documented consent that an embryo should be implanted in the body of some other woman and be carried by her shall be entitled to be registered as parents of the child only with the consent of the woman (a surrogate mother) who gave birth to the child”. 

The Civil Status Act Law (art. 16, p. 5) specifies as follows: “at the stage of state registration of the child on the grounds of the application of spouses who gave their consent that an embryo be implanted in the body of some other woman and be carried by her, a document shall be issued by the medical institution to acknowledge the fact that the woman (surrogate mother) who gave birth to the child gave her consent that the above spouses be registered as the parents of the child, apart from the document acknowledging the fact of childbirth”.

As one can see, the most evident disadvantage of the Russian laws is that a surrogate mother, having given birth to a child, has every right to keep the baby whom she carried. In this case, genetic parents who began loving their child long before his or her birth may never become a happy and most complete family, unless a special written consent is given by their surrogate mother.    

Traditional surrogate motherhood is forbidden in Russia, since this particular attendant reproductive method implies genetic relationship between a surrogate mother and a child whom she carries. After childbirth, a surrogate mother would have to give away a genetically-related baby, which would be against the law. As provided for by the health protection fundamentals law, a surrogate’s gametes, her oocytes may not be used in surrogate motherhood programs.