For many people, surrogacy is a rather sensitive issue, and as a result it is unfortunately banned in many countries worldwide. Thankfully, there are a few nations that are open-minded enough to allow and regulate commercial surrogacy.
Russian laws regarding gestation surrogacy are among the most favorable in the whole world.
All the medical tourists that come to Russia to participate in reproductive programs, involving surrogacy, embryo donation, and sperm/egg donation, enjoy the same rights as the citizens of Russia. Moreover, there are no exceptions to these laws. This means that unmarried couples and single men and women are also allowed to sign surrogacy contracts. The first surrogacy program in the history of Russia was conducting in IVF center in St. Petersburg in 1995. Overall, the public opinion regarding surrogacy is friendly. For instance, not long ago a well-known businesswoman and a famous singer openly participated in the gestational surrogacy program, receiving very positive news coverage.
As opposed to Canada and UK (Surrogacy Arrangements Act), commercial surrogacy in Russia is not prohibited. This means that surrogate mother can be compensated for expenses that include missed time from work, medical support, babysitting, travel, etc. Furthermore, a surrogate mother can receive remuneration for the services that she has provided. Through the use of In Vitro Fertilization procedure, the intended parents can produce embryos, which can then be placed into the womb of the surrogate mother. The woman, who has given concent to become a surrogate mother, will carry this baby until birth. However, it should be understood that this woman has no genetic link to the newborn child, which means that according to Russian laws, the birth certificate can be issued using intended parents’ names.
Moreover, Russian Gestational Surrogacy Law states that the Birth Certificate can be directly issued using the intended parents’ names. Therefore, there is no need to hold a Court Hearing. ZAGS (Department of Vital Records) holds the full power to issue birth certificates to babies after 3 to 5 days after birth, including those who were delivered as a result of gestational surrogacy program. A single father, should he use his sperm and the services of an egg donor, should file the Acknowledgment of Paternity in ZAGS (Department of Vital Records) prior or after the baby’s delivery. All the legal aspect of surrogacy programs are spelled out in the Russian Law on the Population Healthcare and the Family Code of the Russian Federation. The medical aspect of surrogacy is contained within Order 107 created by the Russian Ministry of Healthcare.
The law states:
- Assisted reproduction technologies are legally available;
- The legal age for women who undergo IVF treatment is 50 years old. If a woman who is older than 50 years old wishes to undergo this treatment, she does it at her own risk;
- Sex selection is only permitted for medical reasons;
- Sperm and egg donation can be anonymous or non-anonymous;
- Egg freezing is permitted;
- Surrogacy is permitted;
- By law, only two embryos can be transferred into the womb of a woman. However, if the woman wishes to transfer more than two embryos, she should sign a letter of consent.
Questions regarding surrogate motherhood in Russia are resolved using the following legislative acts:
1. The Federal Law on the “Legislation principles of health protection of the Russian citizens” created on November 11, 2011.
Cl. 9 of Art. 55: “Surrogacy program is an procedure during which a surrogate mother (a female who agrees to have an embryo placed into her womb) carries and then delivers a child (even if it’s premature birth) under a surrogacy contract established between a surrogate mother and intended parents whose gametes were used in In Vitro fertilization, or between a single woman whose health doesn’t permit to gestate a child and a surrogate mother.”
Cl.10 of Art. 55: “Surrogate mother is a 20-35-year-old healthy woman who has a healthy child of her own and who signed a consent to medical intervention. A married woman according to the laws of the Russian Federation can participate in a surrogacy program as a surrogate mother only after acquiring a written consent signed by her husband. A surrogate mother is forbidden from donating her oocytes when being engaged in a surrogacy program.”
2. The Family Code of the Russian Federation.
Art. 51: “A married couple, who gave a written consent to having their embryo placed in the womb of a surrogate mother to gestate, can be registered as the child’s legitimate parents based on a written agreement signed by the surrogate mother who delivered the child.”
Art. 52: “A married couple, who gave a written agreement to having their embryo placed in the womb of an another woman, or a surrogate mother (Cl. 4 of Art. 51 of the Code) can’t refer to this fact to dispute their parenthood after the biological parents were registered as the legitimate parents of the child.” But there was not a single similar precedent to date.
3. The Federal Law on “Acts of civil status.”
Art. 16 “To register the birth of a child the spouses, who gave a written consent to the transfer of their embryos into the womb of a surrogate mother to gestate, must first submit a medical certificate to confirm their child’s birth and to provide a certificate that issued by a respectable medical organization that confirms the consent of the surrogate mother who gave birth to the child to the registration of the spouses regarding them as the legitimate parents of the child.”
Although the information that you see above was written to provide our clients with accurate general information regarding laws on gay surrogacy, please keep in mind that laws are always changing, which means that this information is not necessarily up to date. Also, some laws regarding surrogacy are unsettled and controversial in some areas; thus, contact us for all the legal updates and the information that concerns gay surrogacy in this location.