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Surrogacy Insights


In Russia, surrogacy is legally permitted. A 2022 legislative update refined the regulations, restricting surrogacy services to married heterosexual couples who are Russian citizens, or to a single  Russian woman with medical grounds for infertility.  Foreigners are prohibited from engaging in surrogacy arrangements within Russian territory.


Surrogacy Legislation in Russia

The legal framework for surrogacy in Russia is delineated within several legislative documents:


  • The Federal Law on Protection of Citizen’s Health (section 55, 2011) outlines surrogacy provisions,
  • Parentage matters are governed by the Family Code (1995),
  • Birth registrations are administered under the Federal Law on the Acts of Civil Status (1997). 
  • Additionally, the Ministry of Health Order from August 13th, 2012 (#107h) specifically addresses surrogacy regulations.


Although formally recognized in 2012, surrogacy has been practiced in Russia for many years, with some agencies commencing operations as early as 2003.


Surrogacy in Russia

Key provisions of surrogacy in Russia include:


  • Surrogates must be aged between 20 and 35, have a child of their own, and enter into a contract voluntarily.
  • Surrogates cannot be biologically related to the child.
  • Compensation for surrogacy services is permissible.
  • In a 2017 ruling, the Supreme Court decreed that a surrogate cannot withhold consent and retain custody of the child.
  • No biological connection to the child is mandated.
  • The names of the intended parents are recorded on the birth certificate. For a single woman, only her name is listed.
  • The intended mother must provide medical evidence of her inability to carry a child.
  • Birth certificates are issued within three days following the birth.


Recent Criminal Cases involving  Surrogacy

In January 2020, a heartbreaking incident unfolded in Russia when a baby tragically passed away, revealing a concerning situation to responding police officers: three infants born through surrogacy. The COVID-related travel restrictions prevented the intended parents from being able to collect their babies. This distressing event prompted Russian authorities to launch the nation’s inaugural criminal case pertaining to surrogacy.


The initial case brought to trial involved Tamara, a woman from Kazakhstan, who underwent an embryo transfer in Cambodia and subsequently delivered a child in Serbia in 2020, acting as a surrogate for a Chinese couple.  However, due to the pandemic, the intended parents were unable to retrieve their child, leaving the infant in the care of others.  Investigations uncovered that the clinic facilitated surrogacy births and utilized forged documents to facilitate international travel.


During the investigation, authorities found up to 20 children scattered across various locations in the Moscow region.  All but five of these children have since been reunited with their intended parents.  The remaining five are currently residing in an orphanage.


The intended parents of the five children in guardianship have been embroiled in prolonged legal battles, endeavoring to secure custody and reunite with their children.  The legal dispute stems from the children being genetically linked to only one parent, contravening Russian laws mandating both parents to have a biological connection.  Moreover, in some cases, surrogacy contracts were signed by agency representatives rather than by the intended parents themselves.

In November 2023, four Russian fertility clinic employees and two surrogate mothers were handed jail sentences of varying lengths.



Future Legal Developments


  • At present, there is no available information regarding any forthcoming legislation.


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