Moscow, February 17, Interfax - A lawyers' association in Russia has approved a bill restricting the ability of foreigners to have children born to surrogate mothers.
"Overall, the bill aims to ensure the reliable development of the social institution of family values and strengthen the institution of family and marriage. If passed, the bill will have a benign effect on the level of confidence and prestige of state and municipal medical facilities, remove surrogate (substitute) motherhood from the commercial circulation of private clinics," the association's conclusion said.
The bill has been criticized by the Russian Association of Human Reproduction, whose members include clinics and agencies specializing in surrogate motherhood, as well as by Pen & Paper lawyers.
The lawyers' association, however, has said the bill is entirely constitutional.
The bill was drafted by a working group set up by the State Duma Security and Anti-Corruption Committee led by Deputy Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy. The group consisted of over 30 experts in law, medicine, and bioethics, as well as religious representatives.
The need for this law was highlighted by a series of high-profile criminal cases on human trafficking following babies' deaths in and around Moscow and St. Petersburg. The babies died while waiting to be taken out of the country. Most of them were going to citizens of China and the Philippines.