Russia to ban foreigners from using surrogate mothers

Paid surrogacy is legal in Russia, but the practice has been criticized by religious groups for commercializing the birth of children.

One of the co-sponsors of the bill, which passed almost unanimously at first reading, said such legislation was necessary to keep children born in Russia safe from harm.

Right now, said Vasily Piskaryov, a lawmaker from the ruling United Russia party, “we cannot follow the fate of a single baby.”

He told parliament: “We don’t know who their parents are, their so-called ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy’, and why they are buying a baby.”

Piskaryov said some 40,000 babies born to surrogate mothers in Russia had left the country to be raised by foreigners.

“Why should we spend our funds to solve the demographic problems of other countries?” he said, adding that babies born to surrogate mothers in Russia should automatically receive Russian citizenship “so that we can follow their destiny.”

The bill still has to go through two more readings, be considered by the upper house of parliament and be signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.

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