Surrogacy in Russia – Cost & Laws
Surrogacy arrangements are permitted by law in Russia. The primary reasons that turn it into an attractive destination country for international intended parents is related to the costs that they can find there.
However, it is important to keep in mind that surrogacy is not allowed to all kinds of family structures in this country. For this reason, one should pay close attention to the legal requirements established under the Russian law, which you can find explained in detail below.
The various sections of this article are assembled in the following table of contents.
Laws and requirements
In Russia, surrogacy is allowed for single women and opposite-sex couples, irrespective of whether they are officially married or not. Conversely, it is strictly forbidden for same-sex couples.
Moreover, it is necessary for the prospective mother to be able to provide medical proof of her inability to get pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term. In the case of single females, it is required for them to use their own egg cells.
Who can become a surrogate?
The following are the legal requirements established by the Russian law on surrogacy arrangements:
- Age between 20 and 35 years old
- Having given birth to at least one genetic child previously
- Being physically and mentally healthy
- If married, consent from husband is required as well
Traditional surrogates, that is, impregnating the surrogate by means of intrauterine insemination (IUI) and therefore use her oocytes, are not allowed in Russia. The intended mother has to necessarily use her own eggs or turn to an egg donor.
It is very important that everything is addressed in full detail in the surrogacy agreement. Anyway, one should not forget that a surrogacy contract is not a “purchase order” of a baby, but a transfer of the rights and obligations from the surrogate to the intended parents.
Also, intended parents must understand that it is crucial that they understand both the Russian law as well as the regulations governing the transmission of citizenship and legal parentage in their home country.
It should be noted that the regulations governing surrogacy in Russia (as established in the Law “On Basics of Health Protection of Citizens of the Russian Federation”) do not change the formalities or have an influence on the requirements of your home country.
In this sense, we should keep in mind that such regulations are different for British intended parents and American intended parents who decide to pursue surrogacy abroad:
- British IPs
- It is required that at least the intended father uses his own sperm for the creation of the embryo that will be implanted into the uterus of the surrogate. If the intended father is genetically linked to the child, though it depends on the marital status of the gestational carrier, the process to apply for a Parental order in the UK will be easier.
- American IPs
- In accordance with the INA (Immigration and Nationality Act), a child born by surrogacy in a foreign country can acquire US citizenship provided that one US intended parent is genetically linked to him or her.
It is quite clear from this that sperm donation is not an option for American or British intended parents who undergo surrogacy abroad. Given that in both countries, paternity is proved by DNA testing, if they use donor sperm, they may encounter serious problems when trying to be recognized as the legal parents of the child on their arrival to their home country.
The Russian Law grants access to single women as well, but we recommend them to be very cautious, especially in the case of British single women. Even though they may be able to apply for a British passport for the child and to obtain legal parentage, the most likely is that they obtain so by means of an Adoption Order, due to the absence of a male partner.
Surrogate’s parental rights termination
It is material for the surrogate to relinquish all her parental rights to the baby in favor of the intended parents.
According to Article 51 of the Family Code of the Russian Federation:
Couples, who have given their written consent for the implantation of an embryo to another woman for the purpose of carrying it to term, can be registered as parents of the child only with the consent of the woman who gave birth to that child (the surrogate mother).
In short, surrogates are obliged to relinquish their parental rights to the baby after birth and give consent to put the names of the intended parents on the birth certificate. However, this step is only valid in Russia, which is to say, further formalities are required in your home country to become the legal parents there as well.
How much does it cost?
The average cost of surrogacy arrangements in Russia ranges between $60,000 and $95,000 depending on the case (£45,000-£71,300). However, before getting started, commissioning parents should take into account that incidentals and other unforeseen events may occur at any point of the process. For this reason, you should include an extra amount in your budget plan in order to be prepared for anything that may occur during your surrogacy journey.
For example, it the surrogate does not achieve pregnancy on the first attempt, if she gets pregnant with twins, or if complications occur during pregnancy, the overall costs of the treatment are much more likely to rise.
It is also very important to pay attention to what’s included and what’s not in the initial quotation given by your agency or the company you are working with. This allows you to ensure that the overall cost does not increase once you get yourself started.