Surrogate motherhood is a fertility treatment that is explicitly permitted in Russia, but only for straight couples and single women who lack the capacity of carrying a child until birth. Also, the law allows intended parents (hereinafter, IPs) to use either their own gametes or donor gametes should they need it, as long as the basic requirements for the use of donated eggs and sperm are met.
US prospective parents choose Russia as their destination country due to the affordable cost of surrogacy arrangements. The Russia law is considered a permissive one for many foreign intended parents who can't have a child via surrogate in their country.
Provided below is an index with the 7 points we are going to expand on in this article.
Russian Law on surrogacy
Surrogacy is legal in Russia in accordance withe the provisions of the Federal law On Basics of Health Protection of Citizens of the Russian Federation, published in January 2012.
The law grants couples, included foreign citizens and unmarried couples, the right to participate in gestational surrogacy arrangements in the country, provided that they meet the following requirement:
- It is only allowed to heterosexual couples and single females. Same-sex couples, however, are not stipulated as potential intended parents.
- Only gestational surrogacy arrangements are permitted. A gestational surrogate doesn't use her eggs to get pregnant, but the eggs of the intended mother or donor eggs.
- It is required that the intended mother has a medical cause that prevents her from getting pregnant or bearing a full-term pregnancy. Common causes include not having a uterus, uterine anomalies, risk of somatic symptom disorders, repeated IVF failure, etc.
- Single women must use their own egg cells for the creation of the embryo that will be placed into the gestational surrogate's womb.
Requirements to be a surrogate
Section number 10 of Article 55 of the Federal Law Health protection normative of the Russian Federation establishes a series of requirements for surrogates. It also establishes the indications and contraindications of the surrogacy process and determines the screening process that both intended parents and surrogates have to go through.
All women who are willing to become surrogates can do so as long as they meet the following criteria: being aged between 20 and 35 years, having at least one child of their own, and being physically and mentally healthy.
In case she is legally married, she will need the permission of her civil partner in order to be accepted in the surrogacy program.
Finally, it should be noted that only gestational surrogacy arrangements are allowed, that is to say, arrangements in which the surrogate is not the same person as the egg donor.
Being registered as the child's parents
As for the formalities required in order to be registered as the child's legal parents, the steps to follow are summarized in the following articles:
- Article 51
- The surrogate has to provide written consent in order for the names of the intended parents to be included on the child's birth certificate.
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).
- Article 52
- Once the names of the IPs are included on the birth certificate, they are officially the child's legal parents. The surrogate has no right to claim for maternity rights, and they cannot relinquish their rights as legal parents.
Neither the spouses, who have given their consent for the implantation of an embryo to another woman, nor the surrogate mother [...] have the right to invoke these circumstances when contesting the parentage after the parents have been entered into the register of births.
Also, for the registration process to be effective, a document issued by a medical organization in confirmation of the consent obtained from the woman is necessary. This requirement can be found in page 16 of the law On Civil Status Acts:
During the official registration of the birth of a child on application of the spouses, who had given their consent for the implantation of an embryo to another woman for the purpose of carrying it to term, a document, issued by a medical organization in confirmation of the consent obtained from the woman, who gave birth to that child (the surrogate mother), for registering said spouses as the child's parents must be presented concurrently with the document confirming the birth of the child.
With these documents, i.e. the birth certificate and the written consent of the surrogate, the intended parents can proceed to register the child born through surrogacy in the Civil Registry Office. However, the process does not end here: the US Government establishes a series of requirements in order for the child to acquire US Citizenship at birth.
Acquisition of US citizenship at birth
US intended parents who are considering going abroad to have a child through surrogacy or any other Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) should consider the guidelines provided by the US Department of State.
Statutory transmission requirements
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is the law that regulates whether a child born abroad may acquire US citizenship at birth or not. For that to be possible, the parent or parents must meet a series of conditions prescribed in the INA 301 and 309.
According to the INA, a child born abroad has to be biologically related to a US citizen who meets a series of statutory transmission requirements. To sum up:
- US citizen father
- Must be the genetic father and meet other transmission requirements, such as having had certain periods of residence in the USA prior to the birth of the baby.
- US citizen mother is the genetic parent
- Must be the genetic mother and/or the gestational and legal mother of the child at the time and place of childbirth.
The US Department of State requires DNA testing to establish a genetic or blood relationship. If the child doesn't have a genetic link to a US citizen parent, s/he won't acquire US citizenship at birth.
It should be noted that the Department of State can only determine the citizenship status of a child born abroad to US parents after the child is born and not previously.
CRBA and US passport
Provided that these requirements are met, intended parents have to apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of an American Citizen (CRBA) as well as for a US passport for the child.
This formality can be completed at the US Embassy or Consulate in Moscow, which will require parents to provide medical and documentary evidente of the child's conception, birth and biological connection, along with evidence of their identity.
A CRBA is not a parentage document, but only a citizenship document. It is required to certify that a child born abroad is a US citizen. However, it doesn't determine the identity of the child's legal parents. Thus, the names listed on it are the US citizen parent or parents with a biological connection.
If one of the IPs doesn't have a genetic link to the child, he or she may be listed on the CRBA if a legal parental relationship can be demonstrated under local law.
Surrogacy and egg donation
Although it is the preferred option, unfortunately in some cases the intended mother cannot use her own oocytes for IVF. In these cases, using donor eggs is permitted in Russia. However, in order to meet the statutory transmission requirements of the US Department of State, it is only possible if the male partner can use his own sperm.
In the case of single women, they have no alternative but to provide their own eggs in order to have a baby via surrogacy in Russia.
According to the Russian law, two egg donor profiles are legal in the country:
- Anonymous donors
- The identity of the egg donor is not disclosed to the intended parent, and not vice versa. It is permitted, however, that some physical features are revealed. Seeing a picture of the donor as a baby is possible as well. This is the most common profile across Russia.
- Known donors
- It is possible as long as the intended parents and the donor already knew each other. It is the case of family members or close friends.
It should be noted, however, that the vast majority of Russian fertility clinics offer anonymous egg donation programs exclusively.
Requirements to be an egg donor
An egg donor is a young, healthy woman that meets the following requirements:
- Age between 20 and 35 years
- She has one child of her own: this proves that she's fertile
- Healthy lifestyle: to prove this, she is medically and genetically screened
The are many surrogacy agencies that have a pool of egg donors as well in order to match the most compatible one with a recipient. When using an anonymous donors, your egg donor coordinator will select a woman who shares physical features with the intended mother.
Cost of surrogacy in Russia
Surrogacy is a challenging infertility treatment and, as such, we should always expect unforeseen events to occur. In any case, the average cost of a surrogacy arrangements in Russia ranges between $35,000 and $55,000.
For this reason, asking the clinic and/or agency you are working with for their fees in case certain procedures are necessary is crucial. Examples of unexpected situations include: pregnancy is not achieved on the first IVF attempt, multiple pregnancy, C-section, preterm birth...
If we keep this in mind from the very beginning, we will be prepared for any mishap, incidental or any other unexpected event that may take place throughout our surrogacy journey.
Surrogacy, like any medical treatment, requires you to trust the professionalism of the clinic and the agency.
Recommended for you: Surrogacy Cost Breakdown – Agency & Gestational Carrier Fees.
FAQs from users
Is commercial surrogacy allowed in Russia?
Yes, surrogates can receive a financial compensation for their effort in addition to a reimbursement of the expenses incurred during the pregnancy.
You might also like: What Are the Different Types of Surrogacy?
Is surrogacy in Russia possible for a single man?
No, it isn't. As in the case of gay couples, the law doesn't stipulate that single men can take part in surrogacy programs. As explained above, it only grants couples and single women the right to participate in surrogacy arrangements.
If you're a single man considering surrogacy abroad, you may like: International Surrogacy – Laws & Options for Surrogacy Abroad.
How much does a surrogate cost in Russia?
The money paid for surrogacy is intended to cover various expenses, including assisted reproduction treatment, agency, lawyers and legal expenses and financial compensation or "payment" to the surrogate.
In Russia, surrogates or gestational carriers receive a financial compensation of between $11,000 and $17,000 approximately.
What does the work of a surrogacy agency in Russia consist of?
The agencies are in the country of destination, where the surrogacy process will take place, and are primarily responsible for selecting the appropriate surrogate mother, ensuring that she passes the medical and psychological tests necessary to ensure that she is in good health. They are also in charge of choosing the egg donor or sperm donor in case it is necessary to use donor gametes.
There are agencies that have lawyers to help the intended parents with the legal issues of the process, including the drafting of the contract for surrogacy and the filiation of the baby. If the agency does not have its own lawyers, the prospective parents should hire the services of a specialist law firm on their own.
Suggested for you
Russia is a very popular option for those who consider surrogacy abroad, but keeping in mind the set of legal requirements established under Russian law is essential. If, after reading this post, you find that Russia is not suitable for you, you may want to check this out: Best Countries for Surrogacy Overseas.
Or perhaps you are curious about the regulations governing surrogacy worldwide, whether it is forbidden or permitted to foreign citizens, and may enjoy this: Surrogacy Laws by Country – Where Is It Legal?
Finally, Ukraine is another popular destination country for US parents considering surrogacy overseas. Get more info by clicking the following link: How Does Surrogacy Work in Ukraine? – Cost & Legal Aspects.
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Ovodonante.com, 2015. Egg donation in Russia, Andrea Rodrigo, https://ovodonante.com/donacion-de-ovulos-en-rusia/
FAQs from users: 'Is commercial surrogacy allowed in Russia?', 'Is surrogacy in Russia possible for a single man?', 'How much does a surrogate cost in Russia?' and 'What does the work of a surrogacy agency in Russia consist of?'.
I’m a single male and I’m thinking about surrogacy program in Russia. I know that after baby is born you can choose to put just a dash (-) on a birth certificate or surrogate mother name. In my case it’s necessary to put surrogate mother name otherwise baby wouldn’t get nationality from my country.
My question is if the surrogate mother has any parental rights if so is it possible to take parental rights from her right away or Is there a different procedure?
We are very interested in Russia because we have some very close friends who did the program in a clinic in Moscow and the procedure was very fast. Apparently by what I have read for the hetero couples this destination is very attractive since the prices are low.
I’m a single woman, almost 51 years old, who’s never had a child. I am in good health and therefore able to raise a child and I have a stable professional situation. Am I eligible for surrogacy?
in certain countries, a surrogacy treatment for single women are indeed possible. However, you have also to keep in mind the legal situation in your home country. There are countries which do not allow for single women to obtain the filiation of the baby due to the absence of a male partner.
More about this topic here: Surrogacy for single women. How does it work?
Hope this helps,
we have completed our surrogacy journey now and are very excited about the experience. We still maintain friendship with our Russian surrogate. One day, we will tell our child about it because in a certain way our surrogate mommy is his mommy, too. I always wanted to have a big family and finally, my wish has come true.
I’d love to hear some first-hand experiences with this country. From what I’ve read people differ vastly in opinion. So we are still unsure as to start a treatment over there or not. It’s actually the cost that makes it so tempting, tbh
Ok Russia doesn’t accept homosexuals, is there any other destination in the EU for surrogacy for homosexual couples?
currently the Netherlands and Great Britain offer surrogacy treatments for homosexual couples also.
Hope this helps,
I want to go through surrogacy to have a child but I’m afraid to pay a lot of money and not have the child becuase i’ve heard that there are a lot of scams. Please answer me as soon as possible thank you in advance.
When using surrogacy, it is very important to choose the right destination and the process to avoid problems.
Several countries around the world have already legalized the use of a surrogate. Each one has established a series of conditions and provisions that it is important to know in detail before choosing the most suitable destination.
The United States, Canada, Russia, Ukraine, Greece and Georgia are currently the most common destinations. However, depending on the characteristics of their respective regulations, some countries will adapt better than others to the needs of the intended parents.
Once you have decided on a destination, you will need to choose the best possible Surrogacy agency. Surrogacy agencies are specialized companies whose goal is to help people who want to start this technique. Above all, they help to put the future parents and the surrogate mother in touch with each other.
This is a very important step, during which a great deal of information must be taken into account. It is therefore essential to have valid selection criteria. Testimonies from people who have gone through the same situation are usually of great help. Agencies have guarantees: you sign a contract drawn up by professionals (lawyers) and all stages of pregnancy and birth are reflected in it. I advise you to read our article on : What’s the point of surrogacy contracts?
Finally, it is important to take into account your family model to be able to choose your destination. Actually, some countries only accept heterosexual married couples, others only with an infertility certificate, etc.
If you have any other questions, do not hesitate to come back to us.
Wish you all the best
Incorrect article, single men can take part in Surrogacy in Russia, straight or gay. Many Russian clinics online state that it is possible for single men to do so and the legal situation around this. They wouldn’t do this if it was not legally possible.
In the Ukraine single men cannot take part in Surrogacy.
Have you been in this journey? Have you had a surrogate carry your child? I have a few questions that l would like answered when you get a chance.
Thanks in advance
Nice post, I love reading the experience of others because it helps others who are suffering from the same.
I don’t think Russian surrogacy is a good option. I investigated the surrogacy issue in this country and I can say that the law according to surrogacy is quite unclear. Like many other couples, we felt that when we were ready to start our family, it would just happen. We underwent 3 IUI’s and 3 cycles of IVF. But everything led us to nothing. Honestly, I blamed myself at that time. Anyway, we decided that it was time to remedy the situation. And agreed that surrogacy would be the most suitable option. Unfortunately, this procedure is banned by the government in our country. Thus we started to look for a list of clinic abroad. The surrogacy is quite affordable in Russia and Ukraine. But surrogacy in Russia is too weak there. Thus we made this in Ukraine. I would advise getting a consultation from the layer before starting the process.