Russian Church Supports Ban on Surrogate Motherhood

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Originally appeared at: Global Orthodox

The State Duma passed in the first reading a bill banning foreign nationals from using the institution of surrogacy in Russia. The concept of this draft law has been supported by one the State Duma Committee on Family, Women and Children, which is one of those who would be responsible for its implementation.   The Russian government, in its turn, also supports the initiative in the first reading.

"Yesterday the Duma passed in the first reading the bill on the ban of surrogacy for foreigners. It is a breakthrough, because up till now the proposal of the Church found no support with legislators. Now, too, we faced some resistance, because the surrogacy is a big criminal industry of selling children abroad. They tried to disorient public opinion through the media. But this time deputies did not succumb to this pressure and gave us their support", the chairman of the Patriarchal Commission for Family, Maternity and Childhood Protection, Fr. Fedor Lukianov, told RIA Novosti.

At the same time, he pointed out that the Church's position remains unchanged - "surrogacy is unacceptable as a phenomenon." "Believing that some forms of surrogacy could be accepted, are incorrect. The official position of the Russian Orthodox Church is that this practice is immoral and cannot be morally accepted under any conditions," Fr. Fedor Lukianov stressed. "Surrogacy stays as a pain in the soul, since it is child trafficking. There are two parties that are affected: the mother and the child".

He also added that banning surrogacy for foreigners is "only the first step." "Next, we need to eliminate the commercial nature of surrogacy so that it would not be a business of human trade. In fact, what we see now, is the poor giving birth for the rich. Moreover, we assume that advertising of surrogacy and abortion should be excluded, because it misleads people and they do not understand the consequences", - the priest said. If after the surrogate maternity procedure, which uses a lot of hormones, the mother develops hormonal carcinogenesis, "who is going to treat her at the State’s expense and will she be able to continue giving birth? In this case, surrogacy is a blow to the family... We would like to see the practice of surrogacy eliminated, but we understand the current situation and urge that if it is carried out, it should be at least on a gratuitous basis. It is one thing is a sister wants to help another sister, as was the case in India, but even there they gave up the practice. A phased ban on surrogacy is the only acceptable roadmap," concluded Fr. Fedor Lukyanov.

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