The State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, has passed a bill banning foreigners from using the services of Russian surrogate mothers, Reuters reported. Under the new legislation, a child born to a surrogate mother in Russia will automatically receive Russian citizenship.
Married couples in which one spouse is a Russian citizen will be able to use the services of surrogate mothers in the future. Paid surrogacy is legal in Russia, but the practice has been criticized by religious organizations, who say it amounts to the commercialization of childbearing.
The Chairman of the State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, stated that the new legislation aims to protect Russian children.