Question-Answer

In this section we post the most frequently asked questions regarding surrogacy in Russia.

Mikhail

Question: For how long does one need to come to Russia?  What is the process of working with your company?

Answer: If you already underwent an IVF procedure and you already have frozen embryos, then, ideally, you will need to come to Russia for 1 day to sign the contract. All other questions, including the selection of a surrogate mother, we can solve long-distance by phone, e-mail and Skype.  If you are planning to undergo an IVF procedure (along with the procedure of obtaining donor eggs) in Russia, however, you will need to stay in the country for 1 to 2 months.

We will inform you about the expected delivery date ahead of time.  At that time you will need to plan a trip to Russia for a period of 1.5-2 weeks.  After the birth of the child, we will have the surrogate mother sign a properly executed consent to have you registered as the child's parents.  Our company's representatives will put together a packet of required documents and accompany you to the state registration authority, where you will be given a certificate of birth, wherein you and/or your spouse will be registered as the child's parents. This document does not differ in any way from the document that is issued upon the birth of a child conceived the "regular" way. 

The child's genetic parents will then take this document to their country's embassy/consulate.   Further processing of documents to officially register the child varies for citizens of different countries.  Due to the fact that we provide services for citizens of many countries, we cannot describe here the precise mechanism that is involved in the process of officially registering the child at an embassy of each specific country. On the whole, however, the procedure is the same as in the cases where a citizen of another country gives birth to a child, while on a temporary stay in Russia (a tourist trip, a job, etc.).

Valery

Question: Hello! Is surrogacy legal?

AnswerGoodafternoon!
Yes, surrogacy is legal in Russia. All aspects of surrogacy are regulated by the Federal Law "On the Fundamentals of Health Protection in the Russian Federation", articles 51 and 52 of the Family Code of the Russian Federation, and article 16 of the Federal Law "On Civil Status Acts".  The written agreement between a child's genetic parents and a surrogate mother is drawn up in accordance with these legal texts.  Following the birth of a child, a surrogate mother gives her written consent to have the biological parents registered as the child's parents at the Office of Vital Records and in the child's certificate of birth.  Thereafter, a surrogate mother can no longer invoke the circumstances of pregnancy and loses all rights to the newborn.

Irina

Question: How long does the search for a surrogate mother take?

Answer: A single visit to our company. There are at least 15-20 candidates in our database at all times, who have all undergone thorough examination.  Families that turn to us for our services have absolutely nothing to do with the behind-the-scenes work related to initial examinations and the creation of our active database.

Nadezhda  

Question: I want to be sure that the surrogate mother we choose is completely healthy.  Whatarethe "standardsofquality" forsurrogatemothers?   

Answer: The requirements for potential surrogate mothers are strictly regulated by legislative acts of the Russian Federation.   According to Order No. 67 of the Ministry of Public Health "On the Use of Assisted Reproductive Technologies in Treating Female and Male Infertility", any woman between 20 and 35 years of age, who has at least one healthy child of her own, can become a surrogate mother.  The woman must also be completely healthy – somatically and psychologically, and that should be confirmed by the results of medical examinations and tests.   
The examinations include:
- complete blood count and blood chemistry test (including blood grouping, Rh typing, and coagulability), urinalysis, cervical culture (including cytological screening of pap smears) and urethral culture.  The results of these tests are valid for one month.   
- blood test for infections: syphilis, hepatitis B and C, HIV.  The results are valid for three months.
- screening for infections: genital herpes, rubella, mycoplasmosis, chlamydiosis, ureaplasmosis, CMV. Valid for six months.
- fluorography; examination by a primary care physician with medical assessment of health status and confirmation of absence of contraindications for pregnancy.  The results are valid for one year.
- examination by a psychiatrist and an assessment of the woman's psychiatric health. Conducted one time.  
- complete gynecological examination.
If a woman, who wishes to become a surrogate mother, is married, her husband's written consent to her participation in the programme will be required.
In searching for a surrogate mother, one should keep in mind that surrogacy agencies that value their reputation and have their own databases of surrogate mothers are careful to ensure that their candidates for surrogate mothers fully conform to all legal and medical requirements.

Semyon and Natalia

Question: Hello! If we turn to you in our search for a surrogate mother, what services will your company offer us? 

Answer: Good afternoon!
We offer our clients a full range of services in the surrogacy programme – from the search for a candidate that fits your needs to registering your child at the Office of Vital Records.  You won't have to be placed on a waiting list; we have an extensive database of surrogate mothers, every one of our candidates conforms to all medical and legal requirements.   We offer various service packages in the surrogacy programme.  You will be able to find out exactly which services are included in the contract and for which services you will need to pay separately.   You
willnotencounterany "hiddencosts".  The payment procedure is likewise considered on an individual basis.  You can learn more about our services by visiting our website or by calling us. 

Marina

Question: Could you tell me if your company also insists on transferring only one embryo into a surrogate mother (like some other companies do), justifying it by problems that might arise with  multifetal pregnancies?  And how does the process of selecting a surrogate mother work in your company?

Answer: all candidates in the SweetChild company underwent medical examination at an independent laboratory "Invitro" in compliance with the requirements of the Ministry of Public Health; our company pays for the cost of this examination.  We will provide you with a database of candidates with their brief profiles and photos.  If you like one of our candidates, we can give you the application she filled out and the expert opinion of a staff psychologist about the young woman's psychological type. Then, if you wish, we can either invite her (in your presence) for an interview and a meeting with you, or we can sign her up on our own and send her to be examined by your primary care physician for a full battery of tests (please keep in mind that, according to Order No. 67, a surrogate mother's endocrine profile is not a required test), where she will undergo a special (IVF) gynecological examination.     Following the examination, your primary care physician will either confirm this surrogate mother's ability to take part in the programme or refuse it (justifying that refusal in a written opinion).  Occasionally, there are instances where doctors expressly forbid a woman from taking part in the programme.  If a doctor does not approve the chosen candidate, we will send another one in for the same examination.  In any case, you will be paying for our services ONLY after a full examination by your doctor. 

The number of embryos transferred during an artificial insemination via the IVF method is not something that we are responsible for.  As a general rule, two (rarely three) embryos undergo a transfer in Russia.   The decision as to the number of embryos to be transferred is governed by  written statements from you and your surrogate mother.  These statements are signed by both parties following a consultation with your reproductive endocrinologist and embryologist directly at the clinic. We have absolutely no say in that decision.

Leonid

Question: I went to one Russian company in search of a surrogate mother, but I was offered so many programmes to choose from, and they were all priced very differently; at the same time, according to them, a surrogate mother's compensation in that company is always roughly the same.  Could you, please, help me make sense out of all these different types of contracts, because I am not a lawyer?  What do I need to pay for, and what can be taken out of the contract?  

Answer: - when you contact any company, legal or medical, that provides surrogate mothers to clients, your first task is to understand what exactly is included in the price of the service.  If, in response to your questions, all you hear are vague phrases, you would do better to walk away from such contracts.  On the practical side, the surrogacy programme has a number of clear expenses:
On all the items mentioned below, you will need to confirm whether or not that particular service is included in the amount that you will be paying!!!
a) examination of the surrogate mother in accordance with Order No. 67 of the Ministry of Public Health (repeat examination, since the majority of tests are valid only short-term)
b) the cost of IVF (or other procedures performed at reproductive health clinics)
c) medications for the surrogate mother (if this service is included in the overall cost, find out at what point the surrogate mother will begin receiving medications in the dosage prescribed by your primary care physician and how long she will be provided with them)
d) the surrogate mother's transportation and living expenses (there can be variations here - for how long will the company commit to taking charge of these issues: until the initial visit to the clinic, the initial embryo transfer, pregnancy confirmation via a blood test, pregnancy confirmation with an ultrasound, or until a specific pregnancy week)
e) the company's financial obligations to the surrogate mother in the event of an unsuccessful attempt (or in the event of pregnancy termination at an early stage)
f) the company's financial obligations in paying the surrogate mother's monthly allowance (find out when the compensation will start and when it will end)
g) prenatal care in accordance with the requirements of the Ministry of Public Health (a surrogate mother can undergo care for free at her local maternity clinic, or choose paid care at specialized medical centres)
h) prevention of miscarriage (if needed)
i) the surrogate mother's labor and delivery (can be done free of charge at a clinic based on her place of residence or on a non-budget (paid) basis)
j) the actual legal component of the entire "Surrogacy" programme
k) the surrogate mother's compensation to be paid after the birth of the child
As was mentioned above, a surrogate mother's prenatal care and labor and delivery can theoretically be done free of charge;  yet, given the overall cost for the programme, we believe such economizing to be impractical.  

Maryana and Pavel

Question: What do we do if the surrogate mother wants to keep the child for herself? When exactly does she need to sign the document where she gives up her rights to the child?   

AnswerHello!
According to the current legislation, in the Russian Federation a child's mother is a woman who gave birth to that child – and this holds true until the moment that woman signs the appropriate document, wherein she gives up her rights. That is why there is always a possibility that a surrogate mother will want to keep the child, despite the agreement concluded between her and the biological parents. It is rather insignificant, but the law in this case is on the side of a surrogate mother.   A surrogate mother's  consent to register the biological parents
as the newborn's parents at the Office of Vital Records can be given at any moment after the birth of the child.  The legal deadline is one month after the birth of a child, but, generally, such a document is prepared even before the child leaves the hospital (three-five days after the delivery).  

Xenia

Question: Hello! Could you tell me what funds will be needed in addition to compensating the surrogate mothers?? Whatistheaveragecostforsurrogacy???

Answer: Good afternoon,
in addition to compensating the surrogate mother, you will incur the following expenses:
1. The cost of your examination (approximately 25000 rubles in Moscow)
2. The cost of the examination of the surrogate mother (from 15000 to 30000 rubles)
3. The cost of the services of a reproductive clinic (from 45000 to 100000 rubles for one attempt, depending on a clinic)
4. The cost of your medications (from 25000 to 60000 rubles for one stimulation of superovulation)
5. The cost of medications for the surrogate mother (from 15000 to 80000 rubles for one embryo transfer, depending on the doctor's prescription).
6. The cost of the surrogate mother's transportation and living expenses (the amount varies, depending on the place of residence and the cost of transportation).
7. Monthly room and board paid to the surrogate mother (from 10000 to 20000 rubles, depending on your agreement with the surrogate mother).
8. Prenatal care (from 55000 to 150000 rubles for three trimesters, but the surrogate mother can, in principle, undergo care at her place of residence.  Only the family itself can decide the practicality of having free prenatal care).
9. Labor and delivery (from 55000 to 490000 rubles, depending on the chosen hospital).
10. The cost of pregnancy maintenance (based
оn medical indications, from 1800 to 14000  rubles per day)
11. Other costs that tend to arise  (from 100000 rubles per pregnancy).
This is an approximate list of expenses that any family can expect to pay, when they request the services of a surrogate mother.  The prices are given for services in Moscow or Saint Petersburg; in the regions of the Russian Federation the prices for medical services are generally lower. 

A surrogate mother's compensation is always based on an agreement from both sides.  If you come to our company, we offer you ONLY comprehensive services, the so-called "patronage contracts".

Ivan

Question: Do you guarantee confidentiality for public figures, who wish to use the services of a surrogate mother? 

Answer: Hello!
For our part, we fulfill all the necessary conditions to maintain privacy.  The programme is strictly confidential.  All the information about our work with the client and the client's chosen surrogate mother is restricted.  Medical aspects of the surrogacy programme fall under the physician-patient privilege.  

Maxim

Question: Do the child's biological parents have to be married, in order to use the surrogacy programme? 

Answer: Good afternoon!
No
, this is no longer necessary condition.  According to the Law "On the Fundamentals of Health Protection in the Russian Federation", you can simply come to the Office of Vital Records and register the child born via a surrogate mother (naturally, you will need to have the surrogate mother's written consent).  You will not need to prove your rights in court.  The same is true for single women.

Nikolai

Question: My wife cannot give birth, and we desperately need an heir, a boy!  Will a surrogate mother be able to help us? 

Answer: If you cannot give birth to a child due to medical reasons, you can, of course, use the services of a surrogate mother.  However, no one can guarantee you that the resulting child will be a boy. The PGD-diagnostics are performed by medical indications in order to detect chromosomal abnormalities.  It is impossible to "order" the sex of your child.

ХХ

Question: I am not married, but I wish to have a child.  Can I use the services of a surrogate mother?

Answer: The goal of surrogacy is to help women have children, when they are incapable of giving birth themselves due to medical reasons. This is regulated by corresponding articles of the Law " On the Fundamentals of Health Protection in the Russian Federation".  If you cannot carry a child to term yourself, if you have congenital  reproductive tract anomalies, if you have already undergone several unsuccessful IVF attempts – then, yes, based on medical recommendations you can take part in the surrogacy programme. If you are capable of carrying a child to term yourself, however, your desire to take part in the programme alone is not enough, even if you have the financial capabilities for it.

Dmitry  

Question: Goodafternoon. I would like to know if I could, with the help of a surrogate mother, become the child's only parent down the line?

Answer: Good afternoon.
Your question is not very clear. Are you a single man and wish to use the services of a surrogate mother? If so, then using such a programme is not an option for you. Surrogacy is not a whim, nor is it a means of solving a demographic issue.  Surrogacy is a medical method of INFERTILITY TREATMENT!!! Moreover, the Family Code of the Russian Federation states that ONLY A MARRIED COUPLE can use the services of a surrogate mother!!!! We responded to such questions many times even on this website.  We are going to say this again: the services of a surrogate mother can be used only by MARRIED COUPLES (whose marriage has been officially registered by the Office of Vital Records), who have MEDICAL INDICATIONS for using this particular treatment method (in other words, this couple cannot conceive their own child any other way).  So, dear Dmitry, you will need to find a simpler solution to your particular problem, without involving the services of a surrogate mother. 
Good
luck!

Irina

Question: Is inseminating a surrogate mother with my husband's sperm considered legal?

Answer: - You can perform this type of medical procedure (if you find a reproductive clinic that agrees to it).  But this will have nothing to do with surrogacy.  According to the current Russian legislation and bylaws, a surrogate mother is a woman that agrees to carry a genetically foreign child to term for a married couple.