Friday, June 11, 2021

Surrogacy and the Russian Church

My expectation, backed by the experiences of women in the third world (chiefly India), is that there is a danger of a breeding underclass developing. Women of varying ability to make decisions about when and how often their wombs are used for people to order children off the shelf. And of course the dangers of "imperfect" aka "not what I ordered" children left in some bizarre undeclared limbo. It's all very Zardoz.

Moscow, June 11 (Interfax) - The Russian Orthodox Church has welcomed parliamentarians' initiative to ban foreigners from using the services of surrogate mothers in Russia, calling on the State Duma in its future convocation to support the bill.

"Such an initiative, aimed at saving children, cannot help but make us, Orthodox Christians, the entire family community, and citizens of Russia happy. We are sincerely thankful, and we fully support the authors, experts, the people who drafted this bill, all political and public figures who raised this issue, covered it in the media and on social networks, and who support the speedy introduction of a ban on taking children out of Russia under the guise of surrogate motherhood," priest Fyodor Lukyanov, the head of the patriarch's commission on family issues, said in a statement obtained by Interfax.

A bill on surrogate motherhood was submitted to the State Duma on Friday. The document provides that at least one of the future parents or a single woman using the surrogate program in the territory of Russia has to have Russian citizenship.

The head of the patriarch's commission called the new bill "a test for humanity" for Russian society and said its adoption will help stop "the disgraceful practice of selling children for export." The priest said he believes the deaths of children born to surrogate mothers and high-profile criminal cases have shown that surrogate motherhood in Russia has turned into "an immoral, inhumane, and sometimes bloody business, closely intertwined with trafficking in children."

Before the parliamentary elections, the Church representative invited politicians who care about Russia's future, regardless of their political views and differences on other issues, to clearly and publicly assume the obligation in their future work to protect and support families, parents' rights, traditional family and moral values, and protect the holy value of human life.

"We are asking the legislators of the future convocation of the State Duma to give special attention to issues related to taking care of people, protecting children's lives, including before birth, and support the submitted bill governing surrogate motherhood as a step toward saving people's lives," the head of the patriarch's commission said in a statement.

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