MOSCOW, December 9 (RAPSI) – Deputy Chair of Russia’s Presidential Human Rights Council Irina Kirkora has urged not to ban surrogate maternity in Russia, since for many couples it is the only means to have children, according to a statement on the body’s official website.

Russia’s Health Ministry develops a plan envisaging that private medical centers are to be deprived of the right to provide surrogacy services; the proposal was voiced by Ministry official Elena Baibarina at the hearings on amendments to the legislation required to counter the market of fertility treatment tourism hosted by the Civic Chamber. She cited the Ministry statistics demonstrating that currently 424 state clinics and 825 private medical establishments provide fertility treatment nationwide.

The Human Rights Council did not back this initiative. According to the body’s Deputy Chair, it would be unfair to deprive couples of the only available option to have children because of isolated violations registered across private clinics, instead, these services needed to be developed further in the right direction.

Among the required changes, Kirkora said, are the creation of a single register of children born under surrogacy programs, development of proper procedures and formats, licensing of centers providing fertility treatment services, introduction of measures ensuring greater public awareness of the respective activities, provision of surrogacy services to foreign nationals, if recommended by Russian doctors.