Thursday, 16 May
09:30 - 11:30
Hall #4, General Staff Building (6-8, Dvortsovaya sq.)
Russia has almost the most liberal laws on assisted reproductive treatment (ART). The Russian law does not prohibit surrogate maternity, including surrogacy for commercial purposes, and expressly provide for different ARTs use not only by spouses but also by a man and a woman who are not married, as well as by a single woman. The 21nd century has already witnessed the childbirth after some years after the parent’s death and the use of mitochondrial substitution therapy ('three-parent babies').
However, current public order systems have not expressed their attitude to one of the key legal questions arising in this respect: whether an embryo should be recognized legally competent. Gametes donorship has inevitably resulted in recognition of the proprietary rights thereto. Would the embryos produced on commission and waiting for their time to be used in a cryochamber become subject to civil-law rights and, maybe, the subject of former spouses’ disputes for marital property division?
No laws on civil registration of births, deaths and marriages give the answer to the question how to register a baby born as the result of ART application and to avoid conflicts between spouses, between customer spouses and a surrogate mother, between a surrogate mother and a genetic mother (unmarried customer). In absence of doctrinal legal approaches to the essence of actions aimed at a human being 'creation', the judicial system is devising the legal concept of the right to a child and is trying to apply it to either customer parents or a surrogate mother, while a child’s rights and interests should be the priority.
ARTs are used not only as a type of a medical business. In many countries they are a part of government demography policies as far as IVF (in vitro fertilization) attempts are sometimes covered by mandatory medical insurance plans. What legal support of the respective services do we need for transition from payments for attempts to have a baby to payments for successful results?
Acting Chairman of the Board, Alexeev Private Law Research Center Under the President of the Russian Federation
Head of Infertility Department, Mariinsky Hospital
Chairman of the judicial structure for family justice and cases for the protection of children, Supreme Court of the Russian Federation
President, Russian Association of Human Reproduction (RAHR)
General Director, Jurmeister Ltd
Professor, Ural State Law University
Chair of the Committee on Social Policy, Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation
* The Programme may be subject to change
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