MOSCOW, July 22. / TASS /. The Presidential Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights (HRC) helps foreign parents who have used surrogacy in Russia to reunite with their children amid restrictions on travel between countries due to the coronavirus. Deputy Chairman of the HRC Irina Kirkora told reporters about this on Wednesday.
The Human Rights Council received appeals through the proxies of foreign parents who took advantage of surrogacy in the Russian Federation and now, due to the restrictions introduced against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, cannot reunite with their children, she said. Parents of two children via video link told reporters that one child has already been born, the agency for surrogacy is now taking care of him, and the other is just about to be born. The press conference showed several videos from parents who cannot pick up their children born of surrogate mothers, but they want to maintain confidentiality.
"We are working on this issue in order to restore families, help parents see their babies, take them in their arms and fulfill their parental responsibilities in relation to these children," said Kirkora.
According to her, the problem is that there are no tests that would confirm the relationship of foreigners with children. "Parents are ready to confirm their physical relationship with a child who is on the territory of the Russian Federation, but is their biological child. Our task is to help as quickly as possible with the organization of the testing process, with the organization of the physical possibility of family reunification. This is a visa, this is an entry, it is possible, There are a lot of nuances that I would like to implement as quickly as possible. Many officials have been working in this direction for a long time, and I hope we will soon be able to talk about family reunification, "said Kirkora.
Answering a question from journalists about the situation with children found at the end of June in an apartment at a house on Argunovskaya Street in Moscow, Kirkora noted that "children cannot be material evidence in a criminal case," in any case, it is important to establish genetic relationship with parents and speed up procedures family reunification.
She also expressed the opinion that the legislation of the Russian Federation needs to be supplemented taking into account transnational situations that arise in surrogacy. "But not to prohibit, not to deprive childless parents of the happiness of motherhood, a complete family with their biological children," said the Deputy Chairperson of the HRC.
Child trafficking case
The Basmanny Court of Moscow previously arrested seven defendants in the case of trafficking in children from surrogate mothers, another was placed under house arrest. The main person involved is on the federal wanted list, he is in Prague and is ready to come to Russia after the resumption of international flights. Among those arrested, in addition to obstetricians, gynecologists and urologists, there is a translator and general director of the center for surrogacy.
The first criminal case was initiated in January 2020 by the Investigation Department for the city of Odintsov of the Main Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia for the Moscow Region on the grounds of crimes under Part 1 of Art. 109 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation ("Causing death by negligence") and paragraphs "b", "d", "h" part 2 of Art. 127.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation ("Trafficking in Human Beings"). It was initiated upon the discovery of the body of a newborn boy in one of the apartments in the VNIISSOK village.Later, part of Article 127.1 of the Criminal Code was re-qualified for a more serious one, the case was transferred to the central office of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation.
Yulia Ivanova, a representative of the Main Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee for Moscow, told TASS that at the end of June, five babies aged from six days to six months were found in an apartment at a house on Argunovskaya Street in Moscow. There were two women with them. The investigating authorities also opened a criminal case under Art. 127.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation ("Trafficking in Human Beings"). Later, law enforcement officers detained a Chinese citizen who was in this apartment, where they found abandoned babies. According to a TASS source in law enforcement agencies, the babies found turned out to be children of surrogate mothers, born for Chinese citizens. Documents in Russian and Chinese about IVF procedures and surrogacy agreements were found in the apartment.