Russian authorities have warned members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) + community of a potential arrest if they continue fathering children to surrogate mothers.
A report by The Independent quoting a source representing Russia’s Investigative Committee (IC) over the weekend said that LGBT+ members’ surrogacy equates to trafficking as it was “an offence for men with a non-traditional orientation to provide sperm for in vitro fertilization.
“We plan to arrest a number of suspects, single men, and Russian citizens, who have used surrogate mothers to give birth to children,” the source said.
Kremlin has yet to issue an official statement backing the source’s statement but a quote from Russia’s state news agency TASS appeared to be warning the LGBT community that the country was in preparations to take a much closer interest in the most intimate aspect of citizens’ lives.
Independent said that state authorities have so far jailed seven people and put three children in care—in connection with the criminal case which was opened in January following the death of a baby boy.
The deceased baby was discovered along with four other children and two women, who were in charge of the babies, while in a condominium unit in Moscow.
Investigators in July claimed that the incident was baby trafficking as papers were being prepared for their Filipino parents to take them back home. The medical staff and lawyer who facilitated it were likewise arrested.
“Babies, unfortunately, do die, and especially when we are talking about [IVF] technology,” lawyer Igor Trunov, who was representing the parents in the case, was quoted as saying.
“Whatever you do, you should not believe state investigators when they say they are acting out of interests of child welfare. They have chosen to send three eleven-month-old kids to a children’s psychiatric facility,” he added.
Trunov said that his clients were planning to sue the Russian government for supposedly “abducting” their children who were de jure “foreign citizens.”
“They want to connect baby trafficking to the idea of sexual orientation, knowing how that resonates with the wider public,” Trunov said. “They understand no one is going to stand up for gays.”
IVF treatments in Russia were allowed explicitly for couples and single women, but it neither permits nor prohibits the practice for single fathers.
However, single fathers’ parenting via surrogacy has already been successfully defended in Russian courts.
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