By Andrea Rodrigo BSc, MSc (embryologist).
Last Update: 03/22/2016

Russia presents a rather wide legal framework regarding assisted reproduction treatment; therefore, several fertility treatments are allowed, including donor conception.

Thanks to it, couples from other parts of the world where assisted reproduction entails many restrictions as regards the use of donor eggs travel to Russia when they are in need of assisted conception using donor gametes.

In November 2011, the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation passed the bill with the headline “Federal Law On Fundamentals of Protection of Public Health in the Russian Federation”, which establishes in which cases is assisted reproduction indicated and which techniques are allowed. Nowadays, legal bases regulating fertility treatments in this country continue to be supported by the Federal Law on Public Health Protection.

Types of donor conception

Egg donation, as well as sperm donation, is permitted by law in two versions from the point of view of the economic compensation donors are paid. Thus, both altruistic and commercial egg donation are allowed.

Egg donors are required to be aged between 20 and 35 years, and should have given birth previously, thereby proving their fertility potential. As for sperm donors, they can donate their reproductive cells up until the age of 40. Besides, every donor must be medically screened to verify whether they actually enjoy good health.

With respect to egg and sperm donor identity, Russian law allows them to remain anonymous, in which case no identifiable data about the receiving person or couple will be revealed to the donor. On the other hand, patients have the right to get information about the overall health state of the egg or sperm donor, as well as some of his/her general physical features.

The principle that donor identity must be preserved is a fundamental one, which means there is no possible way donors and recipients can build a relationship between them. Only in case the clinic considered it necessary from a medical point of view, the egg donor agency or sperm bank would do so by acting as intermediaries.

Non-anonymous donor conception is another possibility addressed by law. In this case, patients can meet their egg or sperm donor. However, the donor must be either a relative or close friend of the patient. Of course, such known donor must undergo the same medical tests performed on every anonymous donor in order to verify no risk is involved in using his/her gametes.

Access to assisted reproduction in Russia

Being a Russian citizen or a permanent resident in the Russian Federation is not a prerequisite: foreign patients pursuing a fertility treatment in Russia have equal right to access them.

According to law, users of assisted reproduction techniques are heterosexual couples and single women, regardless of whether they are married. Nevertheless, always before starting a fertility treatment, patients must sign an informed medical consent where they authorize the performance of any medical intervention necessary for concluding the fertility treatment that best fits their needs.

Same-sex couples, consisting of either two males of females, are not allowed to undergo assisted reproductive technologies.

Russian law does not establish an age limit to access assisted reproduction treatment, but just says it must be a woman of legal age (18 years old or older). Broadly speaking, patients up to 50 years are accepted into fertility treatment programs, although some women exceeding this age may be accepted as well, provided that the clinic is willing to run the risks these cases may entail.

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Authors and contributors

 Andrea Rodrigo
BSc, MSc
Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the University of Valencia along with the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Postgraduate course in Medical Genetics. More information
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One comment

    1. Lucy_0234

      Russia will eventually work as the USA on this matter, I’m pretty sure! I think no one should have an opinion on economic compensations or money. That is a thing for the donor and parents to decide, and if they wish to compensate well the donor, what is your problem?