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09:26 16 Oct 2021

Surrogacy bill must be amended, Ombudsperson believes

Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmyla Denisova says contradictions must be fixed in the bill on surrogacy before it is tabled for a vote.

Denisova reflected on the required amendments in a Telegram post.

"I pointed out the need to further amend the bill, as it contains a number of unresolved contradictions," Denisova told a working group on the legislative regulation of surrogacy, where the bill "On the use of assisted reproductive technologies" was discussed.

According to the Verkhovna Rada commissioner, she drew the participants' attention to the fact that the new law should be aimed at respecting the rights of all persons it covers. She also stressed the inadmissibility of violating the right to privacy and confidentiality through the proposed introduction of public control over the use of assisted reproductive technologies and the establishment of commissions to vet applications filed by those willing to use surrogacy services in health care facilities and women intending to become surrogate mothers.

Denisova believes it will be more effective to introduce government control over health care facilities providing assisted reproduction services.

The ombudsperson stands opposed to the proposed amount and conditions of compensation to those caring for a newborn until they reach 3 years of age in case their genetic parents refuse to accept them or the handover procedure cannot be held at their fault. The condition as such contradicts current legislation, while the legal status of a caretaker as regards a child remains uncertain. This is against the best interests of a child, Denisova believes, as the further handover from one family to another would be traumatic for a child.

Also, the norms regulating the process of informing the donor about the peculiarities of the genetic material collection must be improved.

The Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights also proposed to upgrade provisions on the use of cells.

"I consider it necessary for the bill to lay down liability for a surrogate mother's refusal to give her newborn to genetic parents, as well as for genetic parents' refusal to take the child, and for the health care facility's failure to offer unused cryopreserved embryos to another patient," she said.

Denisova said the working group would be informed of her official position.

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