MOSCOW (AP) — The lower house of the Russian parliament has passed a bill banning foreigners from using Russian surrogate mothers. The bill adopted by the State Duma mandates that only married Russian citizens or single Russian women who cannot give birth to a child for medical reasons will be able to use the services of surrogate mothers. Paid surrogacy is legal in Russia, but religious groups have criticized the practice as too commercial and linked it to crime. Vyacheslav Volodin, the parliament speaker, said Thursday’s decision was made in order to protect Russian children. According to Volodin, writing on Telegram last week, about 45,000 babies born by surrogate mothers have been taken abroad over the past few years.
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