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Media materials

Prenatal Adoption: to Kill or to Adopt?


Participant: K.N. Svitnev
Date: 01.06.2007
"Радио России"


Interactive talk show with Igor Gmyiza with participation of Konstantin Svitnev, expert of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, is dedicated to the alternative: abortion due to social grounds or adoption?

The 1st of June is the International Children's Day. Naturally, defense of the new generation is a good thing, but hardly anyone remembers the children who were never born. They were killed due to the so-called "social grounds", killed in the womb. They had no chance. Just because they weren't given any chance.

In Russia there are around 5 million registered abortions every year. At the same time, out of 42 million Russian families 4.7% do not have children due to health reasons, and this makes around 5 million. Out of these 5 million 3 million could have become parents in case of proper treatment. Bus 2 million couples of reproductive age still should give up hope to have their own children. How could we help them and those who can not bring up a child or do not want to?

Commenting on the abortions on social grounds, K. Sitnev mentioned that, first of all, the problem of abortions should be considered in its entirety. Not only abortions due to social or medical grounds, but abortions women have just because the child is unwanted and at this very moment this particular woman can not take the responsibility for the child. Among the reasons are poor financial conditions, pregnancy fear, etc.

Anyway, the abortions statistics in Russia is terrible. Even according to the official statistics, for 1 million 540 thousand births there are 1 million 610 thousand abortions. During the last six years (2000-2006) over 10 million lives were killed. This figure can be compared to the population of Moscow.

At that, up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, an abortion can be made by any woman, who will easily find an advertisement of the abortion mill, where she will be welcomed and where her child will be killed with pleasure. As far as abortion after 12 weeks is concerned, social grounds are necessary for the murder. The list of social grounds for abortion is known. Recently it has been narrowed. And though formally abortion after 12 weeks is prohibited, many doctors would pretend not to see, for a certain consideration, that the particular child is not 12, but 14-15 weeks old. And, unfortunately, such possibility always exists.

As to abortion after 12 weeks, to the social grounds refer imprisonment, death or invalidity of the husband during pregnancy, and several other similar reasons. Nowadays the low living standards are no longer grounds for abortion. But the main reason behind the decision to have an abortion is still the unsatisfactory material and housing conditions.

K. Svitnev thinks that the state could solve this problem by introducing the prenatal adoption scheme, i.e. adoption before birth. So the woman who wants to have an abortion as she can not accept the responsibility for the future child, could address to the state bank of such mothers and through it to communicate with the family who would like to adopt her child immediately after birth and who could take the responsibility for arrangement of the birthing mother facilities and living conditions as of the time of entering into a relevant agreement, and to pay her a certain sum after the birth of the child for rehabilitation.

According to K. Svitnev, if such provision were adopted, the number of abortions in Russia would decrease by tens and hundreds of cases. For this purpose the RF Family Code and a number of other regulatory documents should be amended. This doe not require any special financing on the part of the state.

How would it work with the existing adoption secret? The adoption secrecy in the country would be kept, that is why confidentiality will be of great importance when implementing the scheme. In any case, the adoption secret (regardless of whether it is a traditional or prenatal abortion) should be protected by law.

Recently, the State Duma has been considering the idea of introducing an abortion prohibition. Sitnev thinks that any prohibition is destructive, it does not solve the problem, but forces it into the depth, and there might be no way out from there. In nay way, abortions will persist, but instead of legal they will become criminal. The Soviet Union faced the times when the abortions were prohibited. But women found one opportunity or the other to end their unwanted pregnancy.

The main problem for today, says the guest of the programme, is to change the opinion of the society about the women ho could have kept their child alive and transfer it to the potential adoptive parents immediately after its birth. From K. Svitnev's point of view, such women should be encouraged (though women who chose abortion should not be disapproved of either). There should be appropriate legal conditions, so that women who do not wish to have an abortion would have a chance not to do so.

As we know, the problem is often that the woman receives minimal sums to support while she is pregnant and that the woman is sure that the child born by her will have caring and loving parents, for which purpose she should know the future parents of her child.


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As of August 1 2007, Rosjurconsulting has been awarded the status of agency of the Union of Lawyers of Moscow.

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