Family relations

Annulment of marriage

The Family Code of the Russian Federation provides that if one of espoused individuals concealed from his/her counterpart existing venereal disease or HIV infection, the latter shall have the right to file for annulment of marriage. A marriage shall be recognized as annulled as from the date of its registration. Annulment of marriage shall be done by the court.

Provisions of a family legislation do not apply towards property jointly acquired by individuals whose marriage is recognized as annulled. If prenuptial agreement took place it shall be recognized as invalid. Provisions of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation shall be applied toward such property.

Annulment of marriage shall not have any impact on the interests of children born in this marriage or within 300 days after its annulment.

When making decision on annulment of marriage, the court may recognize the right of a bona fide spouse, whose rights were violated by this marriage, to receive allowance from the other spouse in compliance with article 90 and 91 of the Family Code and the right for separation of property jointly acquired before the marriage was annulled.

The bona fide spouse shall have a right to claim compensation for monetary and non-pecuniary damages.

Adoption of children by HIV+ individuals

A person incapable of performing parental duties due to poor health conditions shall not have a right to adopt children as per article 127 of the Family Code of the Russian Federation. List of diseases prohibiting child adoption both as a ward (acting as a guardian) and as a foster family, was approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 542 of May 1, 1996.

The above mentioned list includes:

  • tuberculosis;
  • diseases of internal viscera, excitatory and locomotor systems in failure stage;
  • malignant cancer tumors of various locations;
  • drug addiction or abuse, alcoholism;
  • infectious diseases in follow-up care stage;
  • mental disorders which resulted in recognition of an individual as legally incapable or impaired;
  • any disease or injury that resulted in physical disability of I and II categories (with no working ability).


Therefore, HIV infection may become an obstacle for child adoption if HIV+ person is registered at AIDS Center.

Today, AIDS service organizations are fighting for cancellation of this legal norm and it may become possible that in the near future HIV+ individuals will be granted a right for child adoption. As of today, cases are registered when HIV+ individuals wishing to adopt a child had to do it through their relatives for legal purposes becoming per se just caregivers and mentors for these children. There are registered successful cases of enforcement of adoption rights in a court.