China prohibits surrogacy services, many people spend thousands of dollars abroad looking for surrogacy services.
On January 18, actress Trinh Sang was accused of abandoning her twin in the US after hiring a surrogate. It is illegal in this country to attract public opinion and to cause controversy by hiring a pregnant woman. Topics related to scandals and surrogacy attracted more than 4.2 billion views on social networking site Sina Weibo. Some state agencies criticized Trinh Sang’s irresponsibility, and at the same time intensified propaganda against surrogacy.
“China prohibits all forms of surrogacy. The surrogacy and abandonment of children violate public order and morality. Human networks are not toys,” said the Central Committee of the Communist Youth Union. Chinese comments on January 19.
On the evening of the same day, the Committee on Political and Legal Affairs also commented on Trinh Sang’s case, claiming that she had taken advantage of the loopholes of the law and was certainly not innocent. According to Article 3 of the Chinese Administrative Code on Human Assisted Reproductive Technology, enacted in 2001, health facilities and employees are not allowed to perform any form of surrogacy.
Zhang Jing, a marriage lawyer in Beijing, said that Cheng’s scandal sheds a worrying gray area in China. Although surrogacy is illegal, people who pay to travel abroad to rent the service will not be held responsible before national law.
There are two forms of surrogacy: transplanting a couple’s fertilized eggs into a pregnant woman’s uterus or using the pregnant woman’s own egg and the father’s sperm. This procedure can be an effective solution for infertile, infertile couples.
Since medical organizations and professionals are banned from supporting this behavior, many seek services overseas. Ukraine is one of the countries with the largest industry of surrogacy among Chinese parents. Experts estimate that each year 2,500 to 3,000 children are born through surrogacy in the country, of which a third are for Chinese customers.
According to Ulovebaby, this service broker, the cost of giving birth is $ 50,000. “The price fluctuates depending on the customer’s request,” said Kang, an employee of the company. A package of surrogacy with a guaranteed “100% success” will be more expensive.
Kang refused to provide the actual number of customers in China, but revealed that more than 12,500 people consulted the company. Kang and his colleagues regularly advertise the service on Chinese social networking platforms. Every three to four weeks, they post pictures or short videos of a pregnant white woman, asserting that both the surrogate mother and the baby are healthy.
People from the LGBT community (gay, bisexual and transgender) who want to be parents are also potential customers. In an October 2020 post, Kang’s agency shared a photo of a young woman of the same height, blood type with the description: “This is our high quality ‘egg girl’. She just signed a contract. Her condition is so good that she has 25 eggs. “
Kang said his company will take care of pregnant mothers. “We arrange more checkups for them than the domestic maternity hospitals,” he assured.
Liu Ningguang, general manager of China headquarters at Global Fertility Genetics, an international provider of surrogacy, says many Chinese come to the United States legally to do this. The average cost is $ 170,000, which includes pre-examination, medicine, agent and attorney. According to Liu, Chinese parents must complete a DNA test, sign a birth certificate and travel permit after the baby is born to legally bring the child back home.
During the pandemic, when governments imposed social exclusion orders, the surrogacy industry in many countries was affected. Infants are trapped because their parents cannot enter a foreign country. In the US, prospective parents can hire a temporary guardian, avoiding the situation of their children being in medical facilities for too long.
Although surrogacy in China is considered illegal, many brokers are still undercover. Yang, an employee at a facility in Guangdong province, said the hiring process is very simple.
“Before you come here, you need to have a physical examination at the hospital to know your condition, then the company will do an procedure to stimulate ovulation (for the woman). If you want to have a boy, you should choose third-generation IVF technology, which costs around 500,000 yuan, “Yang said. After the baby is born, the mother-in-law receives 180,000 to 300,000 yuan.
Luo Ruixue, an expert on feminism and gender equality, said that labor is a way for many women to make ends meet. But in most cases, they were not informed of the potential risks. “Unlike mental or physical labor, surrogacy can have big consequences,” she said.
Many mothers who “rent out the womb” are exploited, abused and detained by the management company under inhumane conditions. These units often target young, financially and socially difficult women to recruit with winged words. For example, a woman in Ukraine can earn 20,000 USD from surrogacy, 8 times more than the average income. But authorities have reported many cases of women giving birth to poor treatment, losing money if they miscarriage or not following strict requirements.
“People fear that if the government allows surrogacy, the uterus will become a means of production, which can be sold or rented. In the face of gender inequality, many women choose to hire as a surrogate, from which be despised, “said Luo.
Most Chinese are opposed to surrogacy because they don’t want to treat children as commodities. Concern has caused many countries to shut down their booming industry. Last year, the United Nations warned “commercial surrogacy often leads to the trafficking of children”.
Thuc Linh (According to the Global Times, BBC)