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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

China mulls commercial surrogacy ban

Chinese officials are debating stricter legislation and larger fines for illegal agencies that offer the increasingly popular service of surrogate parenthood, Xinhua News Agency's China Comment website has reported.

The report claimed the booming industry charges up to 1.2 million yuan ($196,000) for a surrogate pregnancy with options for foreign citizenship for the newborn. The illegal packages allegedly provide a healthy surrogate mother, hospital delivery and official birth certificates,.

A Guangzhou-based surrogacy company, which handles about 300 cases a year, said it charges 510,000 yuan on average for a single surrogacy case. The company said it charges 180,000 yuan to select a baby's gender, 190,000 yuan in payment to the surrogate mother, and 50,000 yuan for hospitals and other expenses.

Prices are reportedly higher for those seeking foreign citizenship for their children.

Surrogate mothers typically sign contracts with clients and surrogacy agencies ensuring benefits during pregnancy and compensation for failed operations. Such contracts are illegal, however, so mothers have no legal recourse if things go wrong.,

For example, a 32-year-old surrogate mother from Hubei lost twins in a miscarriage six months into her pregnancy. She asked for 30,000 yuan from her agency and clients, but they refused to pay her.

An Aug 2001 regulation by the former Ministry of Health, which has since been incorporated into the National Health and Family Planning Commission, forbid doctors and medical agencies from conducting surrogacy operations. Since then, any agencies caught conducting surrogacy can be fined up to 30,000 yuan.

In a bid to further discourage the practice, officials from the National Health and Family Planning Commission said they will push for laws banning surrogate parenthood nationwide. They are also looking to raise the fine for surrogacy agencies, said the report.


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