Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Surrogacy in China: available but illegal

The Global Times has this story:
Surrogacy to ‘remain illegal’ By Liu Caiyu  

"China will not legalize surrogacy and will crack down on the crime, China's top health authority said Wednesday, after the People's Daily published an article hinting at support for the practice for older mothers.

Surrogacy is a complex problem involving law and ethics, and most nations and regions in the world ban any form of surrogacy and punish participating institutes and personnel, said Mao Qunan, a spokesperson with China's National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), said Wednesday during a press conference in Beijing.

"The commission and the government will continue to crack down on surrogacy and ensure the public can get safe and effective assisted reproductive technology," Mao said.

Since China eased its one-child policy in 2014, allowing couples to have a second child if either parent is an only child, and further loosened it to allow all couples to have two children in January 2016, more older mothers are trying to conceive, but are finding it difficult, a People's Daily article on Friday said.

The article quoted a doctor as saying that nearly 90 percent of women cannot conceive naturally after the age of 45. The average age for a final pregnancy is around the age of 40, although the number of older women giving birth has seen a continuous increase.

Among the 90 million families in China eligible to have a second child, 60 percent of the women are above 35 years old and 50 percent are over  40, data released by the NHFPC in January 2016 shows. In 1996, only 0.4 percent of women above 45 gave birth, rising to 4 percent in 2005 and 10 percent in 2015, it said.

Although China has a huge demand for surrogacy services, from both an ethical and legal standpoint, it is not feasible to legalize it now, Xia Yinlan, a professor at the China University of Political Science and Law,  told the Global Times.

"Legalizing surrogacy could worsen the problem of trafficked women, which is not humane and would increase discrimination against women," said Xia."

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