Uncover the mystery of surrogacy underground industry chain: the abnormal prosperity of “black market” and increasing disputes


Original title: abnormal prosperity of “black market” and increasing disputes
Reporter Huang Xiao, Shuai Cai, Dong Xiaohong and Mao Yizhu
“Xinhua view” reporter survey found that in recent years, the domestic underground “surrogacy black market” presents abnormal prosperity, and all kinds of disputes and risks caused by surrogacy are also increasing.
Provide a variety of “package” services, including paternity testing “through-train” quotation of more than 700000 yuan
After many failures of IVF, a couple in their 40s in Chengdu thought of finding a surrogate. “My husband said that if he didn’t have children, he would divorce. I can’t help thinking about the relationship between husband and wife for so many years. I can only try it everywhere. ” Qin fan, 42, said helplessly.
Qin Fan said that they found a surrogate agency in Guangzhou and offered 900000 yuan for surrogacy in Thailand. At present, the couple are pooling money to try.
Although our country’s law explicitly forbids medical institutions and medical personnel to implement any form of surrogacy technology, in recent years, the underground industry chain of surrogacy has become increasingly active, the scale has been expanding, and the hidden tentacles have been extended to ordinary people. Reporter investigation found that in many obstetrics and Gynecology hospitals on the toilet door, “surrogate”, “sell eggs”, “Bao Sheng son” and other small ads are particularly many.
According to people familiar with the matter, surrogacy can be divided into three types: first, sperm and eggs are provided by the demander, and embryo transfer is carried out after in vitro fertilization, using the surrogate mother’s uterus for gestation; second, only sperm comes from the demander, and eggs are provided by the donor, and pregnant by the surrogate mother; third, only eggs are provided by the demander, and pregnant by the surrogate mother after in vitro fertilization with the third-party sperm. Some surrogacy agencies also provide a variety of “package” services according to the demand, with clear price tag.
The reporter contacted a customer service Xiaofu named “tianbao’er medical” in Changsha, Hunan Province as a customer. According to the price list she provided, it costs 110000 yuan only for egg or sperm donation and transplantation, and 350000 yuan only for surrogacy. It covers the “one-stop” service of egg donation, transplantation, surrogacy and paternity testing. The “zero risk” package that promises to hold the baby for two years is 738000 yuan.
The reporter searched the information of “tianbao’er medical” in Tianyan search, and found that the enterprise of “tianbao’er medical” is Wuhan tianbao’er Medical Consulting Service Co., Ltd., with the business scope of health consulting (excluding diagnosis and treatment), medical system software development, medical information consulting, medical equipment technical consulting and technical services. Egg donation and transplantation are diagnostic and therapeutic operations, which are not within the scope of its business.
The related competitive product information shows that there are 36 enterprises providing similar services in Guangdong, Beijing, Yunnan, Sichuan and other places. Most of these enterprises have the keyword “IVF consulting service” in their profiles, but almost all of them have no qualification for diagnosis and treatment.
The reporter walked into a so-called “reproductive health consulting” company in Chengdu. On the surface, the company provides health consultation and overseas medical treatment for infertile patients. In fact, it also acts as a surrogate agency. The company’s official microblog also openly mentions “thank surrogate mother” and other contents. When the reporter put forward the details and related contracts of the surrogacy package, the other party was vigilant, requiring the registration of personal ID number and the issuance of marriage certificate.
Multiple risks behind: surrogate mothers are often treated in “black clinics”, with defective children or rejected by their parents
The reporter found that the core group of surrogacy is the elderly families who lost their only child and the people who lost the ability of self pregnancy due to illness.
Although surrogacy service is forbidden in our country, it has not stopped the pace of barbaric expansion of surrogacy industry. Surrogacy into the underground, some people pay high prices to take illegal ways. Illegal surrogacy breaks the traditional concept and order of childbearing, and brings a series of medical, legal and ethical risks.
First, medical risks. Zhu Yimin, director of Reproductive Endocrinology Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital Affiliated to Medical College of Zhejiang University, said that egg retrieval operations in regular hospitals have high requirements on the environment and must be sterile and constant temperature. However, most of the underground surrogacy often look for informal clinics to collect eggs. There are some problems, such as incomplete disinfection, repeated use of instruments, nonstandard operation and so on. Egg donors and surrogate mothers may encounter health risks.
Ms. Han (not her real name), who lives in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, became a surrogate mother through an intermediary in 2017. Ms. Han said the operation was carried out in an underground black clinic. But in the third month of gestation, Ms. Han went to the hospital for examination and suddenly found that she was infected with syphilis. Therefore, the client went back and asked Ms. Han to have an abortion. Ms. Han was worried about her older age and the damage to her health caused by abortion, so she chose to give birth. Today, the child is three years old, but due to identity problems, has been unable to register.
Second, legal risk. In recent years, there are many legal disputes caused by surrogacy, including surrogacy contract disputes, custody disputes and inheritance disputes caused by surrogacy.
Cai Ping, a lawyer from Jiangsu Leshi law firm, said that babies cannot be used as trading commodities, so surrogacy contracts are illegal and invalid. “Even if the surrogacy agreement is signed, the contractual rights and interests expected by the parties are not protected by law.”
Recently, the people’s Court of Nansha District of Guangdong Free Trade Zone concluded a surrogacy dispute. Chen, a Guangdong woman, signed a contract with a medical tourism group, which promised to provide the best medical resources in Thailand for IVF and surrogacy services. Chen asked for a full refund of 380000 Yuan when the operation failed. The court held that the surrogacy contract was invalid, the company had major fault, and Chen knew that the surrogacy violated China’s law and public order and customs, and also had fault; the court decided that the company would return 160000 yuan to Chen after deducting the cost of providing relevant services for him.
Third, ethical risk. Shi Jie, a lawyer from Sichuan Dingli law firm, believes that surrogacy challenges traditional moral and ethical values, tramples on the dignity of surrogate mothers and surrogate children, and women become “reproductive machines”. After the birth of some surrogate children, once the parents’ feelings break down, the surrogate children will be in a very embarrassing situation. Some surrogate children are considered as “defective products” because of their physiological and organic defects, which are rejected by their parents.
We should speed up legislation to plug loopholes and strengthen the crackdown on illegal acts

China’s former Ministry of Health issued the “human assisted reproductive technology management measures” in 2001, which clearly stipulates that the sale of gametes, zygotes and embryos in any form is prohibited. Medical institutions and medical personnel shall not implement any form of surrogacy technology. The administrative department of health should give a warning, impose a fine of less than 30000 yuan, and give administrative punishment to the responsible person for the act of surrogacy technology in medical institutions.
In recent years, the National Health Department has investigated and dealt with a number of cases suspected of engaging in illegal activities of surrogacy. However, the investigation found that these cases are only the tip of the iceberg in the black market of surrogacy.
Yuan Xiaolu, partner of Hunan Jinzhou law firm, said that according to the current regulations, the health department can only manage regular doctors and medical institutions; the low illegal cost of surrogacy agency is an important reason for the repeated prohibition of “surrogacy black market”.
Yuan Xiaolu believes that it is difficult to effectively supervise surrogacy only by the health department. Only by strengthening the linkage of health, market supervision, judicial organs and other departments, can we crack down on the “black market of surrogacy” and promote the healthy development of reproductive auxiliary medical industry.
At present, there are different attitudes towards surrogacy in the world. France, Switzerland, Germany and other countries prohibit surrogacy. In Britain, non-commercial surrogacy is legal. More than 20 states in the United States have different degrees of legal recognition for surrogacy.
A number of experts interviewed said that the measures for the administration of human assisted reproductive technology is only a departmental regulation, and the level of supervision is too low to keep up with the needs of the situation. The state should formulate special laws or administrative regulations on the issue of human assisted reproductive technology. On the one hand, it should increase the punishment for illegal acts such as surrogacy; on the other hand, it should distinguish between illegal surrogacy and patients with fertility disorders who are eager to have the next generation’s needs, and develop assisted reproductive technology such as artificial insemination and embryo transfer in accordance with the law.