The "black market" is abnormally prosperous and disputes are increasing day by day-unveiling the mystery of the underground industrial chain of surrogacy
"Xinhua Viewpoint" reporter survey found that in recent years, the domestic underground "black market for surrogacy" has shown abnormal prosperity, and various disputes and risks arising from surrogacy have also increased day by day.
Provide a variety of "package" services, including paternity test "one-stop" price of more than 700,000 yuan
After repeated failures of IVF, a couple in their 40s in Chengdu thought of finding a surrogate.
"My husband said that he would divorce without having children. Thinking of the relationship between husband and wife for so many years, there is really no choice but to try everywhere." 42-year-old Qin Fan (pseudonym) said helplessly.
Qin Fan said that they found a surrogacy agency in Guangzhou with an offer of 900,000 yuan for surrogacy in Thailand.
Currently, the husband and wife are putting together money to prepare for a try.
Although our country's law clearly prohibits medical institutions and medical staff from implementing any form of surrogacy technology, in recent years, the underground surrogacy industry chain has become increasingly active, expanding in scale, and extending its secret tentacles to ordinary people.
The reporter's investigation found that there are particularly many small advertisements such as "surrogacy", "selling eggs", and "child-bearing sons" on the toilet door panels of the maternity hospitals for women.
According to insiders, there are three types of surrogacy: first, sperm and eggs are provided by the demander, and embryo transfer after in vitro fertilization is carried out by borrowing the uterus of the surrogate mother; second, only the sperm comes from the demander and the eggs are provided by the egg donor. It is conceived by the surrogate mother; third, only the eggs are provided by the demander, and after in vitro fertilization with a third-party sperm, the surrogate mother is conceived.
Some surrogacy agencies also provide a variety of "package" services based on demand, clearly marked prices.
As a customer, the reporter contacted a customer service Xiaofu named "Tianbaoer Medical" in Changsha, Hunan.
According to the price list she provided, the cost of only egg or sperm donor and transplantation is 110,000 yuan, and the cost of surrogacy alone is 350,000 yuan.
Covering the “one-stop” service of egg donation, transplantation, surrogacy, and paternity testing, the “zero risk” package that promises to hold the baby in two years is 738,000 yuan.
The reporter searched the information of "Tianbaoer Medical" on Tianyan Check and showed that the company of "Tianbaoer Medical" is Wuhan Tianbaoer Medical Consultation Service Co., Ltd. Its business scope is health consultation (excluding diagnosis and treatment) and medical system software development. , Medical information consulting, medical equipment technical consulting and technical services.
Egg donation, transplantation, etc. belong to diagnosis and treatment operations and are not within its business scope.
Related information on competing products shows that there are 36 companies that provide similar services. These companies are in Guangdong, Beijing, Yunnan, Sichuan and other places. In brief, CUHK has the keyword "test tube baby consulting service", but almost all have no qualifications for diagnosis and treatment.
The reporter walked into a so-called "reproductive health consulting" company in Chengdu. On the surface, the company provides health consulting and overseas medical treatment to infertility patients. In fact, it also acts as a surrogacy agency. The company's official Weibo also publicly mentioned " Thank you surrogate mother" and other content.
When the reporter asked to know the details of the surrogacy package and related contracts, the other party was more vigilant and asked to register his personal ID number and issue a marriage certificate.
There are multiple risks behind: surrogate mothers are mostly diagnosed and treated in "black clinics", and children with defects may be rejected by their parents
The reporter's investigation found that the core group of surrogacy is the group of older people who lost their families alone and lost their ability to autonomous motherhood due to illness.
Although my country has banned the development of surrogacy services, this has not stopped the brutal expansion of the surrogacy industry.
Surrogacy goes underground, and some people pay high prices to go illegally.
Illegal surrogacy breaks the traditional concept of fertility and fertility order, and brings a series of medical, legal, and ethical risks.
One is medical risk.
Zhu Yimin, director of the Reproductive Endocrinology Department of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, introduced that egg retrieval operations in regular hospitals have high environmental requirements and must be sterile and constant temperature.
However, most underground surrogates often seek out informal clinics to retrieve eggs. There are problems such as incomplete disinfection, repeated use of equipment, and irregular operations. Egg donors and surrogate mothers may encounter health risks.
Ms. Han (pseudonym), who lives in Chengdu, Sichuan, became a "surrogate mother" through an agency introduction in 2017.
Ms. Han said that the embryo implantation surgery was performed in an underground clinic.
But in the third month of pregnancy, Ms. Han suddenly found that she was infected with syphilis when she went to the hospital for an examination.
The client therefore regretted it and asked Ms. Han to have an abortion operation.
Ms. Han was worried that she would be damaged by the abortion operation at her older age, so she chose to give birth to the child.
Today, the child is 3 years old, but due to identity issues, he has not been able to register.
The second is legal risk.
In recent years, legal disputes caused by surrogacy have occurred frequently, 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 traded commodities, so the surrogacy contract itself is illegal and invalid.
"Even if a surrogacy agreement is signed, the contractual rights and interests that the parties expect to obtain are not protected by law."
A few days ago, the People's Court of Nansha District of Guangdong Free Trade Zone concluded a surrogacy dispute.
Guangdong woman Chen signed a contract with a medical tourism group, and the company promised to provide Thailand's best medical resources for IVF and surrogacy services.
After the surrogacy operation failed, Chen requested a full refund of 380,000 yuan.
The court found that the surrogacy contract was invalid and the company had a major fault. Chen knew that the surrogacy violated my country’s laws and public order and customs, and was also at fault; the court determined that the company would refund Chen after deducting the cost of providing related services to Chen. Ten thousand yuan.
The third is ethical risks.
Shi Jie, a lawyer from Sichuan Dingli Law Firm, believes that surrogacy poses a challenge to traditional moral and ethical values. The dignity of surrogate mothers and surrogate children will be trampled, and women have become "fertility machines."
After the birth of some surrogate children, once the parents' relationship breaks up, the situation of the surrogate children will be very embarrassing.
Some surrogate children are regarded as "defective products" due to their physical and organic defects and are rejected by their parents.
It is advisable to speed up legislation to plug loopholes and strengthen crackdowns on illegal activities
The "Management Measures for Human Assisted Reproductive Technology" issued by the former Ministry of Health in 2001 clearly stipulated that any form of trading of gametes, zygotes and embryos is prohibited.
Medical institutions and medical staff shall not implement any form of surrogacy technology.
For medical institutions that implement surrogacy technology, the health administrative department shall give a warning, impose a fine of less than 30,000 yuan, and impose administrative sanctions on the person responsible.
In recent years, the national health department has investigated and dealt with many cases of suspected illegal activities of surrogacy.
However, the reporter's investigation found that these cases were only the "tip of the iceberg" of the "black market of surrogacy."
Yuan Xiaolu, a partner of Hunan Jinzhou Law Firm, said that according to current regulations, the health department can only manage regular doctors and medical institutions; the illegal cost of surrogacy agencies is very low, which is an important reason why the "black market of surrogacy" continues to be banned. .
Yuan Xiaolu believes that it is difficult for the health department alone to achieve effective supervision over the issue of surrogacy.
Only by strengthening the linkage of health, market supervision, judicial organs and other departments can we combat the "black market of surrogacy" and promote the healthy development of the reproductive auxiliary medical industry.
At present, the attitudes towards surrogacy vary from country to country.
France, Switzerland, Germany and other countries prohibit surrogacy. Non-commercial surrogacy in the United Kingdom is legal. More than 20 states in the United States have different degrees of legal recognition of surrogacy.
A number of interviewed experts said that the "Management Measures for Human Assisted Reproductive Technology" are only departmental regulations, and the level is too low, and the level of supervision is far behind 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 penalties for illegal activities such as surrogacy. On the other hand, it should differentiate between illegal surrogacy and the needs of patients with reproductive disorders who desire to have the next generation. Develop assisted reproductive technologies in artificial insemination and embryo transfer in accordance with laws and regulations.
Reporters Huang Xiao, Shuai Cai, Dong Xiaohong, Mao Yizhu