The number of wealthy Chinese couples looking to America for surrogacy options is steadily increasing despite a hefty price tag, the Beijing News reports:
“Seeking an American woman for surrogate pregnancy is a kind of emerging luxury consumption among wealthy Chinese couples,” said Guo Yu, a consultant at a Beijing- based agency offering surrogacy packages.
“The cost for hiring an American woman for surrogacy stands at about one million yuan ($164,196),” Guo said. “Yet it is still a cheaper option than the EB-5 visa, which requires a minimum investment in a job creating business of $500,000.”
Surrogacy agencies, such as Guo’s, in both the United States and China cater to wealthy couples who want a baby outside of the one child policy or are unable to conceive and are looking for U.S citizenship for their future offspring. US citizens can apply for green cards for their family upon turning 21, a potentially priceless ‘investment’ in the eyes of some.
According to Reuters, US fertility clinics and surrogacy agencies are increasingly catering for Chinese clients by creating Chinese language websites and hiring Mandarin speakers. The president of Boston’s Circle Surrogacy, John Weltman said:
“I would be surprised if you called me back in four months and that number hadn’t doubled,” he said. “That’s the level of interest we’ve seen this year from China and the very serious conversations we’ve had with people who I think will be joining us in the next three or four months.”
Despite the practice being illegal, surrogacy agencies also offer services within China. In some cases, to avoid scrutiny by the authorities, surrogate mothers are sent to countries such as Thailand or India for the artificial insemination procedure, before being brought back to China for the birth.
This, combined with the recent discovery that a third of China’s 100 richest billionaires have more than one child, confirms what we already knew – when it comes to evading restrictive family planning laws, money clearly talks.
Watch Taiwan-based Next Media Animation’s characteristically weird (and super-blunt) take on this phenomenon here:
By Maea Lenei Buhre