[월드리포트] Actress’surrogate mother controversy’ spread… Re-examination of the status of surrogate mothers in China

In China, controversy over’surrogate mothers’ is hot day after day. The controversy triggered by a famous actress is fueling criticism in China, and related organizations have fought to’draw a line’ with the actress. There are also reports in the media that have reexamined the situation of surrogate mothers in China.

●’Surrogate mother birth’ accused the actress… “Life is not a toy”

At the center of the controversy is Jung Shuang, an actress who gained great popularity with the Chinese version of the’Boys Over Flowers’ series. Jeong Shuang tried to have two children in the United States through a surrogate mother with her boyfriend, but it was recently revealed that before the children were born, they broke up with their boyfriend and abandoned the children. Both children are reportedly born in December 2019 and January 2020 in two different places in the United States.


Jeong Shuang put forward a position of “a very sad privacy issue”, but the reaction in China is cold. China’s state-run Global Times said, “China’s famous actress Jung Shuang is receiving widespread criticism for abandoning her two children born through surrogate mothers in the United States. Most Chinese netizens are expressing strong displeasure against childbirth through surrogate mothers.”

The Chinese Communist Party also expressed its stance on the incident. The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Youth Federation said through an official SNS account that “China prohibits the birth of all kinds of surrogate mothers,” and that “the birth of surrogate mothers and abandonment of children are contrary to social morality and public order.” He even said, “Human life is not a toy.” The Political Affairs Committee of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China also pointed out that “Jung Shuang is using a legal loophole, but that does not mean he is innocent.” China bans the birth of surrogate mothers by Chinese medical institutions and medical staff in accordance with measures implemented in 2001. However, one attorney told a Chinese media interview that if you go to a foreign country where surrogate mothers are allowed and give birth to a surrogate mother, you may not be punished in China.

China’s state-run CCTV broadcast also commented, pointing out cases in which the surrogate mother had abortions if the pregnant fetus was a daughter, not a son, or a disabled child.

January 20th article in China's official Global Times.  'The Chinese actress abandoned the children she gave birth through surrogate mothers in the United States, resulting in huge criticism online.'

● From cancellation of awards to ban on appearing on broadcasts… Do you follow the exit procedure?

This was not the end of actress Jung Shuang’s surrogate mother. The China Huading Awards Organizing Committee, which evaluates celebrities’ social responsibility and public interest activities, has announced that it will cancel Zheng Shuang’s Huading Awards. Earlier, Jung Shuang won the 19th Hwa Ding Award,’The Best Actress Award for Modern and Contemporary Chinese Genre Drama’, and the 13th Hwa Ding Award,’The 10 Most Favorite Drama Stars of Viewers’. The official of the Hwa Ding Award Organizing Committee said “Self-dealing”.

Broadcasting withdrawal is also visible. The Optoelectronics Bureau, which manages and oversees China’s TV, radio, and film industry, aimed at Jeong Shuang and said, “We will not provide a platform and opportunity to show face to people who have caused scandals or did bad things.” Famous celebrities emphasized that they are public figures with great social influence.

Part of an article posted by China's Optoelectronics Bureau.  It is said,'We will not provide an opportunity and platform to show faces to people who have caused scandals or have performed badly.

● “The black market booming for Chinese proxy pregnancy”… “120 million won per child” ad

So, what about the situation of surrogate mothers in China? On the 21st, Xinhua News Agency reported that China’s’proxy pregnant black market’ is experiencing a deformed boom. In recent years, the new surrogate underground industry has been revitalized and the scale is growing. It was said that advertisements such as’proxy pregnancy,’providing an egg’, and’bearing a son’ could be seen on the toilet door of a maternity hospital.

Shinhwa News Agency also said that various’products’ are being sold. A reporter from Xinhua News Agency inquired of a company in Changsha City, Hunan Province, pretending to be a customer, and said that the company presented a’price list’. The cost of transplant surgery through in vitro fertilization is 110,000 yuan (about 18 million won), and the surrogate pregnancy cost is 350,000 yuan (about 59 million won). In particular, the so-called’zero-risk’ package, which provides eggs from donation to transplantation, surrogate pregnancy, and paternity, and takes care of the child for two years, is said to cost 738,000 yuan (125 million won).

A woman in her 40s in Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, said she would divorce her husband if she could not have a child, so she went to a broker in Guangzhou and said she had a child through a surrogate mother in Thailand. The broker offered 900,000 yuan (150 million won), and the couple is currently raising money, Shinhwa News reported.

On the 21st, Xinhua News Agency reported that it was possible to find an advertisement for'proxy pregnancy' in the bathrooms of a Chinese obstetrics and gynecology hospital.

The Global Times said that it is illegal in China to give birth to a surrogate mother, so many people are looking for a country where it is legal. Ukraine is one of the most visited by Chinese parents. In Ukraine, between 2,500 and 3,000 children are born each year through surrogate mothers, adding that one-third of them are Chinese customers. Quoting a Chinese employee, the cost of giving birth to a surrogate mother in Ukraine is about a fifth of that of the United States.

The birth of a surrogate mother is being criticized for violating women’s human rights and commercializing women’s bodies. It can also cause many medical, legal and ethical problems. In order to eradicate this, the preference for boys and the perception of infertility as a sin must first be changed.

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