Surrogacy agencies, fertility clinics and family law firms are seeing an increase in demand for services due to the end of China’s one-child policy, which occurred in January 2016.
The government of the People’s Republic of China intended to slow the nation’s surging population growth with its one-child policy, adopted in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Enforcement of the policy tended to be stricter in cities and more lax in rural areas. And some ethnic minorities were exempt.
But the government began to phase out the program last year before brining it to an end Jan. 1.
Many Chinese Intended Parents look for gender selection and genetic studies of the embryos for cultural and health reasons. They also look for Surrogate Mothers in the United States so that the baby becomes an American citizen.
“Our biggest thing is gender selection,” he said. “We do genetic studies on the embryos before they go back to the parents. So we will know if it will be a male or female. We can also pinpoint health problems like sickle cell anemia, Tay-Sachs disease and muscular dystrophy before it becomes a child — when it’s in the embryonic stage.”
The ability of a woman to choose the gender of her child resonates with Chinese couples, Steinberg said.
“In China, they don’t have any social services to take care of parents when they get old, so it’s the male child’s responsibility to do that,” he said. “That’s why having a boy in some cases can be so important. But another couple might have a boy and want a girl, or they might have a girl and want a boy.”
The increase in demand has caused new business in the industry to start-up in California, and the concern is that they may not have experience in surrogacy arrangements and the very important legal process, which is essential to protect the Surrogate Mother and the baby and to preserve the Intended Parents’ parental rights.