Wealthy Chinese seek U.S. surrogates for second child, green card

Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:10pm EDT
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By Alexandra Harney

(Reuters) - Wealthy Chinese are hiring American women to serve as surrogates for their children, creating a small but growing business in $120,000 "designer" American babies for China's elite.

Surrogacy agencies in China and the United States are catering to wealthy Chinese who want a baby outside the country's restrictive family planning policies, who are unable to conceive themselves, or who are seeking U.S. citizenship for their children.

Emigration as a family is another draw - U.S. citizens may apply for Green Cards for their parents when they turn 21.

While there is no data on the total number of Chinese who have sought or used U.S. surrogates, agencies in both countries say demand has risen rapidly in the last two years.

U.S. fertility clinics and surrogacy agencies are creating Chinese-language websites and hiring Mandarin speakers.

Boston-based Circle Surrogacy has handled half a dozen Chinese surrogacy cases over the last five years, said president John Weltman.

"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."

The agency, which handles about 140 surrogacy cases a year, 65 percent of them for clients outside the United States, is opening an office in California to better serve clients from Asia which has easier flight connections with the West Coast. Weltman said he hopes to hire a representative in Shanghai next year.   Continued...

Tony Jiang poses with his three children at his house in Shanghai September 16, 2013. In December 2010, REUTERS/Aly Song