Surrogacy in China: Public Opinion, Litigations, and Court Rulings

  •  Qian Tang    


Culturally, commercial surrogacy has come to be viewed and criticized as immoral. Thus, many prefer it to be outlawed in China. At the same time, “to carry on the bloodline of the family” and having more children are also culturally celebrated in Chinese society.  The two cultural traditions, together with the implementation and gradual revocation of the one-child policy in the 21st century, have led to a dilemma modern Chinese parents are facing: more and more couples feel morally obligated to have more children after the revocation of the one-child policy but are too old to naturally reproduce. With the vagueness of regulations around commercial surrogacy in China, more couples have resorted to surrogacy in the past decade, which currently functions in a grey market. Within the unregulated market, both moral and legal concerns emerge. Through analysis of public opinion, litigations, as well as court rulings on surrogacy in China, this paper asks the following question: To what extent does the societal attitude in China on surrogacy align with that of litigations and court rulings on surrogacy in China? This paper hopes to provide insight into the Chinese surrogacy markets and responses from different actors within the process of surrogacy, leading to broader questions such as: How can litigations in China on surrogacy be improved? How can we ensure rights of all actors in a transaction concerning surrogacy? Should surrogacy be permissible at all? These are relevant questions relating to the structural violence prevalent in the seemingly peaceful modern China and have an impact on the direction of future feminist studies.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.