Chinese couples are taking advantage of the reproductive technology in the United States at increasing rates. In 2011, up to about 40% of one fertility clinic’s 140 client couples were from China.
So why the sudden increase?
For one thing, surrogacy is illegal in China, leaving infertile couples with few options to grow their families. Furthermore, the rising affluence of the upper-class in China allows for investment in American surrogacy, which can cost up to $120,000.
Chinese couples tend to look for surrogacy clinics in California, where a large Chinese population resides. That makes it easier to find Chinese surrogates to produce children that resemble the adoptive parents.
The desire for ethnic Chinese surrogates inflates the costs of donor eggs from Chinese women, which can be 3 times as costly as eggs from a white American woman.
Chinese clients are also in high-demand by American surrogacy clinics. In fact, clinics will hire agents based in China to recruit client interest.
As with any fertility therapy though, surrogacy is not a sure science. Adoptive couples are often faced with miscarriages by the surrogate and can spend extensive amounts of time and money getting their child.
However, with its illegality in China, Chinese couples are left we few other options.