Taiwanese VP has Three Children via Surrogacy

on December 4, 2012
Taiwan surrogacy

Taiwan considers legalizing surrogacy

Gestational surrogacy may soon be legalized in Taiwan now that one of the country’s most prominent families — namely that of Vice President Lien Chan — has publicly revealed that three new children were added through surrogate mothers.

According to the China Post, Lien’s daughter, Hui-hsin, employed two surrogate mothers in the United States. Surrogacy is still illegal in Taiwan, although the practice is now coming under review. Other countries allow surrogacy, including the United States, India, Thailand and the Ukraine.

The Taiwan Department of Health is looking to implement as soon as possible a consensus reached in September this year that infertile couples should be given the legal right to have children by surrogacy.

According to bureau’s chief, Kung Hsien-lan, the DOH is bent on lifting the ban on surrogacy even before all the implications and possible problems — both legal and moral — have been fully resolved.  The DOH is considering passing legislation drafted in September, and following up with additional regulations concerning the rights and egg donors and surrogate mothers once experts can agree on ethical guidelines on the rights of egg donors and surrogate mothers.

According to the China Post, surrogacy is not a new issue in Taiwan, and draft regulation of the practice has been on the table since 2004.  Since then, according to the DOH’s Bureau of Health Promotion, about two dozen meetings have been held, the latest in September.

One legislator in Taiwan has claimed that over 5,000 infertile couples in the country have sought the help of surrogate mothers illegally because they could not afford the expenses of doing so overseas.

The DOH is trying to stop the “black market” and give more protection to both parties involved in surrogacy, but the draft Surrogacy Act has been tabled for eight years.

In a country with strong traditions that a person — in this case, the paternal line — must have offspring (sons, of course) to carry on the name of the family, surrogacy is not a far-fetched idea. In older days, it was common for men to get a second wife, or more, if the first failed to give birth to sons.

But the China Post points out that Taiwan is struggling to modernize and overcome centuries of tradition — in this case ensuring the equal rights of women in a patriarchal society.  Some lawmakers fear that Surrogacy could lead to the exploitation of women to perpetuate the antiquated, male-dominated traditions.

It will be the balance of protecting the rights of women, and enabling the rights of infertile couples, that the Taiwan government will have to manage.

More on this topic can be viewed at the Taipei Times.


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