April 4, 2024

A story of secret surrogacy in China 

This story comes from the intersection of China’s one-child policy, voluntary childlessness, surrogacy, and traditional norms of filial piety. 

As reported in the South China Morning News, a man in Yiyang, in the Hunan province in central China, desperately wanted a grandson. But his 29-year-old daughter refused to have children or get married. So – unbeknownst to his wife – he arranged for university student to be a surrogate mother through an agency. She was impregnated with his own sperm. 

His wife returned home one day in 2022 to find a nursemaid with a baby. The stranger told the wife that the baby girl belonged to her and her husband. And in fact, since the husband had stolen the wife’s identity card, she and her husband had been registered as the baby’s parents. 

The enraged wife told the media: “My husband said [to my daughter], ‘Your choice means I will never be a grandfather. What’s the point of raising you? Not having a baby means you are not filial, according to Chinese traditional culture’.” Now she is threatening to divorce him. 

The daughter is also upset. She maintains that her father is quite incapable of raising a child on his own. She fears that she will be legally obliged to raise the child herself if her parents go ahead with a divorce. 

The proud father is oblivious to his family’s opposition. His comment was that because the infant girl was so cute and healthy, he might ask the surrogacy agency for a boy next time.