Illegal surrogacy activities found in residential villa in South China’s Shenzhen
Published: Sep 18, 2023 01:31 PM Updated: Sep 18, 2023 01:26 PM
Surrogacy Photo:VCG

Surrogacy Photo:VCG

Law enforcement officers from Longhua district in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province have identified suspected illegal surrogacy activities such as egg retrieval and embryo transplantation within a residential area, which has sparked widespread discussion, according to the official account of Shenzhen Sanitation Supervision Stations on Monday.

During the on-site inspection, law enforcement officers discovered some liquid nitrogen and gas cylinders at a five-story villa. Officers also uncovered a room on the second floor that appeared to be a packaging and cleaning area, with cleaned surgical gowns hanging inside and surgical packs on the table containing instruments such as vaginal dilators, surgical trays and forceps. The third floor contained a laboratory and operating room, with two rooms connected by a pass-through window for egg retrieval and embryo transfer.

Inside the lab, two operational desktop incubators were discovered, with four to five culture dishes marked with different names inside. Outside the lab, there was a liquid nitrogen tank, from which several EP tubes marked with different names were taken out.

Within the operating room, medical waste such as egg retrieval devices and syringes with liquid were also found. Health supervision law enforcement officers and experts in assisted reproductive technology said the drugs, instruments and equipment found on the scene were all used for egg retrieval, embryo transplantation and other surrogacy activities.

According to Measures for the Administration of Human Assisted Reproductive Technology, sales and purchases of gametes and embryos in any form are prohibited. Medical institutions and medical personnel are not allowed to carry out any form of surrogacy technology.

Among the seven people involved in the case, there were six females and one male. All six females claimed that the male surnamed Liu was responsible for recruiting them. However, when questioned, Liu claimed to be only a cleaner at the premises and responded to the discovery of medical equipment and drugs by "pretending to be deaf and dumb."

After further investigation, law enforcement officers confirmed the identities of the six females on the scene, including surrogate mothers, egg donors, clients preparing for embryo implantation, laboratory operators and two nurses.

Liu, whose real surname is Chen, was identified as the actual operator and manager of the premises. He admitted that the villa was rented for conducting surrogacy activities. In addition, there was a driver responsible for transporting surrogate mothers and egg donors, among others.

Chen was issued an administrative penalty by the health supervision department for illegally conducting human assisted reproductive technology activities without obtaining a Medical Institution Practice License, including confiscation of illegal gains and related drugs and equipment, as well as fines. In addition, other medical personnel involved in the case were also handed corresponding administrative penalties.

Global Times