Police in Long Bien District, Hanoi have started legal proceedings against a 27-year-old woman from the northern province of Thai Nguyen for brokering illegal surrogacy deals.
Hoang Hue Tam, the woman in question, is currently in police custody.
According to police officers, Tam sought out women who suffered from infertility and offered them surrogacy services via social media.
Most of the willing surrogate mothers are college students beween 18 and 25 years old from cities and provinces across Vietnam.
Tam served as the broker during the surrogacy negotiations.
In each surrogacy deal – which often cost from VND300 million (US$12,941) to VND700 million ($30,197) – Tam took VND100-200 million ($4,322-8,643) and the surrogate mother received from VND200 million to VND500 million ($21,609).
After the ‘customer’ and the surrogate mother reached an agreement, Tam brought the latter to the hospital for testing and embryo transplantation.
To legalize the surrogacy, Tam used counterfeit papers such as household books, identity cards, and marriage registration to bypass the authorities.
According to police officers, aside from some completed cases of surrogacy, Tam received money from several people but failed to fulfill ‘orders’ for a number of customers.
Police thus nabbed Tam and started legal proceedings against the case and her for organizing surrogacy for commercial purposes and fraud and property appropriation.
Surrogacy is a form of assisted reproductive technology in which an embryo is created using an egg and sperm produced by a couple and transferred to the surrogate’s uterus.
Vietnam’s Law on Marriage and Family was amended to allow surrogacy in 2015.
It allows surrogacy on humanitarian grounds in cases where the woman, for health reasons, is physically incapable of having children, and prohibits surrogacy for commercial purposes.
A surrogate mother must be between 21 and 40 and physically healthy and already have at least one child. A woman can be a surrogate only once.
In Vietnam, around 20,000 cases of in vitro fertilization, a complex series of procedures used to help with fertility or prevent genetic problems and assist with the conception of a child, are performed every year, according to the Ministry of Health.